Monday, August 30, 2010

Last of Earl

When I said we'd seen the worst of Earl - I apparently meant the 1st half. I forgot about the dumb thing catching us with its tail going the other way.

So as of 2:00pm, look at the ocean. This is N Frigate Bay. Compare to the video we took just a couple of hours before that. Dead calm.

Then go over to The Strip. Hmm, what's this?

Party on The Strip! Yep, and even the Coast Guard joined in.

Remember them way off in the distance in that last group of photos? Well they beached themselves.

The winds were just as crazy as they had been. It could not have been any more different than what was going on less than 1/2 mile across the island.

The Sunset Grill had all their awnings shredded.

Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack was dealing with some pieces missing from its bar and office roofs (no pic), Ziggy's had a tree precariously leaning up against it, one down in front of it, and had the owners/staff already sweeping sand out.

The Monkey Bar was very open for business. Did I mention party on the Strip?

It doesn't look like there will be any volleyball on the beach any time soon.

Look at this new chair sculpture.

Poor little guy wondering what the heck happened.

Frigate birds were circling overhead for some reason.

Michael walking toward me with the Coast Guard ships in the background.

Me walking toward him.

Ok, enough of The Strip (BTW, it still looked like that at 6pm). We headed down the southeast peninsula one more time for a final check on Mike's landscaping handy work (I'm sick of it too - stick with us). Again, look at the ocean - you could almost go swimming.

White House Bay still looked sloppy as all get out. Makes my stomach churn.

Check-out Sandy Bank. Remember the earlier video?

But that's not the best part. Those are 2 ferries that had not been there just a couple of hours before. They figured out the storm would do what it did and scooted around to enjoy the calm seas. Now why didn't the Coast Guard think of that?

Looking out toward the ocean (toward Antigua) from Turtle Beach - like nothing ever happened.

Well, it did happen and was still happening on the sea side. Here's Lion Rock Beach Bar on Cockleshell beach. You can check Reggae Beach Bar's Facebook page for updates there. For info on what happened on S Friar's Beach, you can check Shipwreck's Facebook page.

And then we decided to drive around the entire island. Here's the main road (Bay Road) right outside Basseterre with water crashing onto the road (I had to put my window up!). This was around 3:30pm.

A few miles later, look how crazy the waves are just outside of Old Road Town (right before you get to Spratnet).

The road was even worse. There must have been a serious storm surge here (the water was still coming over the road).

I had to put my window up again! I don't think you can see it in these pictures, but the road was actually coming up and peeling away. Uh oh.

This river was really running (it's normally dry).

The boats looked like they all did well in the boatyard.

We decided to take a look at Dieppe Bay where I absolutely have to believe I would have taken us on Jacumba had we still been onboard. Look how calm it is behind this reef. That boat was barely moving. The waves hitting the reef itself looked like they came out of a Hawaii Five-O episode though.

The rest was pretty much more of the same. Any flooding was long gone and there weren't any major obstructions on the roads. The winds were strong enough to knock over fences, signs (I'd say 65% of the signs were flattened), and snap branches. A few weak trees fell over and anything remotely awning-like was left flapping (Ross University's animal pen "roofs" suffered this fate). There was no real structural damage though - even the smallest chattel house seemed to be ok. No glass broke, no roof tiles lifted, no metal bent, nothing structurally sound was deconstructed. I think we got incredibly lucky considering that Hurricane Earl turned into a Cat 4 shortly after passing us.

So how high were the winds? No idea. I'm thinking sustained in the 40s and gusts into the high 60s (probably in the high 20s/gusting 30s now). Mike thinks higher. They weren't that destructive, so we'll just have to wait until someone reports it. You can go to the News links on the blog sidebar for any further info. We did see a few precarious electrical-line posts and a radio broadcast mentioned people not having electricity (I'll put the phone #s to call to get it turned back on in the Announcements Page in the blog sidebar). We got really lucky there too - internet + electricity + cell phone service? Awesome!

And if you think that was exciting - get this! While I was updating the blog earlier I got a call from CBS's New York affiliate. They had come across my blog and wanted to use some of our pictures and videos for their broadcast. As a matter of fact, how about we Skype with my web cam on and he'll interview me - ??!!!!! So we did! Yep, pretty cool. But I didn't ask him when it would be on or anything...I did a quick check of their website and Googled myself to see if it came up, but nothing yet. I'm honestly too tired of this computer to do more right now. If any of you see it on T.V. or find it online, email me or make a comment (Miles if you read this, please fill me in). Thanks!

We are now both sick of the car, and I am officially sick of watching the upload page on Blogger. We're done with Earl. Of course, as I type this the news just mentioned newly named Tropical Storm Fiona - just a couple of days behind (due Wednesday!). Double sigh.

But let's appreciate this beautiful sight, shall we?