By Dorie Cox
Hurricane Matthew hit the Bahamas Thursday as a Category 4 storm with top winds of 140 mph, according to weather reports. The resulting damage has Capt. Chris Boland ready to help.
Capt. Boland and his mate, girlfriend Jerrah Blevins, have started a GoFundMe page to organize donations for islanders impacted by the storm.
The couple runs the 85-foot Ferretti M/Y All Rumors, and they want to help get supplies to people in need, including locals and marina employees they consider friends.
“It’s the same with many other yacht crew,” Capt. Boland said. “They build relations on the islands and they really want to help.”
The couple started the crowd-funding page earlier this month anticipating damage from the storm and had raised nearly $900 by late Friday afternoon. They are hoping other captains and crew will support their efforts to do what they would do on their own anyway, take products that are expensive or difficult to come by to donate to Bahamians in need.
“We stuff our bilges with things like bleach, paper towels, diapers and stuff for babies,” he said. “I would like to get more boats involved because I am sure other yachts are trying to do the same thing. We wanted to reach out and help more people on a larger scale.”
Capt. Boland has spent much of the past year in the Bahamas and said that has enhanced his friendships.
“It helped keep our relationships fresh, seeing them for more than one season; we were there almost every month,” he sai
d. “I’ve built long-lasting relationships, so much so that I’ve had families and friends visit in the States and been to their homes in the Bahamas.”
Capt. Boland said he will use his points of contact in Nassau and the Exumas to find locals who could benefit from the donations.
“Through them, we will reach out and we can find needs in the villages,” he said.
M/Y All Rumors’ next trip is scheduled for early November after the Fort Lauderdale international Boat Show.
Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at email@example.com.