We have been back on island now for a week, and things are back to normal. Which is chaotic. We have settled back into our schedule, being awoken at dawn by the sun sliding up through the sea:
We have been keeping a lookout for a good sunrise to photograph, but lately it seems that the mornings are clear and the afternoons are so cloudy with thunderstorms that the sunsets are totally hidden. We'll keep trying though.
We are tuned back into the comings and goings of the local boat traffic, which seems to have settled down a bit. Some of the boats here operate on a regular schedule, including the dive boats and of course the Marine Police. I know I have posted a few photos of them leaving late afternoon and returning early morning, but now I got enough lens to get a little "closer":
Hmm...the boat is pointed to the right, which means it's late afternoon...
Out for another 12-14 hours chugging around in the dark looking for small wooden sloops full of desperate Haitians.
Today the landscapers arrived in force again, and started hacking holes in old rocky-top. The foreman, Junior (heard that name here before a time or twenty) tells me they hope to be finished by the end of the week. We hope so, too. So today was a cacophony of pick axes and yeah, electric jackhammers:
Junior the Foreman and I had a nice conversation about where the rest of these plants are going to go. And how much cleanup we can expect from them. We don't mind the odd dead branch, but the five (that I can see without digging) automobile tires that got delivered in the "topsoil" have definitely got to go.
I guess it could be worse. At least I didn't find any femurs, clavicles, or molars in the pile. Junior assures me it will all be cleaned up. By the end of the week. This week. I guess stranger things have happened.
I know I have already explained that the recent rains have turned dust from the gutters into silt in the cisterns. I have had to clean out that little pre-filter I put in almost daily. (And no, I am not going to bore you with another photo of my plumbing. Not MY plumbing...I mean...but plumbing I have done in the pump room....)
So anyhow, in the spirit of DIY, I decided to see if I could clean up the cistern water a bit, because it will be some time before I can install the first flush diverters. We have to let the cisterns get down to half full so that I can pump one of them empty into the other one. Then I can climb down in there and work on things. In the meantime, I took a five gallon bucket and drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom:
(kinda looks like the top of a white Croc shoe, doesn't it..)
I was doing this in the garage, and Dooley the Demented Dog was down there with me, happily watching the world go by. Or so I thought. I really wasn't paying him much attention. I kinda get all caught up in what I am doing when power tools are involved. Then I suddenly felt a change of air-pressure in my ears. Then I saw the flash, and heard the thunder. But the atmospheric change was not due to the lightning, it happened just milliseconds before the flash.
Then I figured it out. The sudden change in air pressure was caused by a certain Jack Russell Terrierist instantly teleporting himself up the hill, into the living room, and under a chair. I don't know how he did this. It was too fast for the human eye. I looked out the open garage door, and this is what he had been watching as it approached us from the East:
I don't know what it is about these squalls that causes a normally fearless dog to fall completely apart, but fall apart he does. He has no problem biting barracudas that weigh twice as much as he does. And they have fearsome teeth. He will take on not one but several dogs that each outweigh him by a factor of three. And he usually chases them all off. He doesn't give a whit about jumping overboard two miles offshore for a swim. But the second he suspects some impending ionization....he's history. Turns into Jello Dog. It's embarassing. .
Eventually the squall blew apart, as they always do, and I was able to continue my home-made cistern cleaner-upper. I have a small electric pump pulling water out of one cistern into the bucket with the holes in the bottom. For a filter I borrowed one of La Gringas pillow cases....she had a nice one with a high thread count. I don't know how to convert that into microns, but it's doing a pretty good job filtering the silt out of the cistern. I suspect it won't be gracing a pillow again. It was white when I started...
And yes, after he realized that the squall was not going to personally attack and shred him, Mr.Dooley the Dangerous Dog, aka Fearless Fosdick, returned to help, and to inquire about just what the heck I was messing with now...
He was okay once the storm blew out. I even caught him relaxing on one of his favorite vantage points, and I tried to get the rainbow behind him but it was too faint to show up very well:
I realized the auto-exposure on the camera was concentrating on the near field ( i.e. the dog) so took another shot without the critter in the foreground:
Still not very good, as far as rainbows go. But it seemed to calm old Toto...
Now, in that photo, notice the waves slapping against the rocks there in the right foreground. About a half hour later while I was fine tuning my new DIY cistern water cleaner, I heard a SeaDoo engine make that quick lack of noise caused by a sudden stop and I looked up to see what had happened. Well, one of the jetski rental riders had made too sharp of a turn and managed to throw himself off the SeaDoo. This happens a lot, but this time it happened about 20 yards from those very same rocks.
I don't know if you can tell from this second photo, but the wind was pushing the rented jetski toward the rocks faster than the jetski renter could swim to catch up with it:
We get reminded from time to time that not everybody who lives in these islands can swim. La Gringa and I both swam competitively in our respective younger days and either of us would have just shucked the life jacket and caught up with the drifting jet ski. This guy wouldn't do it, and so could only bob up and down and watch. I suspect he was mentally reviewing all the clauses of the damage contract that he had nonchalantly signed before taking this expensive toy out for a spin..
La Gringa ran to the phone to call the jetski rental folks and tell them one of their customers might be in trouble, while I stood by with the camera. Just in case it got interesting. It had some potential.
Alas, oh wait, I mean Fortunately, he made it into water shallow enough to touch bottom, and managed to catch the boat maybe a minute or two before it turned into an expensively splintered cloud of colorful flotsam...
Good old SeaDoo started right up for him, and he actually sprayed water onto the rocks getting out of there. I noticed he took it right back to the marina and turned it in after this. Guess he had enough excitement for one day.
If that had happened twenty yards further out, he would not have caught it.
So, that's how our first Monday in June went. Just more of the same old stuff. We DO have a trip over to Pine Cay in the boat planned, we are just waiting for a good weather day. It'll come. And then I should be able to talk about something other than the house for a change.
Oh, before I forget, I want to thank everyone who voted for us in that "Best of Blog" contest. I realize that many of you were actually voting for the dog, but we do appreciate it. Dooley says "arf".