August 21, 2001
El Pescador and Tropical Storm Chantal
Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during Tropical Storm Chantal. We
are elated to report that all is well with the El Pescador Team and we are
open for business.
We began watching Tropical Depression Chantal on August 17th. She turned
into a strong Tropical Storm on August 18th, in the region south of the
Cayman Islands and Jamaica. The Hurricane Center in Miami was calling for
Chantal to turn into a Hurricane and head toward Cancun. The one thing that
I have learned about Hurricanes during my time at El Pescador, is that no
one can predict with any accuracy what strength and what direction they plan
to take. With Hurricane Keith still fresh in our minds, we were cautious
about holding faith in predicted paths. Keith was forecasted to hit Cancun
and decided to make a direct landfall on Ambergris Caye. Apparently Chantal
had the same intentions.
On August 18th, Tropical Storm Chantal had sustained winds at 70 mph
(hurricane force winds begin at 74 mph) and was still predicted to make
landfall in Cancun. However, she was moving west, heading directly for
Belize City. Chantal was simply too close for comfort.
To ensure their safety, we evacuated all of our Guests on the first flight
off the island on August 19th. We then finished preparation of the lodge,
boats and grounds for an impending Hurricane. The majority of the winds and
rain were on the northeast wall of the storm. With Chantal’s eye now 175
miles west south west of us, we were already in the eye wall. Thank God,
not much was happening. It drizzled and had magnificent displays of
lightening, but no wind.
To the best of my knowledge, the eye passed directly over El Pescador around
6pm. The sky became perfectly clear with the most wonderful sliver of a
moon showing. There was a perfect circle of clear sky above us.
Threatening, black, tumultuous clouds and thunderheads danced around the
The force behind the tropical storm was on the other side of the eye. By
midnight we were in sustained winds of 70 mph with higher guests. I think
we received about 10 inches of rain. The storm lasted for about 5 hours and
continued on to Chetumal, Mexico where I would imagine it will dissipate
We were blessed with Tropical Storm Chantal. All of El Pescador’s Staff,
dogs and cats are well and happy to be outside again. Besides the palapa on
the end of the dock falling over, we sustained no damage.
Today is my birthday. The best present that I have been given is the health
and safety of my El Pescador Family.
We look forward to seeing everyone for great fishing and a peaceful holiday
in the near future.
All our best,