Hurricane Irma (photo from Marine Weather Center's post)

HURRICANE IRMA – 2017 – by Theresa

First, thank you, to everyone, for reaching out to see how Pilots’ Discretion, and her crew, fared as Hurricane Irma tracked through the Caribbean. In preparation for the storm and in accordance with our hurricane plan, we spider tied Pilots’ Discretion, with doubled lines, in a double slip, on a floating dock, alone with no other boats, in St. Lucia. Irma was set to track north of St. Lucia, however, to be on the safe side, we left the boat in St. Lucia and flew to Florida to stay out of harms way!

As predicted, Hurricane Irma passed north of St. Lucia. We were incredibly grateful to learn that our pre-hurricane preparations were sufficient, and that St. Lucia was spared from the ferocity of the storm. The island received some rain and wind from the outer bands of the storm, but on the whole, the island and our boat, weathered the storm and are fine.

Having flown to Florida, we then holed up with family in Spring Hill, just north of Tampa, on the west coast of Florida. Having just gone through the hurricane preparations drill in St. Lucia our crew was ready and able to  assist with preparations for the “high impact” potential hit headed for our relatives in Spring Hill.

We listened to reports, and observed, painfully, the pictures of the devastation from the direct hits on Barbuda, St. Barthélemy (St. Bart), St. Maarten/St. Martin, Anguilla, Antigua, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. We have travelled to all of these islands in previous cruising seasons, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the storm.

Paraquita Bay, British Virgin Islands (Before and After)

Nanny Cay Marina, British Virgin Islands, post hurricane Irma, 2017

Isleta Marina, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, post hurricane Irma, Sept. 2017

Foxy’s before (2016) and after (2017)

Forecasted Track for Hurricane Irma, Sept. 7, 2017

Forecasted Track for Hurricane Irma originally had her skirting up the east coast of Florida, Sept. 7, 2017

In Florida, the original forecasts had the storm tracking up the east coast. Slowly, the storm edged west with the later predictions indicating she would run up the middle of the Florida peninsula. Finally, within the last day prior to Florida landfall, the forecast consensus had Irma tracking up the west coast of Florida. We weathered the storm just north of Tampa. The eye passed just to our east during the middle of the night. We were extremely fortunate that a slight variation in the actual track of the storm placed us on the weak side of the circulation at the same time the storm was beginning to fall apart. We had a few hours of heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds mostly in the 40 knot range. Like most, we lost power and had a few downed trees to deal with but for the most part we came through the storm wiser for the experience but without taking any direct hits. We are all very aware of the potential devastation that just barely sidestepped us.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all those affected by the storm. Florida, the islands, and those living and cruising in Florida and the Caribbean islands, are a resilient bunch. Communities have already banded together to address immediate needs and start the lengthy rebuilding process. Click here for additional photos, and to see several prominent business owners (including the infamous Soggy Dollar, Foxy’s, Corsairs, Willie T’s) who have already vowed to rebuild!

8 thoughts on “HURRICANE IRMA – 2017 – by Theresa

  1. Liza

    Thank God you guys are all safe. I’ve been worried sick and praying for good news and a positive update!

    So happy to hear that you are all one adventure more seasoned and in solid shape!

    Safe Journey and LOT’S of Love Always!!!


  2. I Patti Gragg

    So glad to see that your fastidious preparations for dealing with Irma served you well in the Caribbean Islands and in Florida. Your narrative reads like a tale of high adventure. Must add that the devastation that has hit Florida and the Caribbean is something that we can all reach out to and extend a helping hand. Love you guys.


  3. Brian Toung

    Glad to hear you and Pilot’s discretion did well. I have sat on that rock at foxy’s, incredible photos.

    Get your own email signature

    On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 8:00 PM, pilotsdiscretiondotcom wrote:

    > Theresa posted: “First, thank you, to everyone, for reaching out to see > how Pilots’ Discretion, and her crew, fared as Hurricane Irma tracked > through the Caribbean. In preparation for the storm and in accordance with > our hurricane plan, we spider tied Pilots’ Discretion, ” >


  4. Nancy Caplan

    Thanks for your travel updates! I really enjoy reading and hearing all that you have seen first hand. I am really glad for this update and that you all are safe and doing well. We lost trees, that is all that really happened in Huntington!
    Be Safe
    Nancy Caplan


  5. Sylvia Steeves

    Hi Teresa!

    I’ve been enjoying your photos and descriptions immensely!! I wonder if you could do me a favor and resend me the one you just sent showing all the before and after pictures? I was looking at those in horror and accidentally somehow hit the delete button and lost your email! I really want to see everything you compiled. It all looks like a nightmare!!! I’m so very glad that you all made it out of the area and that you and your wonderful yacht are safe!

    I have replied or commented on a number of your previous posts, but I am never quite sure that I have put things in the correct spot, so I don’t know if you got them!😊

    Warmest regards , Sylvia

    Sylvia Steeves, Realtor Coastal Properties Group Int’l Christie’s International Real Estate 727-458-4844



    1. Theresa Post author

      Hi Sylvia, we receive all your comments and it is always a pleasure to hear from you! We just resent the post to your email. Hope all is well with you and your family.



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