Hurricane ?

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Brian Taylor
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Post by Brian Taylor »

guess who is here....yeeees, we finally got the power back on.
they are working on it day and night.
meet julia and simon earlier, they are going home tomorrow and taking home memories of a real adventure.
now that it is over the feeling all over the place is relaxed and everyone is just picking up the broom (and since today thevacuum...haha) and getting things back in place.
I was surprised about the news, too. called my mom before it started to cool her down and she did not even know....
but here it was no better, the radio brought things very late and no real information.
they brought the bad news about this poor lady who got hit by a tree though. but very late.
I was looking at the website paul mentioned all the time and got more information from the net than anywhere else...
hope it brought the awareness level up a bit and things will be organized better in the future.
heard from the hilton about the waterdamages...."just a mess all over the place" might be already fixed by now. heard nothing from turtle beach, sorry.
happy to be back with you all

steph&ali

can make a cup of tea now
Stephanie & Brian "Alibaba" Taylor
Alibaba-Tours - http://www.Alibaba-Tours.com

Marc Jones

Post by Marc Jones »

Coverage picked up since the Navy sailed in to help.

Thoughts with Jamaica, looks like it's about to get a proper battering. :-(

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Paul Tallet
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Welcome back Brian

But what a horrifying thought ... if the Internet wasn't around who knows what would have happened, what to expect and how many weeks before anyone realised what happened in Grenada/Grenadines.

Enjoy your tea.

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Post by Paul Tallet »

Ancle tells me the Naturalist in Castara is OK ... just a little flooding ... all tidied up ... they feel lucky.
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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi Renee

Welcome aboard!

As I mentioned in the update a little above your own post, the airport is fully open and all flights are operating as normal. Inevitably there may be some delays or re-routing of flights from the north to get around Hurricane Ivan, but its all-systems-go in Tobago

BLUE WATERS INN

An update from Duane Kenny at the Blue Waters Inn in Speyside. The hotel will re-open tomorrow - Sunday 12th. They don't have telephones or power, but the hotel has its own generator so the loss of mains power is not a problem.
Steve Wooler
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Kevin Hampson
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Post by Kevin Hampson »

Hi Steve,

Thats really good news, Duane must have pulled out all the stops to get things up and running so quickly. It sounds as if Geoff won't have to ruff it for too long.

Did we get any word on how Jemmas stood up to the hurricane they really are in an exposed position?

Regards
Kevin

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Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi Kevin

Yes, as you say, he must have pulled out all stops.

Within the past hour I've heard that a someone managed to make contact with Charlotteville. It appears that the phone lines are back on, but I suspect it will take a little longer to get power back on. Although unconfirmed, it seems that there's no serious damage.

I've now had extensive reports from most parts of Tobago. All damage has been superficial. Power and telephone lines being brought down by falling trees and branches seem to have been the worst problem and will take some time to fully rectify, obviously.

I have had no specific information about Jemma's, but given all the above I think it's safe to say that I would have heard about any property that suffered more than superficial damage.

All in all, I think we can relax and say that life on Tobago is rapidly returning to normal. Thank heavens, but don't let us forget the poor souls further north who have suffered so much worse - and those suffering as I type in Jamaica.
Steve Wooler
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Miriam King

Post by Miriam King »

i'm sure HMS RICHMOND will be a big help! I may be a bit biased as my husband is in the navy and used to be on that ship!
If thy are not much help i'm sure they will help to consume some of the rum on which ever island they are on!
I'm glad to hear things are getting back to normal ,i can't wait for our visit in november you have all made it sound so good whatever the weather.
I hope the sea is not to rough for them most sailors suffer from sea sickness including my husband!!! :lol:

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Post by Paul Tallet »

Although Ivan is well past Tobago now ... I have kept tracking him and a constant habit of this particular chap is that he keeps trying to push north but is pushed back by high pressure and then bobs/skirts to the west.

I am trying to find a similar historical track to this ... it is extremely rare.

Consequently, Ivan has been catching everybody out.

Anyway ... thankfully Jamaica, although badly affected, have avoided possibly the worst experience imaginable as the 'yo'yo' effect took Ivan to the South just as it took it to the North of Tobago (at the last minute) ... it remains to be seen if even the western most Cayman Islands will suffer this.

Ivan is now back to cat 5 (@ 165 mph) and I have read the fear in the posts from the Cayman Islands to the CaribStormWatch site ... this is a truly dreadful hurricane of historical proportions.

I have a sense that Ivan's eye is going to go through the strait between the Mexican peninsular and the western coast of Cuba ... if it does then that has to be good news for Cayman, not that they won't be affected.

It would also be bad news because, although the NOAA think it will decrease in intensity, I think it will increase in intensity over the warm waters, having not seen much land. Don't forget the last actual landfall was Grenada.

