Boat owners seeking shelter from Hurricane Beryl: ‘Thank you, Trinidad’

SAVE HAVEN: Several yachts anchored in the sea near the Foreshore, Port of Spain on Monday.  - Photo by Faith Ayoung
SAVE HAVEN: Several yachts anchored in the sea near the Foreshore, Port of Spain on Monday. - Photo by Faith Ayoung

DOZENS of yacht owners who left their bases in several Caribbean islands and headed to Trinidad to flee the wrath of category four Hurricane Beryl breathed sighs of relief on Monday after the storm barely affected Trinidad during its violent, churning movement through the Atlantic towards the Windward Islands.

They have described Trinidad as the Caribbean’s “safe harbour” from storms.

North Carolina couple Travis and Mary Fowler said their boat is usually docked in Trinidad throughout the year and they recently returned after sailing to Grenada. They chose Trinidad as the Caribbean base for their boat as it is a safe place to dock.

“We keep our boat here in Trinidad during the hurricane season, just to stay away from the hurricanes. It’s better than being in the United States.

“It’s perfectly safe. Crews Inn and the whole area is very safe. If we were in Carriacou, where we were before, we’d be very concerned.

“But, we came back just in time,” Travis said during an interview with Newsday on Monday.

The couple offered some advice to other boat owners as they pointed out that forecasters expect the 2024 hurricane season to be very active.

“Just tell them to come to Trinidad and hang out.It’s the best place to be, in our opinion.
"Grenada is nice, I mean, we loved it there, but for safety...Trinidad is the best.”

An Argentinian couple, who identified themselves as Ezequiel and Virginia, say they live on their boat with their three children.

They arrived in the Caribbean in December after setting sail from Buenos Aires three years ago, and docked in Tobago before sailing up to the Grenadines.

They said they initially planned to stay in Grenada for maintenance and repairs on their boat but changed plans and came to Trinidad when news of Beryl’s passage became known.

“We sailed along the Grenadines up to Martinique, then we came down here to shelter. This is a great place to be.

“We knew this hurricane season was going to be more active, so we changed our plans and came to Trinidad as it further south and is safer,” Ezequiel said.

Despite dozens of boats tossing and heaving in the rough waters of the Gulf of Paria, the couple said it was still far better than the conditions facing other sailors docked in other islands higher up the Caribbean chain with Beryl still a major threat.

“This is nothing, just a little bit of wind. In Grenada it’s much worse. Here is much better.”

Director at Peake Yacht Services Christopher Peake said it is clear Trinidad is deemed a safe haven for yachties.

“It’s no secret that everyone comes down to Trinidad to seek a safe harbour during the hurricane season. I guess Hurricane Beryl is just a good reminder that you might feel safe in other islands, but when it really comes down to it, this is the safest place there is in the Caribbean.

“Other than maybe Curacao, Aruba or Bonaire, this is probably one of the safest places, and we’ve never been hit.”

Peake added he believes although another weather system is set to follow Beryl into Trinidad waters, the worst has passed.

“I’ve seen worse weather than this. This is not that bad. A couple of years ago we had some strange weather that resulted in a lot of swells coming through here. It was very similar to this. But I think the worst is over for us here.”

Carenage and Cocorite fishermen also said they were not worried about the safety of their boats during Beryl’s passage. Several fishermen told Newsday while the waves were rough, they have seen worse weather.


"Boat owners seeking shelter from Hurricane Beryl: ‘Thank you, Trinidad’"

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