Flashback Friday: Hurricane Michelle

Michelle_2001_track

Hurricane Michelle didn’t come too close to the Cayman Islands, but we got big waves. I was living in an apartment about 100 feet from the sea and the waves started coming up to the porch. I was trying to nail some plywood into the concrete to cover my sliding glass door, when a huge wave came up. It was easily neck or head high to me, standing on the porch.. I was kind of in the corner of the porch, and as the wave wrapped around me, I put my back against the wall and tried to dig my fingernails into the concrete and not get swept out to sea. I was moving towards the two foot dropoff at the edge of the porch when the water started going down. My feet hit the floor again and I looked to my right and saw a waist high river of water coming out of my apartment where the sliding glass door was. I saw a cardboard box flow out the river. I was getting ready to grab it when I see the nose of my kayak start to come out the door. (I had put it inside because of the hurricane) My dog Ditto was standing on the kayak. I let the box go and grabbed the kayak instead.

My apartment and everything in it was smashed. The bed was smashed, the bookshelves were smashed to splinters. All my books and my computer was destroyed, as were a lot of my CDs. My tool box had saltwater in it, and I didn’t know it for a few days and the tools were ruined.

The cardboard box that floated away had, among other things, my dive log in it, and it was there I lost track of my number of dives. That logbook was number 19, of my scuba log books I had filled up diving at that time. Anyone who knows me knows I log all my dives, and I always have.

In the apartment, you could see how the wave  came in at an angle, bounced off the wall, hit the kitchen, lifted the refrigerator. (I found my underwater camera UNDER the fridge). Then it went in the bathroom and you could see like a whirlpool pattern in the wreckage. The glass dinner table was in a million pieces and the wave busted the window unit air conditioner out if it’s hole in the concrete wall. All the windows were broken and the window frames were ripped out of the concrete. There was glass everywhere, and if it had happened at night when I was asleep, I probably would not have survived.

It washed the tiles off the floor.

Hurricane Michelle is the hurricane that broke open the Turtle Farm. Before the big wave, all my neighbors and I were picking up turtles and putting them in the bathtubs. It was a nice, sunny day. Huge giant sea turtles were crashing ashore in the waves, breaking their shells. These big ones were so big that only one would fit in the bed of a full sized pick up truck.

I had insurance, but got ripped off bad. For Hurricane Ivan, I had much less damage but I was ready for the insurance sucker punch to the stomach and I didn’t get cheated, like everyone else did. (All the insurance companies blatantly ripped everyone off and then changed their names after Ivan)

I was the only one who stayed in the apartments. But things kept getting worse. The landlord was fixing all the apartments except mine. There was no tile on my floor, just black glue. Ditto was getting sick, and slowly getting covered in glue.

One Saturday, I couldn’t take it any more. I went to my office at work, made a cup of coffee and sat down with the paper in the cool air conditioning. I found one apartment, made one phone call, went and looked, and moved into the apartment. I stayed there six years, and it was the apartment I had before I moved into this house.

And that’s my Flashback Friday. Have a good weekend!!!!

Four pics and two vids

Camera 14MP-9PC

Loverfish

Camera 14MP-9PC

Baby Squid. as big as my thumb, hovering in mid water, I wasn’t sure I’d get good focus.

Camera 14MP-9PC

Turtle

Camera 14MP-9PC

Sponge

I call this piece of coral The Pinnacle. I have been swimming out to check it out as long as I have lived here.

These are artificial reef balls. Shaped like a gumdrop. Not much seems to be growing on them though.

Happy Monday to You!

Here it is, another Monday. Here the weekend was cold and windy. Saturday we went to the Orchid Show. On the way home, it started raining. That was if for the weekend. We just stayed home an watched movies.

I didn’t take any good pictures at the Orchid Show, You wanna see orchid pics, try looking HERE. I did get some pictures of our cat BTK, up in our tree.Mar 03, 2013 020 (2) Mar 03, 2013 024 Mar 03, 2013 028

Wednesday Picture Post

It’s a Holiday here. I have the day off but the wife is working, unfortunately. Below are some random pictures from the past week or so.

Feb 06, 2013 000

Cruise ship from the air, taken when I was on my way to Cayman Brac for work last week.

Jan 26, 2013 005

Last months full moon, coming up over the neighbors house.Jan 31, 2013 004Heron and snorkelers.

Like A Monday, But Better!

It was a pretty nice weekend. Yesterday was a holiday here. Friday night we went to Boogie Nights, disco70′s and 80′s music disco style at a restaurant. I tell ya boys, there were easily 10 girls for every guy.. That never happened when I was single. Got home around 1AM, I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I stayed out that late.