Best of all ... I think it will miss Florida altogether ... won't the press be disappointed !!!

Not worked out where it could land yet but I reckon even Mexico should be ready.
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Julia C.
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Post by Julia C. »

Very interesting to read this thread.
We returned today and having been on Tobago while Ivan was passing close by. It is fascinating to read the posts from an alternative perpesctive.
I'm really tired (from the trip back) but will post my experience of Ivan soon. Here is a picture I recieved from a friend on our return.
Image

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Post by Paul Tallet »

Julia

Have a good rest ... I look forward to your perspective.
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Ivan's eye has gone to the south and west of Grand Cayman as I thought it might ... it was close and bad but the damage could have been greater.

Despite the forecasts I still think the eye will miss Cuba and pass through the strait between Cuba and Mexico.

The news footage of Fidel Castro explaining the hurricane track to his subordinates has been quite hilarious.

Ivan s continually bobbing westwards while making his best attempts to go north ... the historical track says so and the high pressure to the north and east has been consistent.

So ... stick my neck out and say ...


Texas ... 20%

Arkansas ... 50%

Mississippi ... 30%

Florida ... a gentle breeze.

The International Press ... miffed.
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Erica Pilotto

Post by Erica Pilotto »

Haw is the situation now in the island ? :?:

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Post by Paul Tallet »

Erica

If you are referring to Tobago ... fine ... I have heard that Charlottesville took a fair bit of damage otherwise see the reports that Steve has posted in this string.

If you are referring to others then Grenada, Grenadines and Grand Cayman appear to have taken the worst with Grenada being the only island to take a direct 'eye hit' at category 3/4 ... I think the Category 5 experience for Cayman could have been as bad if not worse than Grenada even though the eye passed to the west of Cayman by some distance ... it is just because this is now such a large and evil storm compared to it's early days at lower latitudes.

For what it is worth ... there should be thanks that the eye did not pass over Grand Cayman at this stage in Ivan's life.

As regards the progress of Ivan and the general situation ...

Ivan is passing through the strait between Mexico and the western tip of Cuba as I predicted last night and contrary to predictions by the NOAA that thought the eye would pass over western Cuba.

There are suggestions that Ivan could swing North or North West ... still confused ... but the loops still show a steady west-northwest track with bobbing between west and north west ... the motion is definitely inclining more towards the north but, in my view there is considerable momentum to the left of this track as I have consistently predicted previously in this thread.

So ... where next ..?.. evens between Mississippi and Alabama (40% each) with Arkansas behind them and outside chances of 10% each for Louisiana and Florida and when I say Florida it is due to the fact that this state extends along the Gulf Coast some way ... it will not hit the parts that the press want Ivan to reach !!
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Ivan is still on track as per my previous post.

Groups of journalists are congregating along a range of potential eyewall landsites along the northern Gulf coast.

Ivan is slowing down, getting a bit bulky, so severe flooding is the most likely headline after the initial impact on the coast before Ivan loses strength.

I am wondering if Ivan could go round to the east after landfall and move back into the Atlantic ... this will only happen if he speeds up a bit.

A new hurricane called Jeanne is manifesting herself to the east of Puerto Rico so anyone that missed Ivan should watch this one.

A string of tropical waves are coming from Africa ... they won't all cause problems ... but this year has, so far, been an exceptionally bad year for hurricanes and there is still half the season to go.

All of the Caribbean should be on it's guard.
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Alan Cb

Post by Alan Cb »

There are 2 US military (navy) websites, which give much more accurate forecasted tracks for hurricanes than NOAA, or anyone else for that matter.

http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html

https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/PUBLIC/

Both sites have been accurately forecasting a more westerley track for Ivan for at least the last 5 days, allthough the 2nd site has generally been little more westerly and accurate than the 1st.

Both sites are currently predicting landfall of the eye near/at Mobil Alabama at 12 GMT on Thurs 16 (tomorrow), with the 2nd site perhaps predicting landfall slightly west of Mobil, and closer to New Orleans, which is below sea level.

BBC track forecasting and coverage of Ivan has been pathetic, with CNN and Sky not much better.

Hope you find these useful

Cheers
Alan

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Post by Paul Tallet »

Thanks Alan

I will have a look at those.
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Cor ... Wow ... Alan ... I have taken a little time to look at those sites.

I need more time but I can see what you mean so I have reserved a bit of the weekend to really check them out.

It could be too much information although I note one of the sites seem to be sourced from the NOAA site, so could be alot of duplication ... but duplication with extra detail.

Anyway, back to basics ... and I mean pure basics ... is it luck or judgement ... ?? ... I could have got it all wrong ...

The hurricane has done what I have said it would do from the start of this string.

And, as predicted ... (I said 40% each to Mississippi and Alabama 24 hours ago) ... it seems that I got the bulls-eye ... or should I say that I got it right between the eyes ?!?

