or that town is fully back in business, or
conversely, has yet to recover. But on the
whole, hurricane recovery from the continental U.S. throughout the Caribbean is a
positive and inspirational story. In all but
the hardest-hit areas, people have been
rebuilding, and rebuilding fast. BoatU.S.
spoke with key representatives from all
the various regions to try and find out
what, generally, you can expect from these
major tourist areas.
While the Caribbean was hard-hit, restoring tourist services so people have jobs and the islands’ economies
can recover has been job number-one
since debris was cleared – which in most
areas happened by late September. But
there’s quite a bit of variation from island
to island. Fortunately, in today’s world
of modern communications, it’s easy to
check on specific spots, fast. A particularly useful tool is caribbeantravelupdate.
com, which lists affected and unaffected
islands, in many cases detailing specific
hotels, marinas, and resorts, and has links
to the latest updates for each.
In the hard-hit British Virgin Islands,
charter companies surprisingly have
bounced back faster and stronger than many
land-based operations. The Moorings
and Sunsail, the largest operators in the
BVI, had many boats in place and ready
for charter at press time. Ian Pedersen,
marketing manager for The Moorings,
said, “We’re happy to announce our BVI
destination’s reopening on December 9.
Tourism is the heartbeat of the Caribbean,
and The Moorings is determined to come
back stronger than ever.”
Despite having its BVI fleet deci-
mated, Dream Yacht Charters already had
purchased 20 replacement boats, and were
able to shuffle boats around from its other
Caribbean fleets, so it could return to
full operation in November. MarineMax
Vacations and Festiva Sailing have
announced both companies will be up
and running by the end of the year.
Other BVI boating businesses were
not so fortunate. The iconic Bitter End
Yacht Club, a popular boating resort in
Virgin Gorda, for example, is in ruins.
John Glynn, general manager, was at the
Newport International Boat Show in
September organizing relief efforts for
the island. Many other marine businesses
based in the islands were doing the same.
The U.S. Virgin Islands were also
Our exclusive coverage
exceptionally hard-hit and have had a
tougher time recovering. In fact, The
Mooring’s popular facility there will need
until February 1, 2018, before reopening.
Larger, established companies such as
The Moorings were able to reach out to
its customers, rearrange charter dates, or
offer alternate destinations. Some hotels
had reopened at press time, but several
weren’t expected to reopen until 2018. A
few state they will remain closed “until
Although it’s not quite the same tourist
hub as some of these other areas, it should
be also understood that Puerto Rico is in
a decimated state after two major hur-
ricanes hit in succession, and recovery
is slowed by its isolated location. Many
hotels are not expected to open before
2018, and although many of the marinas
are intact, infrastructure damage to this
American island – which had a busy char-
ter fishing fleet of its own – makes travel
here in the near future questionable.
Although extreme storm surges dam-
aged a couple of marinas, the bulk of the
Bahamas boating mecca either survived
unscathed or had only minor issues.
According to the Ministry of Tourism
and Aviation, major tourism centers were
minimally impacted and are now back
to operating as usual. (In our February/
March issue, we’ll feature “Bahamas for
boaters,” one of the world’s most spec-
tacular boating destinations.)
We might be at the tail end of the 2017 hurricane season, but repairs and recovery from Harvey, Irma, Mary, Nate, and other storms, will be ongoing for some time. It’s never too late to absorb the lessons from each of these storms and use them to prepare for next year’s hurri- cane season. Here are some articles and resources online.
THE STORMS OF 2017
We were going
house to house
to house in about
3 feet of water throughout
these subdivisions and
didn’t stop for 20 hours
straight. … In one home
with an S.O.S. taped up in the window, we
had to break through a front window and
found an elderly couple sleeping on their
kitchen counters.” Visit BoatUS.com/Harvey-Rescues to read our story by contrib-
uting editor Troy Gilbert to follow how these volunteers revved up
their boats and braved the elements to help a city in need.
Hurricane Season 2017
These BoatU.S. partners offers exclusive
member discounts. Visit BoatUS.com/Map
to search for these and others.