Saturday I went and got all two of our cars re-registered. When I got to the Motor Vehicle place, the line was out the door, but it moved quickly and only took about a half an hour. I filled out a critique sheet and gave them 10′s. AND I mowed the yard. the FRONT yard only. The back just didn’t need it… bad enough. I can’t remember much about Saturday.

Sunday we went to the beach and went snorkelingCamera 14MP-9PCThen we made steaks on the grill.

Yesterday was Heroes Day, kind of like Veterans Day in the USA. The Wife went to an All Girls birthday party and I stayed home. All day I was so frikkin tired, I have no idea why. I took two naps and went to bed early. And I made hamburgers on the grill.

Now it’s like a Monday, but it’s not, it’s TUESDAY!

Cayman DOE Marine Parks Proposal

Hi Fish Fans,

This week is the last chance to give your input to the DOE  about the new Marine Parks proposal, so please ask everyone you know to say “yes” to the new proposal before the end of November.  To be clear, this is their final public input period in formulating the proposal that they will present to the Cabinet for approval.  Our reef fish continue to decline rapidly and will all soon be lost if we don’t hit the brakes hard now… no exaggeration!  Contact DOE at: doe@gov.ky       The last time this was done 25 years ago, not enough people stood up for the proposal (there were plenty who cared but sat on their hands thinking it was obvious) and we got fishing on the 80′ profile as a result of a few noisy fishermen.  That fishing of the 80′ profile is the biggest reason our marine park was not much more effective than it has been (as well as too late closure of the grouper spawning grounds).  Because we now have much fewer fish for recovery, we need much bigger parks and new fishing regulations (not yet addressed by this proposal).  Let the DOE know that we accept their new parks proposal. Don’t let the few naysayers be the only voices counted in shaping how the proposal that goes to Cabinet will look.

We continue losing dive tourism numbers and millions of $ in tourism as we lose fish.  If we still had today, the fish that we had in the 80′s we would easily have at least four times the number of divers coming here, because everywhere else in the Caribbean is also fished out.  This is our chance to lead the competition.  There is still a chance to reverse the current decline if we act quickly and willfully enough.  This is an economic issue in which all Caymanians will either lose or gain depending on what we do with the last few fish we have.   As for fishing, if they catch the last fish there will be nothing left for them to catch, so why do that!  I am sure there are many preservationists who just don’t understand that this input opportunity is about the DOE comparing how many people want more protection vs how many want more fishing in order to shape the proposal.  This is your “vote” on the issue!  You must not sit quietly expecting that the obvious shall prevail.  Everyone counts and this is not just for registered voters.  Anyone can and should give their opinion.

I have recommended we accept the DOE proposal as it is except for:  extend the proposed 200′ depth fishing limit along the parks drop-off to 600′ to make it more enforceable; make Little Cayman a complete marine sanctuary (or nearly so);  Grandfather in the currently dive buoyed enclosures at commercial shore diving sites as no-fishing zones within the proposed fishing zone of NW Point to Barkers (Lighthouse Point, Cracked Conch and Cobalt Coast);  add new fishing regulations ASAP (we need catch limits and special species protections).  Please forward to everybody you know and let’s get heard this time!   Speak up… pump up the volume… raise your voices to a crescendo that commands respect.

Email your recommendations to DOE at:    doe@gov.ky

Forward, forward, forward this to everyone who cares.

Be counted!

Thank you and may God bless us all with a renewed bounty,

RE-blogged from Courtney Platt

Shortpost

Up early, getting ready to head to Cayman Brac for the day. I was having weird dreams I can’t remember when the alarm went off. Think that’s why I feel kinda crabby.
More later

More Of The Same, And Then Some

Yesterday I went back to the same beach as yesterday, I went snorkeling near Spanish Bay and walked around a bit, taking pictures. While snorkeling, a frikkin remora tried to attach itself to me. Bastad. Normally they just keep hassling you but I kept chasing it until it went away.

Today I don’t know what is planned. Maybe go pick up a check. Renew the PO Box. Smoke a cigar….

Abandoned Spanish Bay Resort

Yesterday I rode my bicycle to the beach, I was exploring, looking for new spots and I went down this dirt road to a nice sandy beach. I found myself next to the old Spanish Bay Resort, which for reasons unknown to me, closed years ago. I went walking around taking some pics. From the road it is completely fenced off and kind of forgotten about.

Sad to see this great place falling apart. It is Caribbean, it’s not like the big hotels on Seven Mile Beach. I think this island needs more places like Spanish Bay was.