By: Shannon Walker
For over a decade our summers have been filled with some type of sailing. Whether or not we are dodging hurricanes along the East coast, enjoying the views from below the Golden Gate Bridge, getting drenched while sailing through Costa Rica or just sweating profusely while working on our sailboats in the southern heat, we always tend to surround ourselves with boats and sails.
When I look back over the years, most of my summer memories are filled with enjoyable sailing, that is until I think of our summers sailing along the East Coast of the US. The weather is so volatile that it is hard to have an enjoyable evening, especially when the afternoon thunderstorms start to roll in. Everything can be just dandy, then out of the corner of your eye you see the dark clouds forming the line of terror and next thing you know you are preparing for 60knts of wind that run your life for the next 20-40 minutes. Then there are the hurricanes!
My partner Jon and I have a horrible knack for attracting hurricanes and bad weather in general - for the last five summers our Hans Christian 33, Prism, has been in the path of not only one hurricane but over seven, including the southernmost landfall of a hurricane in Central America since reliable records began, Otto, in Panama back in 2016. The strongest we endured was Florence in 2018, while Prism was in the boatyard, but the worst of all was Hurricane Ida in September of 2021. That is a night that Jon nor I will never forget. Even though the storm was downgraded to a TS right before she hit us, it still was cause for a completely sleepless night, so let's just say, we are so happy to not be sailing along the east coast this summer!
Years of dealing with stormy summers had us dreaming of the easy, sunny days sailing in Southern California... you know the kind of days with light breezes, smooth seas, warm sunshine, friends and family members... those days are truly hard to beat. Not to mention all the other summer activities you get to partake in while sailing around the Channel Islands. The diving is top notch, the fishing is enjoyable, and you get to explore when off the boat too!
Although Prism is all alone this summer in Curacao, we are very lucky to have two other beautiful boats in our family, a Mason 43', "Sea Castle" and docked right next to her is Jon's little brothers Cheoy Lee 41', "Avocet" that we look forward to sailing aboard before they head to Mexico in the fall. These two boats have just as many summer stories as Prism, and we look forward to adding a few more this year.