Well, it is about time that I updated you all about how we are doing after Earl. I have put various updates on our Facebook page but I haven’t blogged about the actual hurricane that we had.
This is mainly because Hurricane Earl really took a lot of out of me. In 2008 we had Hurricane Omar, and that hit us in Grand Case pretty badly, but for me at least, I didn’t find it as physically or emotionally draining as I did Hurricane Earl. I try to write blogs that will make people laugh and be informative, so if I’m feeling a little defeated by something, then I don’t want to write about it.
So, why was Hurricane Earl so bad, I hear you ask. Well, it wasn’t because I didn’t feel like people were not concerned about us. We had loads of emails, facebook comments and phone calls that really touched Chris and I. Although the friends we make here go back to their lives in the States and elsewhere, I know that they (and when I say “they” I mean “you”) are still thinking about us, and that counts for a lot. It also wasn’t because I wasn’t with friends as we had Dive Master interns Mark and Jenn stay with us as well as Stuart, and of course there was Lil’ Rog and our cat Max. They ended up staying for three nights in the end as we thought that Tropical Storm Fiona was going to be worse than she was. As Jenn said, it felt like we were on some kind of vacation together in a ski lodge, (minus the lack of electricity, minus the horizontal coconut trees, minus the giant waves coming in, minus the pelting rain (or was that sea water coming in with the 140 mph wind?, and minus the lack of internet, phone, tv and radio….) Besides that it was like a ski lodge vacation together…. kind of. And, it sure wasn’t because there wasn’t enough alcohol or food, as Mark, Jenn and Stu brought over loads and we managed to cook without electricity. When there is a hurricane in the Caribbean there is absolutely no reason not to crack open a beer at 8 in the morning, right?
I suppose it got to me so much because it was so much work, both before and after the hurricane, and we had some really scary moments with the boats and our property. It is hard to express with words the feelings of stress, anxiety, bewilderment, and fear that we have when a hurricane comes. Maybe back in 2008 I hadn’t invested as much time, love, money and energy into our diving center as I have now. In 2008 we had only had the center a few months and we didn’t know what to expect. Maybe because I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t worry so much before the hurricane. Maybe. Maybe now, after 2 and a half years of working our butts off to get where we are, I feel more stress and anxiety at the thought that something totally beyond our control can take it all away.
It didn’t, and everything is basically back to normal now. I just kept thinking of that day of diving just before the Hurricane, with Hillyer, Thierry, Luuck and Chris. It was so peaceful and amazing. One of those days where everything was so peaceful and perfect that you want it to last forever, and you know it won’t, but you don’t even care because it’s such a perfect day. So that helped. Here is a picture of that perfect day that Hillyer sent me when he got home. I remember Stuart saying something like “If it is like this before Hurricanes, I say bring them on.” Or something of the sort. However, here is Stuart 2 days after the hurricane after cleaning up lots of fallen trees… I think he changed his mind!You can see some of the trees that went down in the photos below, we lost a lot of trees in our back yard and are still on a waiting list for the wood chipper! Also below are photos of Chris, Myself and our cat Max watching the wind and the waves come in early in the morning that Hurricane Earl hit us. I am also putting in a couple of photos that I stole from Mark of waves.
Anyway… things are going back to normal now. We are getting some waves and wind from Igor, which has passed us to the North, but it is nothing really to worry about. I am a little worried for Bermuda, but it is beyond my control.
So, thanks for thinking of us and I will try and write a fun, entertaining blog in the next couple of days to make up for this one. Although, the picture of Stuart is making me laugh now that I look at it again.
Stuart did work really hard. As did we all. Chris is like a machine, he works so hard! It took about 3 days to clear the back completely, and we are still not done, just waiting for that wood chipper. Chris, Stu, Luuck and Mark worked really well as a team clearing out the wood, and Jenn proved to be a woman of extreme strength clearing branch after branch after branch. She was unstoppable! One really great moment was when the neighbors, who we didn’t really have too much to do with before the hurricane (as we couldn’t see them) just came over and starting hauling wood with us. They didn’t even speak English, asked for nothing, just came over to pitch in! That made me feel really happy, to see all our friends working so hard to help us, and our neighbors too. So a huge big thank you to the Earl survivors and the whole Octopus Team from Chris and me.
There was one little soul who enjoyed the hurricane. And that was Lil’ Rog because he had so much company at the house… here is on the couch snuggled up with Chris. And then again with Stu who pretends he doesn’t love Roger as much as the rest of us, but when he thinks you aren’t looking, he snuggles up to Rog as well! (I’ve seen it Stu!)
Stu pretends to be the big tough diving instructor, but really he is a big softy. He is single by the way… for you lucky ladies out there. Just thought I would mention that. Do you think he will get mad at me for writing that? Probably. Let’s not tell. Our secret. Shhhhhh.
(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 )