Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hurricane Ivan - Part 3

Things started to noticeably change around here on Saturday. When I got up and looked out the window, I was amazed by what I saw. The waves were really big, or at least bigger than normal. I walked down to the road to have a closer look and saw that there was a big tent set up just down the road. We didn’t know it until then, but word had gotten out to the surfing community that big waves were expected for the island and surfers and boogie boarders were arriving from all over. We had a great time on Saturday. In between running errands and such, we spent a lot of time sitting on our porch and watching the surfers. Coming from Minnesota, this was something new and different for us.

the view north on a normal day

The waves continued to build all day. Stupid us. We never thought that there must be a reason for the waves to be getting so large. We never even checked the internet on Saturday to see where Ivan was. He was totally out of our minds. We even went downtown Saturday night for Happy Hour (drinks 2 x 1) and dinner. Just a normal night. We did comment on the waves and surf that we could see in the dark though on our way home. We thought it was spectacular and commented that the surfing competition should be good tomorrow.

the same view the day surfing was cancelled

Sunday, September 12, I got up and did my customary look out the window at the sea. What I saw shocked and terrified me. The waves were at least 10 feet tall and coming in fast. This was especially alarming to me because I have this unreasonable fear that someday we are going to be swept off the island by a tidal wave! I woke B up and told him to look. He was amazed but not worried. We decided to check the internet again. It was then that we saw that the projected path of Ivan would either come directly over us or at least sideswipe us. I was ready to pack a bag and get the hell out right then and there. Reason prevailed and we decided that we better start preparing the houses and deciding what we were going to do.

I thought we could just nail the boards to the house with cement nails. We stopped at the hardware store to get some and that scared me even more. There was quite a line up of pushing, shoving and shouting in Spanish. I finally got my turn, only to discover that they would not sell you more than twenty nails! They were rationing them so everybody got some. We ran into Mateo’s helper near the hardware store. He was installing wood over some windows. We talked to him and he told us that a hurricane would just rip nails out of the house. We needed to put them in with screws, big screws! He promised to tell Mateo to get over to our house. That done, we decided to go downtown and have breakfast and talk to some people to see if we really needed to worry. This was B’s idea, since I was already worried and getting more distraught by the size of the sea. Needless to say, the tent down the road got packed up that morning and not one surfer ventured into the water.

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