September did not start out on a great foot for the diving industry – both locally and nationally. Between Hurricane Dorian decimating the most northern islands of the Bahamas and a fellow liveaboard boat burning to the waterline, it feels like we’ve been in mourning since before Labor Day and not sure how best to go about life as usual when it’s everything but.
The California boat fire had everyone in the community devastated, feeling lost and vulnerable, not the least of which were operators like ourselves. Collectively we spent days wondering could it happen to us? and reassuring ourselves that we have all safety protocols in place. But also we spent the following days reassessing and reevaluating. Yes, we meet USCG safety standards here but we could exceed then an increase safety by doing this, or that. We designed evacuation layouts for all the cabins, are assessing where we can put fire extinguishers inside all of the cabins in case they are needed to escape in an emergency, we are reevaluating the pre-departure safety briefing to make sure we are covering absolutely everything that needs to be covered without being completely overwhelming to those who are new to liveaboards. It’s a balancing act and we’re doing our best to find our way in the dark so you never have to.
Hurricane Dorian hit close to home, both literally and figuratively. Only a few miles to the south and our friends and family in Bimini could have met the same fate as Grand Bahama and Abaco so in that sense we count ourselves lucky, but remembering that there are hundreds of thousands of Bahamians who cannot. We are doing our best to turn our fortune into opportunities to help those who lost everything by sending thoughts and prayers and money and generators and water purification tablets and toiletries and more money.
Hurricane season seems to get busier and scarier every year. Today there is a massive Climate change strike happening all over the world because people are seeing these changes and recognizing that they are causing life-altering destruction and that these changes will soon be irreversible. We see it every day under water and above as we run from storms, notice even small changes in weather patterns or fish stocks and behavior.
For now the world is still here and intact, and we’re going to enjoy it, as well as educate as many people as we can how they can help preserve it. And we hope you’ll make a pledge to do the same. Take time to talk to people about good choices, carbon footprints, plastic consumption, make donations to help those in need (see below). Do whatever small things you can that add up to one large movement against burning it all down.
- DAN Fund for Families of Conception Fire victims
- Bahamas Red Cross for volunteers and donations
- GoFundMe for Hurricane Dorian (endorsed by Abaco Fire Department)