Keep the Caribbean in your thoughts and prayers

SuperfishSuperfish St. John US Virgin IslandsMember

The Caribbean has been my home for the past 30 years. I love the people, the culture, the resources, the water and the magical things residing in it. I've been through many hurricanes since Hx Hugo in 1989. Tonight the northern Caribbean Islands are in the cross-hairs of a incredible Hurricane Irma. During the day tomorrow, homes will be blown away and reefs will be under assault by the tremendous forces of one of natures most powerful forces. Many of the animals We've all been preparing for several days, and many of us, for years for this event. But a storm of this magnitude, 180+mph sustained winds, gusts >200mph, what are the appropriate preparations?

This forum is for people who love the water, and some of you love warm, clear Caribbean waters. You love visiting here, swimming here. If you are one of those that appreciate this special place on our watery planet, please pause a moment tonight (9/5 and during the day tomorrow), send thoughts of peace, and prayers for safe passage for those in this storm's path. Thank you.

loneswimmerJSwimdavid_barrajendutrlmmolly1205bluemermaid9JustSwimcurlyevmoand 9 others.


  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    You are very much in my thoughts tonight, and in the days and weeks to come.

    Many of you may not know that the end of the world is my day job. Simply put, I help people and communities prepare for storms and climate change. I don't know what to say to people on the islands, other than the coming hours and days will be about survival. We will see you on the other side. <3

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Stay safe Jeff.
    Will be thinking about you and Jude.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaMember

    Thinking of all of those in Irma's path with care and concern. Hang on to each other and know you have a world of support!

    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • bluemermaid9bluemermaid9 Boca Raton, FL, United StatesMember

    Praying for your safety from Florida.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    This, for sure! I pray for safety for all!

  • swimrn62swimrn62 Stowe, VTMember

    Very tough times through the Caribbean, my home for many years. Warmest thoughts for you and your beautiful neighbors.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Radio silence from St John.....
    though I've seen a lot of photos from Tortola, just a couple of miles across the strait. Major devastation :(
    Looks like the entire fleet of barefoot charters is piled up in Paraquita Bay.

    Please check in when you can!

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • mjstaplesmjstaples Atlanta, GA, USMember

    The Atlanta swim pod is trying to locate a friend vacationing in Tortola without luck also.

  • swimrn62swimrn62 Stowe, VTMember

    Does anyone know a ham radio operator? I've been told they were very helpful contacting STX after Hugo.

  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COMember

    I will reach out to a couple. I know that the HAM radio operator community has emergency networks (NETs) in place to help respond to and coordinate emergency response operations during these types of situations. I am sure that they are in full swing right now.

  • In these days of "us vs them" of divided communities , this thread, while terrifying it is at the same time heartening to see that we ALL care for each other and for our one little spot in this vast galaxy.
    @Karl_Kingery , do let us know what you can find out.
    We may be a small group but we CAN be powerful as well.


    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach

  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COMember

    It's not much, but here's what I have so far. HAM radio NETs have been set up and are operating:
    Contact info for the net management:
    An example of the NET from a few hours ago:

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    suziedods said:
    In these days of "us vs them" of divided communities , this thread, while terrifying it is at the same time heartening to see that we ALL care for each other and for our one little spot in this vast galaxy.

    It was very heartening to see all of the random people helping with rescues and early parts of recovery in Houston last week. We have a long way to get back to whatever the new normal turns into, but early indications are that Houston will end up just fine.

  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    I chatted with a swim friend in ST Croix last night and he said that they didn't get nearly as bad of an impact as St Thomas and St John. Both of those islands are pretty devastated. The government is sending a few navy ships down to St Croix to act as a HDQ for the guard and military to work on the aid down there. He's also part of the group who plans the 5 mile race in November and it sounds like, as of now, its still a go. Supporting by going back will definitely be a way to help them out.

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    Thinking of everyone. Jeff, I used your St. John report as a model for my Culebra circumnavigation last week. I have been thinking of you so much, both with gratitude for your excellent documentation, and because of what your beautiful home is going through now.
    Holding all of those impacted close to my heart right now. <3

  • SuperfishSuperfish St. John US Virgin IslandsMember

    Hi all. Brief post from St John. We are ok, but so much damage around us. Massive federal and NGO response. Much love and thanks to all.

    Unfortunately the two new storms on our horizon, literally threaten the progress we've made. Even if not direct hits, the rainfall will be very hard for island to absorb. Landslides will make movement even more difficult.

    Anyway, thanks for the prayers and support. It just isn't over yet!!!

  • SuperfishSuperfish St. John US Virgin IslandsMember

    PS: only very sporadic posts as very limited comms in Cruz bay and non where I live I coral bay.

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    We are all thinking of you, @Superfish, and hoping the other storms find their ways away from the islands.

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    Especially as I fight a bit of survivor's guilt from Harvey, here's praying that the active storms in the hurricane don't make an already bad situation so much worse.

  • SuperfishSuperfish St. John US Virgin IslandsMember

    Hi all,
    I've made it to the land of utilities, flush toilets, real roofs (as opposed to blue tarps) and less mud. I've left the life dominated by "is my generator working today and where can I get fuel" to take a pre-storm planned break from island life. After more than a month post-storms, St. John still has yet to get any electrical power distribution (besides what is run by temporary generators).

    My wife and I did 3 swims post-storms, reliving the the grief and sadness along with the awe and power of nature, and viewing what it does enveloped me while swimming. As with the terrestrial world, there are amazing stories of survival; branching corals in 2-4' of water still upright and mostly intact, and there are places that look relatively normal (pre-storm condition) as well as those where the reef has been scoured away, piled into rubble. My outreach mantra for the past 15+ years has been "every living piece of coral is more important than ever before" as that is where future generations of reefs come from. THAT is more true now than ever before.

    And though it sounds trite, events like this (and others sadly that occurred in the past month) are an extreme reminder to me that we can't take our lives, our existence, those we love or what we do for granted. Open water swimmers have a special appreciation for that. And again, I've been reminded. Be mindful while swimming, and not just of your stroke technique.

    pavlicovcurlyevmoSoloJSwimrosemarymintKarl_Kingerybluemermaid9ssthomasswimrn62and 2 others.
  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    Fish, thanks for your update. I've been watching the St John page on FB and see glimmers of hope with each new post, for the most part. I'm happy you're getting a temporary reprieve, but am sure that you're still worried about what's left back there. I hope that you all can recover quickly. That's one of my favorite vacation spots ever.

  • SuperfishSuperfish St. John US Virgin IslandsMember

    Hi All, been awhile since I posted. We got power back 101 days after the storms, and we recently got internet service back. I wanted to share a link that discusses how the marine community was affected by the storms and what visitors including snorkelers and swimmers might expect.

    Additionally, for those interested in our annual Beach to Beach power swim, check out the Friends of VINP website: Yep, it is happening again!!!!

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