Every year, since I have been in the Caribbean, I have noticed the skies have gone hazy every now and then. I found out years ago this was caused by sand and dust in the Sahara Desert being lifted up and carried across the Atlantic during the late spring and early summer. This is the same weather patterns storms follow that might turn into hurricanes. They are not hurricanes, tropical storms, or even depressions until they reach the Caribbean or beyond, but make no mistake the weather started on the west coast of Africa.
Like I said, we have gotten Sahara Dust down here every year, but this year was way, way more pronounced. Usually the sky is a bit hazy and the sky does not have the bright blue color to it. This year though the haze was so thick you could not see much more than a mile or so away. It looked like fog had rolled in, but we don’t get that down here.
The Sahara dust started 4-5 days before I sailed down to Grenada and the sunrise on the day I left was unreal. I did not see the sun until it was up for at least an hour and then it barely shown through. As I sailed by the Pitons three hours later it was dark enough you would have thought the sun was setting. All during this time my eyes were strained and every now and then I had to cough.
The dust is so fine that the boat looks clean until it get a little water on it and then you will have footprints everywhere. What I find the most striking is all my lines have red dirt on the windward side and are totally clean on the other side. Of course then comes a major downpour and cleans everything off. 🙂
Turns out this year’s Sahara Dust was the worst on record for the last 50 years or more. Of course it had to be in 2020, haha. As bad as the Sahara Dust was this year, please remember this happens every year and is not the doomsday, sensationalized, major event the media has made it out to be (like they do everything).
The most interesting thing was that as bad as it was the day I set sail, the next day it seemed to be gone and the sunrise was spectacular!!!!