Bermuda Vacation 2010: Day 13

This is the final, final day of preparations!  The groceries and supplies had to be bought by yesterday as all the stores closed today. We also heard that the airport took it’s last flight out this morning and the Causeway (the bridge to the airport and St. George’s) has been shut.  Today was just the final day to check off the basic needs of the house: put away all the lawn furniture, fill the tub with water, take the propane tanks off the side of the house, turn off the water pump, close all the shutters and hardwire the generator into the breaker box.

So, we who are not inclined to electrical work did the logical thing!  We took a bus to Dockyard to check on all the boats that they were hauling in.  I just had to see how on earth they were going to put all those boats, nearly 250 in our estimation, on land!  Plus, I figured we better just stay busy today while we could.  Once the eye wall approaches the island, we will be locked down.  That could last up to 36 hours, so we better stretch our legs while we can!

We spend alot of time talking to Mr. Lambert, our neighbor.

Our walk down the Tribe Road to the bus stop was educational.  Most of the neighbors were boarding up their windows and patio doors with plywood.  A few people have hurricane shutters but most rely on their normal wooden shutters and plywood for areas exposed to the south/southeast.

Plywood costs approximately $75 a sheet...and it's EVERYWHERE!

The bus was basically empty.  Not knowing ahead of time that all the shops in Dockyard were closed might have changed our minds in going!  But, we’re curious, so off we went.

Another bus ride...

Watching South Shore along the way was interesting.  Dockyard was basically vacated except for the people working on the boats.  There were about 3 private boats left to bring out of the water.  The only remaining boats in the marina were the police boat, two government tug boats and a man who apparently is going to stay on his houseboat.  That was it!  All the other boats were high and dry on land.  We watched as one sailboat was taken up and trailered off to an alleyway.

The alleyways between the buildings are full of boats. The signs are posting warnings that roads are closed and detours are necessary because boats will be parked on the road.

The West End Yacht service has a gigantic boat hoist that raises the boat and can also drive the boat to it’s appointed parking spot.  We watched several boats “driven” down the street on Wednesday.  However, today the streets are so full that they are using the hoist to simply raise the boat and pull it forward.  Then they’re putting a trailer under it and tractoring the boat down the road.  It’s really amazing to watch them work.  They’ve been at it all day, every day since Monday.

The big blue hoist is in the background is holding a boat they just took out of water. The next boat is waiting in the slip for it's turn.

The Victualling Yard within the old naval facility must contain at least 60 boats, all up on jack stands and cinder blocks.

The boat hoist that is used can carry up to 78 tons!  It can handle yachts up to 110 feet long and we certainly saw them pull up sailing vessels with tall masts and deep keels.  They really do amazing work.  My cousin Craig has a similar hoist up at St. George’s Boatyard.  You can check it out at http://www.stgeorgesboatyard.bm/

The sailboat was brought out and then transferred to a trailer to haul to a nearby alley.

The hoist was driven out of the way once the boat was secured on the trailer.

There she is...ready to get to her parking spot!

I have a strange sense of humor, but I find it hilarious to see a boat named, “Highlander” sitting in a parking lot!  It was “opposite day”…the marina was empty and the parking lots were full.

Hmmm? Long Term Parking?

Empty...

Ian and Ali are oblivious to the upcoming hurricane.  I gave them the “we’re going to be locked in the house together for 36 hours so behave yourself” speech.  They just stared at me.  That’s why a trip to Dockyard was in order…some time to jump and play and get some energy out of their system.  And they didn’t disappoint me!

What color is his sky?

Buoy, oh buoy, oh buoy! Actually, they're fenders from the wharf that have been taken up and stored at Dockyard.

Anchors away!

That girl is a charmer! She struck a pose in 2 seconds.

We jumped back on the bus in an attempt to find civilization.  Our bus driver to Hamilton was the nicest driver we’ve ever had.  When women got on he’d say, “Hello gorgeous” and when they left he’d stay, “Stay beautiful”.  When men got on he’d call them “champ” or “general” or “mate”.  He made everyone smile.  He did his best to remember his “regulars” names and talked the whole way to town to whoever was nearest him.  He explained about his 89 year old neighbor who he is taking care of during the storm.  We talked about the violence on the island due to gang warfare.  He was a honey…

We found Hamilton to be a ghost-town as well.  Most of the stores were boarded up and some had just closed at noon.  But, The Spot was open so we had lunch then found our way back home on the next bus.

Jacob, Ian, Ali and I got off early at the Elbow Beach Hotel stop so we could perhaps have a Jim Cantore spotting (a meteorologist from The Weather Channel).  Oh my…the surf down at the beach-front restaurant was so rough.  The lower facilities had already been vacated and sand was covering all the tile flooring.  They were busy sandbagging the next levels as well as boarding up windows.

The waves were crashing in, the palm trees were bowing down and all the awnings from the lower restaurant had been removed.

The restaurant employees were busy making sandbags...a readily available commodity!

Do you see the kite-surfer in the background?

We never spotted Jim Cantore, but we did see his camera crew busy getting local shots.  We also ran into a ABC news crew that were filming casual shots of people crowded on the balconies watching the surf.  There are also many photographers and newsgroups snapping pictures everywhere.  It seems like Elbow Beach hotel is the place for the news people to be!

Every beach has the same warning, "CLOSED".

On the way home practically the entire route along South Shore was packed with cars, mopeds and motorcycles.  Everyone is out watching the surf and taking pictures.  It really is amazing and majestic and beautiful.  People are out talking to one another, walking their dogs to the beach, bringing out the lawn chairs…there really is a wonderful sense of wonder and community.

My photographic skills in the bus are horrible, but can you see all the cars?

Jacob cooked us a wonderful “last supper” before the propane tubes have to be turned off.  We had breakfast for supper…pancakes and eggs!  It was delicious.  While he was cooking it gave me a perfect chance to run over to Astwood Cove to see the surf up close.

I thought only people in Oklahoma go outside to look at a tornado! Do you see the people lined up on the hill near the surf?

So we did exactly what they did! When the waves hit the rocks, the spray went up higher than we were standing on the hill! There was salt spray all over the ground where we stood.

So, here we sit at 10:00 p.m.  The windspeed outside has seemed to slow with the sunset.  We got a little shower during supper.  It’ll be interesting to see what the morning brings.  All the churches have cancelled services tomorrow and the bus services are shut down.

The common phrase today was “Stay safe…”.  Well wishes and prayers are going out everywhere and to everyone.  Tomorrow will be our day of reckoning.  It looks like Igor wants to swing out west of the island, which was our least favorite option.  However, the speeds are slowing and he’s now a definite Category 2.  However, he’s huge and just the sheer amount of time it will take for him to pass will cause damage.

We assume our power will be shut off around noon but probably certainly by 5:00 p.m..  I have no idea if the telephone service will prevail.  The internet provider has vowed to keep up and running on generators as much as possible.  Our generator will be on as soon as it is safe to open the doors and charge her up safely.   We’ll keep you posted!!

Igor…what kind of stupid name is that?  I wouldn’t even name a dog Igor.

Stay safe…

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2 Responses

  1. I’m so glad that dad sent me your blog! I love reading your every day happenings!
    “Stay safe” Love you guys!
    🙂

  2. Hang in there!

    BTW: There are LOTS of dogs, named Igor :
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=igor+the+dog&form=OPRTSD&pc=OPER

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