The start of the Caribbean hurricane season has passed us - 1 June - and boy did the season start with a bang!
Before we could utter the words "hurricane preparedness", the first tropical depression was upon us, and it was big and moody and miserable and wet, wet, wet, with inches of rainfall coming down on this little island. Flooding occurred in the lower lying regions - well, with our highest point being just 60 feet above sea level, this allows for a lot of area to be flooded!
Many pre-booked guests contact us asking if we go ahead with tours if the skies are a little cloudy. The answer is always a resounding yes!! The island may be small, but you will be amazed at the disparity of the weather conditions over just a few miles. It can be cloudy and choppy along Seven Mile Beach, while the North Sound where the stingray sandbar is found, is gloriously sunny and smooth (and vice versa).
Rain doesn't stop us either, as the same conditions as described above can be prevalent. It is not uncommon for the office to contact Captain Mario to check that everyone is doing okay with the "sudden squall" only to be told that the excursion is enjoying magnificent conditions! Besides that, you ARE going on a sea tour and we figure that you are going to be getting wet anyways.....
But wind. Now that it our enemy. Some winds coming from certain directions actually make for awesomely beautiful conditions for our visits to the reef, Starfish Point and Stingray City. But then there are the ferocious winds that can make the sound worse than a witch's cauldron! And THAT is when we cancel tours.
"Big John" our faithful boat can handle these conditions, but when you have six foot swells, horribly dubious visibility and high winds - all you need are some intrepid guests thrown into the fray to have a tour end not so happily.
We don't enjoy cancelling tours. Firstly, our crew actually love what they do and a day without the sea means very long faces in the office. Secondly, for a small family concern such as ours, it means a loss of much needed income. Cancelling tours is not done on a whim, or because we want a day off, or because we suddenly have something better to do. We cancel tours when it is not safe to continue with the excursion in the prevailing weather. Safety first. Always.