Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More storms

A week ago we were watching Tropical Storm Fay get rolling just south of us. And you folks in Florida know what happened with that. Now we are watching Hurricane Gustav get ramped up just about in the same place, with another one just forming south of the Canary Islands. Plenty of weather to watch this time of year. And stuck out here in the ocean like this, we seem to be on the front lines for these things.

One of the "benefits" of the storm season here is that the clouds come through and from time to time we get some decent sunrises and sunsets. Since I don't have a lot of other stuff to report in our lives this week, I thought I would just mostly put up some new photos to look at. Add some color to the blog, so to speak.

This one is a late morning one, looking over the Caicos Marina, with Jay Stubbs' new catamaran sitting easy and safe:

We watched the rain starting to fall out of this one, and we were wishing it would blow over this way. We can just about always use the water.

Some mornings the clouds have been such that the sun doesn't really make much of an appearance until later in the morning. We don't get the bright colors in those cases, but if you like looking at the ocean (as we obviously do) it can still make for some nice "change of pace" scenes:

And some of the sunsets have been getting a little more colorful than they were last month:

Another sunrise:

And one with local lobster fishermen getting an early start:

Since we are tyically up at dawn, we do enjoy a nice view across the water with the morning coffee. And when the storms come through with these bands of heavy clouds and torrential rains, we just have to grin and bear it.

Yesterday we drove down to one of the local small marinas to meet up with our friend Evan (J.R.) who is now a Yamaha mechanic. He managed to find me a used propellor to try out on our boat. I am trying to see if we can get a few more miles per gallon out of it. Something sort of put the whole mileage thing in perspective for me as we were hanging around the marina waiting for our mechanic. I am concerned about mileage on a single 150 horsepower outboard while these guys are running a thousand horsepower:

We haven't seen that boat underway, yet, but it's gotta have a whole lot of "giddyup" to it. And somehow I don't think they worry about gasoline mileage.

These guys have a different issue...they are trying to refurbish this trimaran.

The last time I saw that boat it was being worked on for the local sailing program. I am not sure if that's still the case. It has a long way to go. That photo was taken yesterday, and you can see one of the early bands from Hurricane Gustav about to roll over us.

On the way to the marina we passed this car that had a problem on our "road" just about a week ago. I had been meaning to take a photo of it, to illustrate one of the most common of all automobile problems that we see here. The tie rods and pitman arms break on these roads, and everything comes to a sudden stop when the front wheels are no longer pointing in the same direction:

I have lost count of how many cars and trucks we have seen sitting on the side of one of our rougher roads with one wheel pointed all out of kilter. Dozens in three years. We were laughing at how accustomed we have gotten to seeing a disabled vehicle like this sitting on the road, blocking one lane, for a week or two at a time. Back home in the US, this would have been towed away within hours. Here things are a bit more laid back. No need to add insult to injury, as long as people are not complaining the car can probably sit there for as long as it takes to find the parts to fix it.

This has been a week for trying to get caught up with home projects. I don't know that I will ever get completely caught up, as things here seem to break faster than I can fix them. Still, it could be worse. I managed to finish building some drawers for the workshop, and am now thinking of ordering a small band saw and a lathe for some woodworking projects I have planned. And life at the house goes on. The shrubbery seems to be getting a foothold on this rocky little hilltop:

And after the rains of the last two weeks stuff should really start to grow.

Two nights ago I had a momentary start....actually, it was somewhat of a small but substantial bout of sudden arachnapobia. I was taking a nice leisurely shower, and when I went to reach for my towel I discovered that I had been sharing the shower with a visitor:

Now, I know that these are probably no worse than the local wasps when it comes to the sting. But there is just something about realizing you have been blithely standing there naked and barefoot with soap in your eyes (shaving soap, in my case) a couple of feet from a live scorpion. Wasps are not a shower issue,normally. I am hoping scorpions don't become one. I would like to maintain a 'live and let live' relationship with these guys if possible.

Late yesterday afternoon we watched the wind pick up and it was starting to blow the spray fifty or sixty yards from the shoreline:

And we thought we might be in for another nervous night. The dog was doing his near-terminal cringing and shaking thing with all the thunder. And after all that, and after all the worry about Hurricane Gustav, we woke up this morning to a beautiful clear dawn:

Even though the storm is just over on the other side of Haiti from us as I write this. The high mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba have really helped this little country dodge the hurricanes that run south of those islands. We can basically kiss Hurricane Gustav goodbye here, even though it is still almost a week away from the USA. Now we are watching the next tropical wave southwest of the Canary Islands.

So I told the dog "Hey Dooley, the storm is all gone! No more howling winds, no more lightning and thunder! It's all clear now!"

And he says, in his own way...

"Yeah, right.."


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are making it through the hurricane season well. I hope that Hanna passes you by as well. Those are some good looking sunsets.What kind of boat was that with the quads? Thanks for the update!


Anonymous said...

We are nervously watching TS Hanna, of course. It makes for some good sunrise photos, but really, one tropical storm a week is a bit much. We won't have the Greater Antilles between us and this one...just open ocean.

That boat with the quads is the boat for the Molassas Reef resort group. They have basically taken over West Caicos for a big Ritz-Carleton resort. I didn't think to take a photo from the side of it, I will stop by next time I drive by the South Side Marina and snap one.

We would love to keep our boat there, it's only a mile or so from the house. But they are not interested in tying up slips for monthly fees, when they can get a lot more money from transient sailboats. makes sense, but it's not good for us.

Anonymous said...

Well the track for Hanna is not good for you now. Hopefully it will just head North out into the Atlantic. I hope you end up with just a bunch of rain to fill your cisterns! So are they using that for a charter? That does not seem like the most economical platform, but you did say ritz-carlton so maybe they do not care.


Anonymous said...

Stunning sunset/sunrise photos. Do you remain visually excited by them or have you become blase after seeing so many gorgeous sunset/sunrise scenes?

The scorpion looked very menacing! Are there other bothersome insects on Turks & Caicos? Do you have to contend with no-seeums like in the Florida Keys?

The powerboat loaded with 1000 hp of multi-outboards looked like an Intrepid from the aft view. Very good quality, often bought as tenders to mega-yachts.

Anonymous said...

Actually we are not blase about the sunrises and sunsets. We still grab a camera every time we see one we think might photograph well.

In addition to scorpions, we have world-class centipedes. We have seen several that are seven or eight inches long. But the worst, in my opinion, are the wasps. They seem particularly venomous for some reason. I have a permanent scar on my leg from one sting, that took months to heal.

We do have the little gnats, or noseeums. They seem to hang out in sheltered areas out of the wind, and are active right at sunrise and just before sunset, then they seem to disappear for the rest of the day. They are not hard to avoid once you undertand their schedule and that they avoid any kind of breeze.