- The most annoying thing about the power going out is not the darkness – we've got candles and lanterns and flashlights. It's not the TV or even the Internet being out. We gathered around the table and played cards. And we read a lot. It's not being able to flush the toilets.
No, we don't have Electric Toilets, although that would be a pretty good name for a rock band. But our water comes from the cistern under the house. Rainwater is funneled off the roof and collected in the cistern. It's pumped up into the house by – you guessed it, didn't you – an electric pump. No electricity, no running water.
Yes, we can fill the toilet tanks manually. We even have gallons of water stored for just that purpose. But when you don't know how long the power will e out, you don't want to waste it until there's a fair amount of waste. After Hurricane Omar in 2008, we were without power for over three days. Using a bucket and rope to pull water from the cistern to flush toilets gets very old.
Fortunately we were only without power about 12, 14 hours this time. Not so bad.
- One of my very favorite words learned since I moved here is jalousie. Almost every house on the islands has windows made of those slates that you crank open or closed. Those are called jalousies. And in the hours before Irene fully arrived, I was touring the house to make sure it was all buttoned down. In the bedrooms, I found that both Max's and Kate's beds were damp because rain had been blowing between the slats that hadn't been cranked down as tightly as they should have been.
Going back downstairs with my arms full of damp bedding, I remonstrated with them, and came up with an even better band name than electric toilet.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Give it up for .... Loose Jalousie!
- Finally, we've had our eyes on Katia for days, and are delighted to report she passed more than 300 miles from here yesterday, just like the forecasters predicted. They don't always do that. Irene, for example, was supposed to pass south of here, but in its last day before arrival veered to the north and came almost over the top.
Katia was well behaved and stayed where she was supposed to. Now the computer models are predicting she'll veer off to the north and fall apart over the north Atlantic without ever making landfall in the states. Good for her.
We were supposed to get some big swells yesterday, but out at Dorsch Beach the waves were mild as ever. Maybe they were a little bigger on the northside, at Cane Bay, but probably not There's several islands between us and where Katia went, most notably St. Thomas. It may have gotten some big waves on its north side, but I haven't heard.
Instead we had sunshine and light breezes. Just another day in paradise. The uncertainty of hurricane season is just the price we pay for getting to live here.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Just a couple of leftover thoughts from the recent passage of Tropical Storm Irene two wees ago and Hurricane Kata passing well to the north of us yesterday.