Hurricane Irma

So, Hurricane Irma has been barreling across the Atlantic during the last few days and she’s headed right for us. Though the forecast doesn’t show her as a direct hit, all bets are off with a major (Cat3 and above) hurricane. The most reliable model is the Euro and that has it coming straight for us. The less reliable GFS model shows it going further North of us. The two models still don’t agree and we are anywhere from 4-5 days out. The direction and strength can change so fast despite what the forecast models show so we pretty much have to prepare for the worst.

It’s really difficult to wrap my brain around this, especially after the recent flooding we had here on Tortola and all the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. I mean, I know it’s peak hurricane season here in the Caribbean but you just never think it’s gonna happen to you. I’m really good at being in denial about stuff like this. It’s our fourth hurricane season and really the first time we’ve ever had to “expect” a named storm on our doorstep.

I’m actually pretty emotional about the whole thing. Granted, I have all these postpartum hormones making it worse, but Peter and I made a decision to have me fly off island with Brig. It’s just not worth risking our safety with something this big and this strong coming so close.

It wasn’t until just two days ago that this was even an option. Technically, he cannot enter the U.S. without a passport. Since he was born in BVI and does not qualify for a BVI passport, we technically have to wait until the US Consulate in Barbados comes to visit here in BVI to apply for his US passport.  Well, given our circumstances with an impending life threatening storm headed for us, the US Customs and Boarder Protection agency at the St Thomas airport has granted me special permission to let us travel with just a birth certificate for him instead of a passport.  The moment they told me that, I of course started to cry with relief. I don’t want to have to go anywhere but it really is the best thing.

Peter is going to stay here and continue to secure our boat for as long as it’s safe before taking shelter somewhere nearby. He’ll have Betsy to care for but at least he won’t have the added stress of making sure Brig and I are safe too. I’m going to take a ferry from Tortola to St Thomas and catch a flight out on Monday. I will be going up to stay with my family in Washington State far away from the Caribbean and the East Coast.

Its a decision we wouldn’t have made if we didn’t have Brig. I would’ve just stayed here and helped Peter with the safeguarding of our home. Everyone knows that when you have kids, your life changes. Your priorities change. You make different decisions. You do what’s best for your children no matter what.

A round trip ticket cost me $1400 two days ago with one three hour layover via American Airlines. Now there are no more American flights, and tickets are $1500 only available with Jet Blue with two layovers including one for 10 hours. ($2200 with United). I pretty much got one of the last decent flights available to fly out Monday. Let’s hope they didn’t overbook it.

Our boat is in the best possible location it could be in. Literally, the best spot inside this hurricane hole. The boat really shouldn’t see any waves at all and should feel reduced wind. Peter will do everything he can to make sure our home is safe.

I’m just sick about leaving my husband, my dog and my home in the path of a hurricane. Everything could be totally fine and then again it could be really bad. I pray they will be safe and that I will have a home to come back to. Everything we own is on that boat. It’s insured of course and it’s just stuff, but I can’t imagine losing everything I own in a natural disaster.

It happens all over the world. The west coast gets earthquakes and is due for “the big one”. The midwest gets tornadoes. We get hurricanes. I suppose we should be grateful we have so much warning.

I’m sure the cell towers will be down for quite some time so I may not be able to hear from Peter. I’m going to be worried sick. Power will be off island wide and he’ll be relying on the water and food supply we have stocked up. If the boat fares well, he’ll be able to stay aboard after the storm. If not, one person has offered their home to us so atleast Peter and Betsy will have a place to go either after the storm or before if things get too crazy.  Before I made my flight reservation we really didn’t have anywhere on land to go, so it wasn’t even a question of whether or not I should leave.

If you pray, please pray for us and for everyone in Irma’s path. We need all the positive vibes we can get…

I may not get a chance to post an update to our website as the storm approaches, but I will definitely be updating our Facebook page as I have more info. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account you can still see updates by clicking HERE

To all my friends and family in WA… now’s your chance to meet Brig! Send me a message <3

15 comments

  1. I’ve been following Irma carefully and trying to make my own plans with very little information so far out in case she heads up the US East Coast. I’m certainly not postpartum and I am not responsible for anyone except my husband, my dog, and myself. And I’m worried too.

