Monday, September 3, 2007

Hurricane Ivan - Part 7

Along with every visitor came a new and different update on the storm. Of course, they all swore that this was the latest news as issued by the mayor of the island. The police were also driving around saying stuff on loudspeakers which was of no value to us. Loudspeakers on the tops of cars are hard enough to understand in English, forget Spanish! First reports were that the storm was going to pass over us at 2:00PM. I was glad to hear this since if I had to sit out a storm, I wanted it to be by daylight. As the day wore on, this time changed to 8:00 PM and then finally 10:00 PM. Gone were any chances of seeing the after math or saving ourselves by daylight!

We spent the day alternately checking Ivan’s progress on the internet, talking to friends on the phone, visiting with our Mexican friends and watching the waves. Now that it is over and we are safe, I have to admit that it was a tremendous experience. Mind you, I can live with never seeing waves like that on my doorstep again, but it was terribly exciting.

It finally got dark enough that we had to go inside since there was nothing left to see. By this time, the surf was even with the road across from us. I was sure that it would cross the road at some time during the night. Incredibly, at 9:00PM, there were still people driving around, even though the wind was howling and bending over the palm trees. We just kept waiting for the big wind to hit or whatever it is that happens when a hurricane is right on top of you. It never happened. When I check the internet and discovered that Ivan had veered slightly to the east, I was so happy and relieved. I knew that we would still get wind and rain but maybe, just maybe, there was a chance we would survive and I wouldn’t get swept out to sea as shark bait after all!

Exhaustion finally kicked in and we fell into a fitful sleep about 10:00PM. I woke up at 12:30AM when the rain and wind changed. It was then that we had to first close the door to our little refuge room. Until then, although the wind was noisy, we were able to keep it open and keep some fresh air coming in. I tried to look around the corner of the house to see just where the water was. The wind hit me so hard in the face that it felt like it was going to blow my head off my shoulders. I quickly ducked back! I retreated into our room and, amazingly, fell back asleep. I next woke at 4:30AM and it was still raining when I looked out. Just a light drizzle but the wind was still really strong and blowing it about. I shut the door and checked the internet. The worst was over and none of Ivan was even still touching the Yucatan peninsula. I thanked anybody who cared to listen to me that we had been spared and the island and her people were safe.

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