Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Final Comments about Earl

So here are my final words on Earl - at least as they relate to St. Kitts (the bugger is heading for my friends, relatives, and blog readers (!) on the east coast - %$*! )

I got called out for not really getting info on S Friar's beach, so had Michael run by real quick on his way home and check it out. I thought Shipwreck would mention it on their Facebook page, but all they said was that they were open. The reason we don't go to S Friar's often is because that beach tends to be really buggy (with gnats - the only place on the island that can get them in force like that). We love Shipwreck - it has really good veggie soft tacos and french fries, a bookswap, good snorkeling, and is a great place to see monkeys - but try to time it when there are winds to keep the bugs away. Michael braved the critters (although he had a potty mouth about it) and took a few pictures.

Some sand disappeared from under the bar, but the beach itself seems to have built up a bit (the tide is up). That's a very good thing as that beach has been slowly narrowing since we've been here (almost 2 years). And yes, Shipwreck is open. The other bars down there are weekend bars and are still standing.

The Reggae Bar on Cockleshell definitely had a lot of seaweed to clean up. That's the most I've even seen down there. Ouch!

Someone else just asked why I didn't cover Nevis. I was wondering how long it would take to get that question. Because I don't really know anyone over there and can't get there easily (too expensive with a car to do often; and too expensive with a ferry/taxi). We've been there many times (you can search the blog for Nevis and see your favorite places), but that's the extent of our sister-island knowledge. Another blog reader (from Chevy's) said they heard things weren't too bad in Nevis (the beach bars and the about-to-be-reopened Four Seasons did ok), and I'd predict the same. I did just put out the word to a few folks so will try to get an update from there if I get one. I noticed that StormCarib had someone report in from Nevis, so they'd probably be the best source for info there.

Back on St. Kitts, the Marriott rain gauge showed 5 3/4", but I take that with a grain of salt because for quite some time the rains were going sideways and wouldn't have fallen into the tube. I have yet to hear of what the winds were here, but here's what Jeff Master's Wunder Blog said about St. Thomas (USVI), which got Earl as a stronger storm than when it passed over us: "Winds...remained above tropical storm force (39 mph) for five hours yesterday afternoon, peaking at 52 mph, gusting to 62 mph." I really think that sounds about right for us too. Watch a video of hurricanes with higher winds and you have much more damage than we all did. Even Michael's newly staked trees survived the assault. I am definitely going to have to find me a wind meter (I must know!).

Read this article about this poor cargo ship that couldn't get the coast guard to come to their rescue. I don't suppose anyone told them why they didn't show...but we all know don't we (actually I think the CG grounded after the SOS)? As it turns out the St. Martin coast guard came trying to help, but guess it was too late. Kind of curious where the boat ended up, as we didn't see anything.

I looked back at that photo of the sailboat in Major's Bay and there definitely is another boat in the harbor there (see below comparison). It kind of looks like the Coast Guard, but they haven't mentioned rescuing anyone. If the 2nd boat was the sinking cargo ship then why did they have to "walk over a mountain" - as there's a beach right there? If they came from St. Martin, I would have expected them to be on the ocean-side of the island. Of course, you know this not knowing bugs me...

Michael thinks the sailboat might have sank. Compare the 2 pictures - it looks like the same place right?

What is that? So we're going to check into that a bit more (as we don't know if anyone was on it), plus it would now be a shipping hazard. If anyone knows anything about this boat (it was red), please contact us so we stop worrying about it.

Looks like there's some cellular coverage out in Brimstone Hill and Challengers (in St.Kitts) and Ramsbury and the racetrack (in Nevis). Service was out but has been restored to St. Peters and Taylors, so if any of you are trying to reach people in these places, they're not blowing you off (or injured necessarily - according to news broadcasts there haven't been any reported injuries).

I'm really appreciating that NEMA put out a press release on the day Earl hit informing us where the hurricane shelters were. You'll note that I had them listed in my Announcements page on the sidebar 3 weeks ago...

I'll have to find out what's happening with Bay Road near Old Road Town at some point. Pat & Steve where are you?

So that's it. We hope all you people from NC to ME in the USA stay safe (stay out of the water for Pete's sake, you fools!) and pretend there's nothing else out there (like that blue/green/yellow stuff on the radar to our east).

Thanks again guys for all your emails and comments. We were really glad to help and feel good knowing we put some of your fears to rest. We might not always have that option as we got really lucky keeping all our utilities the entire time (and we wouldn't have been driving in hurricane-force winds), but I promise to try to update as soon as possible should we have another close encounter with any nastiness. When things aren't crappy, we'll keep telling you the fun things we're doing so you can be jealous. Rubber ring