Skip has been in Virgin Gorda for most of the week, assessing things on Saralane and cleaning up the mess the best he can. When he gets home we'll sort through his photos and try to figure out what's next.
A few weeks ago we had a brief conversation with Maurice in the yard who said even though Saralane was on her side and her mast broken, she looked like she might be OK. A few weeks later, our friend Ted, who was still on Tortola, rode out to Virgin Gorda to check on Saralane for us. He looked her over and took some photos which more or less confirmed what Maurice said and left us feeling optimistic. No big gashes anywhere. The rudder and prop both look OK. No holes in the deck.
The stainless rails around the stern are bent and twisted, but the solar panels are still attached. The outboard came off it's wooden rail mount on the port side and in the first photo you see it hanging from it's hoist over the starboard side of the transom. There are some big rigs from neighboring boats lying across us, but they don't seem to have caused much damage.
Here are some of Ted's photos that show a bit more detail than anything we'd seen so far. They don't really need much explanation.
One big concern, after seeing the extreme angle of her position on the ground, was how much water made it's way below through cracks in the companionway closure. Any water than gets into the cockpit normally drains aft, but in this position it'll just keep filling the cockpit until it spills over the companionway lip and down into the boat. Two category 5 hurricanes and several torrential rains since then add up to a lot of water. Not to get too far ahead of photos that show the interior, but that's just what Skip found when he finally got on board. Lots of water filling up cupboards, seat backs and the galley space on the starboard side.
In addition to concerns about Saralane, we have some growing concerns about the yard management and what may or may not be happening there. They've been avoiding communication with boat owners and have not offered any information about conditions there or potential plans for untangling things in the yard. We are anxious for information and willing to help in whatever ways we can but at this point it seems there's not much we can do. Very frustrating.
I'm aware that this post is all about Saralane, but please don't take the narrow focus of my post as disinterest in or lack of consideration for the far greater issues in the islands. I find that if I stray too far from just what's happening with Saralane, there's just way too much to cover and I get lost in it. Saralane is just our little piece of a much bigger story.
I'll leave things here for now, but when I have more photos I'll do another post and I won't let another month go by before I update again. Thanks for all the emails... it really is good to hear from everyone.