Friday, August 24, 2007

Hurricane Dean - Monday 20 August 2007 - It's coming - aghhhh

Hi there, well today is actually Friday 24 August 2007 and I'm back-blogging because I just didn't have the energy to do it earlier. I have sifted throught the nearly 800 photos that I have taken in the past 3 days and picked out the ones I think you would like to see the most - sex, violence, gore - well maybe just some windblown palm trees then!
Monday morning was frantic for all those still on the island - the storm winds were set to start at about 8 pm, and the violent stuff was for the middle of the night. But the preliminary weather was for lunchtime. So that morning was spent rushing around taking pictures of town before it got destroyed and picking up Paul and Laurie (the Tacos) and carting all they held dear to my house where they spent the hurricane night. All those that were staying on the island and riding out the storm were zooming back and forth getting last minute supplies (what do you mean you can't sell us alcohol??????????), and those leaving the island were desperately trying to get to wherever they had to go.
The airstrip was packed, the water taxi terminal was packed and the sky was getting darker and darker.
Luckily for me, Bob my neighbour had decided to fly to Belize City and back to move his truck - so I had his golf cart.
He just asked me to pick him up at Maya Island airstrip at 11.45 a.m. Which I did. But he never turned up (don't worry he turned up at home about an hour later - the pilot of his plane decided to head back to Belize city 1/2 way through the flight because the weather was just too bad to fly right then). What did turn up were giant black rain clouds, so I rushed over to the Tacoshack to pick up the Tacos and hightail it home at lightening speed (bearing in mind a golf cart's max. speed is 15 m.p.h....). The heavens let rip and we got soaked to the skin, even though we were all wearing raincoats. Paul and Paul fixed the final board on the house and we were plunged into total darkness at 12.30 p.m. The Pauls decided that maybe 20 packs of cigarettes weren't enough and sent Laurie and I to Marinas to get another 5 packs. While we were there and literally dripping puddles, we bumped into Jock. Jock had phoned me earlier but to no avail as he had my old phone number (the one that got stolen) and seemed truly very happy to see us turn up in the store. Even though he had bought a plane ticket off the island he had decided to stay - but then realised that he didn't really want to stay alone in his house, so he joined in our little hurricane party at our house.
After the downpour and once Jock, Paul and Laurie had settled their stuff in and the rain had nearly stopped, we decided to take Molly and ourselves for a final walk. We walked over to the Royal Palms, on the way we saw the huge crocodile in the Los Caminantes lake, bumped into Colette and Maya, Brad and Wade. The weather as you can see was rather grey, bleak and the waves were coming right up so that it was hard to pass from Mata Rocks to Royal Palms via the beach. It started getting windy and we very nervously decided to all head home asap. So that was it, all we could do was wait. Jock taught us how to play poker and we all drank a rather copious amount of rum. The night was so much better than we anticipated. We are still unsure now, but instead of a Cat. 5 hitting the island, it missed us and hit land 60 miles further north - which means we were hit by a cat 1 or 2. A mere breeze we all cried! yay! So here are the photos taken of that day.
In no order whatsoever: Colette and Maya - we went for a walk at 6 am to try to calm my nerves, the beach north of Royal Palms, filling up the golf cart with gas, the tacos in full prep, Belikin staff removing bar signs that could become lethal weapons, Daniel from Orange driving his golf cart into his store (we had to give him a push), the last boat off the island with Police escort, a deserted town centre, crocodile, Mata Rocks beach, us at home during the storm, and my slightly flooded front room (who made that really sh***y door?).

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