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Gonzalo’s Nautical Scars Remain

A medium-sized cat ended up on the beach next to the dinghy dock next to the commercial port at St. Barth and just down from the St. Barth YC. Bartians are usually very quick to clean up after hurricane damage, so we’re surprised that the cat is still there. Apparently major parts of at least three other boats remain on the beaches of the chic island.

© 2014 Greg Dorland

It’s been two and a half months since Hurricane Gonzalo surprised residents and boat owners at St. Martin and St. Barth with Category 2 hurricane-force winds. The storm had been expected to hit the British Virgin Islands instead, which is why Latitude’s ’ti Profligate and many other boats in the Virgins had been rushed to hurricane holes. But Gonzalo curved at the last minute and the BVIs got nothing. Little St. Barth lost 42 boats, while St. Martin lost a slightly smaller number.

Another view of the stranded cat, which, based on the photo, doesn’t look too badly damaged.

© 2014 Greg Dorland

Greg Dorland of the Lake Tahoe-based Catana 52 Escapade reports that recreational and commercial vessels that were victims of the storm still scar some of the island beaches. It’s scenes like the ones in these photos that make waterfront home owners on the windward side of Belvedere worry about winter storms hitting Richardson Bay. There’s something counter-intuitively romantic about shipwrecks — as long as they don’t involve you or your loved ones. But that’s certainly not the case for home and business owners who are negatively impacted for months — if not years — to come.

While some Christmas vacation guests at this Marigot Beach hotel in St. Martin might initially be fascinated by the view of two boats wrecked just outside their windows, we imagine the fascination would quickly fade. 

© 2014 Greg Dorland

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