Halifax Hurricane

A bit of background to a story about a C&C 27 Mk I – On September 28, 2003, Hurricane Juan caused extensive damage to Halifax and the surrounding region. Among its victims were the Dartmouth Yacht Club, home of Ralph Ainslie's C&C 27 Mk I Hyperion. The replacement of her rudder is described in Black Arts.

Floods & fallen trees
Ruined streets
Citadel denuded
Carried ashore
Lost schooner
Devastated club

The captions on this page only touch on Juan as an event and on its destructive power. More photos and insight into the factors that made the storm so destructive (particularly to boats) are available at the Environment Canada site. Club officers and marina operators may want to review the description of one marina's preparations for the oncoming storm. Ralph Ainslie's comments on that night follow.

"On the night of Sept. 28, 2003, the Dartmouth Yacht Club in Dartmouth, N.S. was visited by Hurricane Juan. As a result of the storm, the complete marina system holding approx. 180 boats almost dissappeared.

"My C&C 27 MkI Hyperion broke loose with part of the marina and headed toward the breakwater. I was very fortunate to have some friends there who broke into my boat, started it up and moored it out in the mooring field. I was flying back to Toronto from a week's vacation in Cuba as this was taking place. Ironic eh!

"After pulling the boat out of the water 2 days later, it became apparent that the rudder was severely damaged. The only thing left to steer the boat was the bent shaft and support (see photo in Black Arts). The boys took it out to the mooring field in 60 knot wind under its own power and we actually brought the boat in under its own power, too. It was a little stiff on the tiller, but it's amazing that the boat could still be conned with just that little bit of rudder left. The fibreglass part of the rudder was found out by the breakwater the next day.

"I don't know the exact number of boats that actually sank, but I counted 42 on the rocks and breakwater. My daughter's boyfriend has a C&C 34. When we pulled it out of the pile. we found that the keel was in the cabin of a powerboat underneath it."

Mk I