    Glad you have the boat in a safe place and I’ll be watching closely and hoping for a good outcome. I know it must be terrible to have your family separated but it sounds like you have a good plan in place.

    Sending you every good wish.

  2. I hope that You and Brig will come safe to Washington DC and have a good time with a family reunion. I pray for Peter and Your yacht (home) to be safe and protected by God and await for Your and Brigs return in the nearest future. I know that it was not an easy decision but Your son comes first. Stay safe and my thoughts are with all of You. Big hugs, Helena

  3. We were in philly for Sandy with our then 18 mo old. We left the boat and stayed with friends. We were in Jacksonville for Matthew last year; again left the boat to stay with friends, this time with 5 and 3 yos. And we just returned home to Corpus Christi after evacuating for Harvey (with 4 & 6 yos). Never fun, always stressful, always emotional. But always a good decision. I’ve never regretted leaving in the face of a big storm. Have fun with your family!

  4. Patti says:

    We are happy to welcome you and Brig to Washington, and will pray for Peter, Betsy, and Mary Christine. Give us a call, when you are here. We’d love to meet Brig, and are willing to drive north to you. Stay safe ♡

  5. Katrina Schiro says:

    I have also been following Irma closely and all of you gals I have on FB, mostly you and Windtraveler. I can’t even imagine having a little (my youngest is 12) and having to leave my husband and home behind (also a liveaboard). Keeping you all in my prayers to come through with the least possible loss. You have every right to be emotional! May your travel home with Brig be smooth and safe ♡

  6. Writer Lori says:

    Can only imagine how hard it must be to leave Peter and Betsy behind, but you’re absolutely making the right decision… you must take every precaution. Will be sending ALL good thoughts to you guys and praying this Irma finds another path! xxoo

  7. Sandy Park says:

    May God be with you and your family and all the folks in Irma’s path. My daughter lives in Houston and survived Harvey. I hope you can be so lucky too

  8. scotth777 says:

    Heavenly Father, I ask for your protection of this family and all those that lay in the path of this storm. Grant them safety, health and peace of mind.
    In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

  9. So sorry that you’re having to go through the stress of leaving your home & husband .. and worrying about them! I know how tough it as, as we’ve gone through several floods & hurricanes .. including Katrina! The unknown is the worst part!

    Wishing ya’ll the best & fingers crossed that all ends well!

  10. Jeanne Frostad says:

    Peter, take no chances, be safe. We will all be sending our prayers out to you and the people on Tortola. Keep our Betsy safe too. Gut feeling…….all will be fine. Love you Peter. Safe travels little ones and I can’t wait to hold my great grandson Brig. Love you all. Bean

  11. Rich Allcorn says:

    *READ THIS*

    Jody, have your husband find and connect with someone that uses Ham Radio, that will be your best bet for communications when the cell towers go out, if they do. But you can pray over this. I’ve seen tornados pick up and jump over a church, just because the congregation was standing there in the courtyard, pointing their fingers at it and “commanding” that it go away! Hundreds of onlookers on the highway, with stopped traffic, watched as the tornado, in response to their prayers and commands, just picked up and jumped right over the crowd on the highway, and over the nearby church where the groundbreaking prayer was taking place. There were cheers and roars of excitement as this event ended, with hundreds of lives and property being saved!

    Trust GOD. You know He loves you so much, and He loves your husband, the baby, and even the dog! You two can get together, and pray over this, even if you decide to leave. But remember, your husband will get to see the results of what it is like to see GOD’s Hand come in and stop the devastation. He will get to see it first hand! But make sure that he finds someone who does Ham radio, and shortwave, so he can tell you the whole story afterwards, in all his excitement, over the radio! You will know he is safe, and you will remember that you both are so precious to GOD.

    Trust me, HE does not lie.
    Don’t give up … but believe.

  12. Dale Ross says:

    Hey Jodi, Its Dale Ross from Wahoo (Grenada maybe you remember us Roy complemented you on your insurance info) anyway we follow your blog and are wondering if you’ve heard anything from Peter? Caribbean Dream with Fred and Jo with a daughter and 3 month old (like you) aboard are in St Martin. We’re looking for them also.

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