Monday, October 29, 2007

TS Noel passes West

Tropical Storm Noel is currently 150 miles SW of us, and will be about 75 miles W of here at it's closest point sometimes tonight. So we are getting some heavy weather, and expect it to get worse later this evening. La Gringa ventured out onto the porch this morning for some shots...it was raining hard:



And blowing, hard. We decided to take a drive out to our house site this afternoon to see how it looks out there during gale conditions. The decision to leave the snug house during a storm and load up into a Land Rover with the sides rolled up was NOT unanimous:



But I went down to check on the boat first, and by the time I got back the rain had let up between squalls. I think this was during the time the storm was passing over Hispaniola just to our South. That tends to knock the winds down a little, and it dumps a lot of the rain on Haiti and the Dominican Republic. So we had a weather window to go do a little quick sightseeing, and we took it. The main road on Provo (Leeward Highway) was not busy. That's a good thing, because there are spots where it gets real congested during rain like we have been experiencing:



People plow into these puddles at 40 mph. They learn about hydroplaning, and what happens when ignition wires get wet. Sometimes the sheet of water suddenly covering the windshield actually startles them enough to momentarily stop their conversations on their cell phones. (Those have GOT to be the number one cause of traffic accidents in the TCI.) On the road to the house we pass over one of the inlets to the Juba Salina. We were not the only ones taking advantage of the break in the storm:



We have been seeing this guy around here for over a year now. Sometimes on his bicycle, sometimes fishing. Sometimes, like today, catching bait. We always smile and exchange greetings, but we have yet to stop and talk to him at any length. I am sure that will happen, as we are going to be neighbors. Passing by the unfinished marina we noticed the tide was high enough that the protected water was well over the top of the retaining walls:



Of course when I saw how calm and protected this water was it made me really wish that they would work out whatever difficulties are preventing them from finishing this marina. This is how it looks with the wind blowing 40 mph out of the East!



It's just a few hundred yards from the new house, and it would be perfect to keep our boat there. It would save us so much bad road driving, and we could see the boat from the deck on top of the garage. Maybe someday. When we got to the house, nobody was working. Of course not. Its a public holiday, and it's not exactly the best day to be on the roof. About all we noticed in the way of progress was that all of the sliding glass doors are now in:



I guess we can now officially say we have been in the house during a tropical storm. It was very different with the windows and doors closed. For the first time since the day we first saw this property, we were on the hilltop completely out of the wind. Nice. It was not so calm down on the ironshore in front of us. With the high tide and wind, the waves were splashing up over the top of the ironstone ledge:



That was taken from the edge of the road, maybe sixty yards from the shore line. We could feel the spray blowing onto us there, but did not feel it up at the patio area of the house. That little bit of extra distance and height seems to make the difference. Well, I had said I would try to get some stormy photos today, but the storm was taking a break. So, despite La Gringa's raised eyebrows and my own misgivings, I worked my way down the rocks to the shore line. It looks a little different from the bottom of the hill:

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That looked pretty cool, so far,and emboldened by the fact that I had not yet been blown over or fallen in, yet, I eased on down a little closer:



Since I was already soaked to the skin before I got within ten feet of the shoreline. I decided to get right to the edge:



It was close enough to start worrying about footing. Also close enough to know I did not want to go for a swim.
I sort of considered this one nature's way of telling me I was standing too close to the edge..
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And despite what it might have looked like to the untrained eye, I was just startled by the sudden soaking and my feet washing out from under me, and the camera was wet and my finger slipped over the lens..Yeah,that's about enough of that...yep yep yep..

And the weather window was starting to close, with more clouds moving in and the wind picking back up.



I remembered the little camera has a movie mode, so I did about a half dozen of these:





video





I think La Gringa edited out any swear words....but I got a face full of water, and was dripping wet, so decided that was enough. I shot a lot of photos.

To get back up the hill you have to climb over this continuous line of boulders. These were the overhanging edges of the ironshore back when Hurricane Donna hit these islands in 1960. The storm not only broke off these thousand pound hunks of rock, it threw them back this far from the shoreline:


Preacher told us about it. He was about 12 or 13 and remembers it well. He said the waves were crashing up to where the road is now. That would be where La Gringa and dog were sitting in the Land Rover nice and dry and comfy watching me get soaked all this time.

It definitely has not been a day for filming a tropical beer commercial, but better days are ahead

4 comments:

Don said...

Hey Bud, you take care... don't get too brave taking those close=ups.

Get a telephoto lens

Gringo said...

Well, "brave" is probably not the word La Gringa would use, there...
but hey, it's only water. Well, and some rocks with sharp edges..
I don't know how one would get out of that water under those conditions, actually.

Johnny said...

I fell in on the Kona coast once, not even a storm, but very similar shore terrain....I was lucky enough to be able to swimm out a bit and got my a** pummeled on a little beach about 1/4 mile down current from where I fell in. My next chance would have beem about 3 miles and after that...well Maui
Tammy spraind her ankle on that same beach last year ....Surf exit

Gringo said...

Well, these were pretty wimpy waves by Pacific standards, but the rocks are still dangerous. Made for some okay photos, though. Ocean here should be back to normal in a day or so.