Well, I was thinking about writing a post about being in Tropical Storm Hanna, but that's not what's happening. That's because we are now in Hurricane Hanna. The storm is about 90 miles north of us, and we are just starting to get exposed to the SE quadrant of the storm. It started yesterday afternoon, and has steadily built. It is looking like we will be in it for a while yet. We, like everybody else, are watching what Hurricane Gustav is doing in New Orleans. But we also have some more immediate issues ourselves to deal with.
At mid-day today there seemed to be a bit of a lull in the wind and rain, and we took the opportunity to hop in the Land Rover and scoot down to the marina to see how the boat is faring. First step, drain the water out of the Land Rover:
The sure build these things tight. I had to open the tailgate to get two inches of water out.
We took a few photos on the trip. This is looking at the normally nice, calm, clear, turquoise Caicos Bank:
I don't know if it would be trite to call this an 'angry sea'. But I think it would be accurate to say it doesn't appear to be very happy.
Of course a lot of the streets on Providenciales are quickly becoming flooded.
NO, we are not on the wrong side of the road. We drive on the left here. Or sometimes in the middle. Flexibility is critical. And photos through a wet windshield don't look all that crisp, do they.
On the way to the marina we had a brief adrenaline moment. La Gringa was driving down Leeward Highway and we were watching the road as best we could in a sudden squall, when right in front of us appeared a low-slung power line drooped across the road. Before we could do anything we were under it. It clipped the top of the windshield frame on the Land Rover. An inch higher vehicle, and we would have had a problem. Or an inch more droop in the power cable.
SO, after that woke us up, we continued to munch on the tops of our hearts while we made it at a much reduced speed down to the marina. As luck would have it, we had another momentary lull in the wind and rain and I was able to check out the boat.
Without going into details, I will just say that the boat is in a slip that is currently protected from the wind, and is doing fine. At the moment.
Dooley the dangerous (and wet) dog opted to stay in the car and watch, for some silly reason. No sense of adventure, where storms are concerned.
I did the usual boating things...checked the lines for chafing, started the engine, checked the automatic bilge pump and the battery voltage. Didn't take long. I guess there was a sudden thunderclap, because the dog decided there were better places to ride out a storm than in the open back of a ragtop Land Rover:
He always looks so serious when he's scared out of his wits.
Headed back to the house the weather started going downhill again. The third car up in front of us had water over the bottom of his doors. We were worried he would be stranded with a flooded engine at any moment:
When we finally made it back to our road, we found that the new marina was full to overflowing. The wind and storm surge had flooded it about two feet higher than we have ever seen it before. The seawater flowed up over the steel bulkhead sheeting and out across the road:
This is not going to bode well for the road here, and if it gets much worse we could be stranded out on our little hill before this is over. The commute back from the marina was 'interesting' enough as it was:
Well, the good news is that it washed the dirt off the bottom of the Land Rover. The bad news is that it did it with seawater.
We are back at the house as I write this. The winds have actually picked up, even though Hanna is slowly drawing away from us. I snapped a photo of a familiar landscape:
But the visibility is down to a thousand yards or less and it's not easy to get decent photos in the driving rain. I tried another one of the marina across the salina from us:
And you cannot really get much useful info from the photo. The big dive boats are in, and staying tied up through the storm. To us, familiar with this view, it's obvious that sealevel here is currently about four feet above normal. We are seeing wind gusts of certainly 50-60 mph, if not more. Being outside the rain hitting exposed skin feels like someone with a shotgun is shooting rocksalt at me. I was just out tying up bougainvilla plants. We have one mahogany tree already down. The garage doors are bending, and leaking water. I had planned to replace one of them, and now I realize that I will probably want to replace them all with something more suitable. We have a lot invested in those three doors, and the electric overhead openers. And it all was wasted. It will all be ripped out when we can fit it in. No more overhead garage doors for me.
We are currently inside, finding where the leaks are in our new roof. And there are several. We are watching the weather, especially the next two storms already on their way toward us. And we are hoping we don't lose power and internet. We have learned there are a few things we need to attend to before the next hurricane.
I just looked at the marina again, and noticed the large landing craft that has been sitting with its bow on the shore for the past two years has floated off and appears to be loose in the wind, swinging on the one cable still holding.
Hey, this tropical lifestyle stuff is a hoot, ain't it?