When will the Eastern Caribbean ports like St. Maarten reopen?
The short answer is: Nobody knows. Some of the lesser damaged ones will hopefully reopen next month or in early November, but the damage sustained to the BVIs, which includes Tortola; St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as St Martin/St Maarten, was so severe that they may be closed for much longer. But my October cruise was supposed to stop in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Will it still go there? Probably not. Both ports, as well as other cruiser favorites like Key West, St. John, St. Bart's and Tortola, as well as Havana, received serious damage from the storm. It could be weeks or months before these islands are ready to accept visitors. https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=8070
Hurricane Irma Hammers St. Martin as Cat 5 Packing 185 M.P.H. Winds
(Reuters) – Monster Hurricane Irma hammered the Caribbean island of St. Martin on Wednesday as it packed a potentially catastrophic mix of pounding winds and rain and surging surf that was expected to make landfall in Florida over the weekend. Irma could become the second powerful storm to thrash the U.S. mainland in as many weeks, but its precise trajectory remained uncertain. Hurricane Harvey killed more than 60 people and caused as much as $180 billion in damage after hitting Texas late last month. The eye of Irma, a Category 5 storm with winds of 185 miles per hour (295 km per hour), was bearing down on the Virgin Islands after passing over the half-French, half-Dutch island of St. Martin, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said. Category 5 is its highest category. Its trajectory indicated Irma, which the NHC said was the strongest Atlantic storm on record, would skirt most of the Caribbean as it moves west-northwest. Karel van Oosterom, the Netherlands ambassador to the United Nations, said Irma hit the Dutch islands of Saba and Sint Eustasius before overrunning St. Martin. http://gcaptain.com/hurricane-irma-hammers-st-martin-as-cat-5-packing-185-m-p-h-winds/ https://youtu.be/dA5qYrboTUE
Yacht carrier still aground at Saint Martin
The London registered transport m/v “Yacht Hop”, formely the Canadian trawler “Cape Chidley”, 791 gt (IMO-No.: 7418957), which had run aground in the Nettlé Bay off the Dominican island Saint Lucia in the night of March 1, 2017, is still aground 18 days after the accident. All attempts to tow it off have so far been unsuccessful. The lines broke, and the currents were not favorable. The ship is now stranded at a breakwater within the administrative zone of Galisbay-Bienvenue harbor. The port has begun dredging operations which should allow the vessel's bow to be pulled off, the last step before a new towing attempt. When the ship broke from its anchorage in the night of March 1, only one man was on watch, the rest of the crew had gone ashore. Later divers of the gendarmerie found that the anchor chain was wound around the propeller shaft. French report with photos: http://la1ere.francetvinfo.fr/guadeloupe/saint-martin-bateau-echoue-baie-nettle-455177.htmlUpload News