Bahamas – Hurricane Dorian

Hi All.

We’ve been traveling across Canada this past month enjoying the beauty and serenity of this lovely country. We are taking the “Long Way” back to our boat in Florida and hope to be there by the latter half of October. And now the news is of Hurricane Dorian which is currently pummeling the Bahamas and heading towards the U.S.. While you all may have better access to breaking news and video of the tragedy that is unfolding, we have been doing as best we can on limited data, we are starting to see some awful scenes emerging.

The Bahamas are very low-lying islands. Many locations are barely 30 feet above sea level and they are experiencing storm surge sea level rises of 20 feet or more. There may be many deaths reported. I am expecting to see destruction of most of the buildings. Infrastructure in the Abaco’s and on Grand Bahama will be severely devastated. People will be scrambling for basic services, food and shelter, power and water.

We want to help. Obviously we don’t know where to begin and probably won’t for a while. We will be going back to the Bahamas this December and can probably stay until April or May.

Last year we got to Grand Bahama on the West End and Lucaya which is very near Freeport. We spent time in the Berry Islands, the Exumas and on Eluthera just south of the Abaco’s. The Bahamian people we met were so very nice to us. Everyone. Not just people who were business owners. We would meet people on the docks who would ask us if we were having a nice time. People would stop to ask us if we needed directions or even if we wanted a ride in a golf cart somewhere. People would look after our dinghy while we were places or offer us information on good places to fish or see things. People showed us how they were cleaning fish, where the lobsters were, etc.. As guests of their country, we were being looked after, sheltered, guided and welcomed by the average person on the street. Once when leaving a marina, a fisherman just standing on the breakwall waved to us as we went by and asked if we were leaving. I said we were and he yelled back to us, “Thanks for visiting us, I hope you come back again!”  I said, “We will, we had a great time!”  The Bahamian people are truly great, a loving and caring people, and we always felt safe there. It was a little bastion of wonderful in our uncertain world and we loved it. This we hope to return to and to help return the favor of their graciousness.

At this point I would just like to ask our small group here if there is any interest in helping the people of the Bahamas through us if we can figure out a practical and useful way of doing so. I don’t know what they will need or how best to accomplish this, but I guess I’m just reaching out so I can start to get a handle on what we could do.

I know that when Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 the island was devastated, and is still recovering. The big stuff like electrical, roads, first-response food distribution and such will flood in from governments and NGO’s from all over. But the more personal things like how to clean away debris from homes and trees, where to begin rebuilding, all the way to giving hugs and a helping hand with whatever assistance is needed will be needed.

Rick Norby, I may need you to bring me my chain saw from my parent’s house when you come out to see us in Baltimore. I’ll get in touch to make arrangements.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be trying to make contacts and see if/what we can do to help and where any possibilities may lie in that regard. We may end up bringing buckets of nails and hammers for all I know, or transporting small generators, or just bundles of work gloves and our own knowledge and labor. Honestly I don’t know at this point. We had plans to visit the Abaco’s this spring, but it will never be the same as what it was. Our plans may change as to where we go depending on what we can do and if anything is needed. All a waiting game to see what happens.

As of this writing Hurricane Dorian is still over Grand Bahama and hasn’t yet made its way to Florida and the US east coast. Our boat is in Florida south of Jacksonville. It is out of the water on jack-stands and is hurricane tied-down with trucking straps to large ground anchors. We did everything to secure the boat for storms that we could by removing the sails, dodger and bimini, deflating and securing the dinghy on the bow and removing and securing everything loose down below. We’ve done what we could, and now we wait, but we are not out of harm’s way yet. We do have friends there checking on the boat periodically. We will let everyone know when the hurricane has passed what we can when we can.

For right now, just know that we are thinking about this and it is on our minds constantly as we watch the effects of the hurricane unfold in the Bahamas and along the US east coast.

Thanks to everyone for their concern and we will keep you updated.

David and Marge Back

s/v Wandering Toes and Verne!

2 thoughts on “Bahamas – Hurricane Dorian”

  1. Good writing. The hurricane has done so much damage everywhere
    I haven’t heard but think about your boat. Hoping all is well there . The Bahamas will need all the help they can get. Those poor people. It’s not over here yet. Let me know about your boat when you know
    Be safe and have fun. Mom


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