Ivan is weakening although gathering speed and I guess that the prospects of this becoming an Atlantic Storm are becoming stronger as long as Ivan does not slow down.

In the meantime, Ivan looks set to cause wind devastation on the northern Gulf Coast before dumping severe flood inducing rains inland ... Ivan is not out of the news yet.

The North Atlantic is notorious for it's autumn storms and I am wondering if Ivan could become an Atlantic Storm or, at least, contribute to a major weather event in the northern Atlantic over the next week or so.

Hurricane Jeanne is creeping up behind but there is a strong ridge between them ... too early to say ?!?
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Julia C.
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Post by Julia C. »

Having got over the jet-lag and catching up on work I finally finished my "Ivan" report. I'm afraid it turned out longer than expeced. I'm also afraid it's rather a long post, I hope that is OK.

It all started on Monday 6th when we heard that Tobago was on a Storm Watch. Not really knowing what that meant but with the general attitude of the local people in Castara appearing quite relaxed we weren't worried and carried on with our plans.

We took a trip to Arnos Vale (driven by Mr Harry Taylor) to have a swim and do the tea thing whilst watching the bird feeding. When we got there the hotel was closing their beach bar, pulling everything off the beach area and we were told they probably wouldn't be feeding the birds because of the storm.

It was very hot and humid that afternoon and we were quite disappointed that our trip seemed in vain, but instead of returning to Castara straight away Mr Taylor suggested visiting some other sights in the area; which we did. On returning to Castara we stopped off at Marguerite’s to book a special diner for the following night, Tuesday, the anniversary of the day we started going out, ahhhhhhh!

Marguerite said "no problem" to my request unless the storm hit and then it wouldn't be possible. At this point I started to be more concerned about this "storm".

On return to the Blue Mango I told Colin (the owner) about my worries and asked him to keep us informed of developments. At this time we were in Sweet Point, using the top bedroom. This en-suite room and attached decking has views of both beaches in Castara and is very open and is therefore quite exposed. Colin said he would keep us informed and if it got rough we should use the lower bedroom. I felt reassured.

We'd previously bought some candles and obtained some brown paper bags to make candle holders so we went down to the main beach to get sand for the bags and fish for our dinner. There was a lot of excited activity going on. The fishermen and a lot of other people were helping to pull all the boats up onto the beach. There was loads of shouting and laughing and the local dogs were getting generally overexcited. A truck was used to pull some of the boats in and this appeared to cause more problems than using actual manpower, with a rope snapping at one point.

With some help from Brian (Alibaba) Taylor we procured a Red-Snapper at the fishermens’ co-operative, which was expertly scaled and filleted by someone who looked incredibly like a young Bob Marley (I'm sorry I didn't get his name). We collected our sand and returned to Sweet Point.

After a sundowner we started to prepare our diner. Having chopped up a salad we started to heat the pan for the fish. Then the electricity went out and put an end to our planned fish diner, so we placed it in the freezer. Seconds after the rain and the wind hit with some force.

Not sure where to go we took the bowl of salad and some other food up to the decking outside the top bedroom. (Kitchen, at present, on lowest floor, up some steps to the lower bedroom, then up some more to the top bedroom) We then decided it was getting a bit rough so we prepared an emergency bag or two and took them and the food to the lower bedroom.

We sat there for a while, but were too wound up to eat so had a few rums instead. The storm subsided a bit so we went back up to the decking, food and salad bowl as well.

The electricity stayed off until after we went to bed, but our paper-bag-candle-holders were lovely. During the night we woke up to find the lights and fan back on. We went back to sleep thinking the worst was over.

Woke up at about six to more rain. Soon after Colin came up and gave us the latest news. He told us that he’d just heard that Hurricane Ivan was going to hit Tobago between 9.00 and 11.00 am. He suggested that we pack up our bags and could put them, and shelter ourselves, in his basement. “The hurricane is going to hit Tobago” is a sentence I will never forget, I had no idea what was going to happen, but was very aware that people died in hurricanes.

Having packed up our stuff and put it in the basement we decided to cook some breakfast. Unfortunately the bacon had only just gone in when the electricity went off again. I was convinced it would be the same as the previous night and the wind and rain would start soon after, but it didn’t.

It did however get progressively windier and rainier. Another couple staying at the Blue Mango had some previous experience of Caribbean hurricanes. This was very reassuring. Christopher helped Colin with advice and “battening down the hatches” and Yvonne gave us tea and company.

We spent most of the day watching the storm with Colin in his cottage, which is also very open and has views of both beaches. Only retreating to the basement when we were getting too wet from the driving rain. It seemed to be coming form the north and the west at the same time at that point.

The sea was very rough and the wind was very strong, but we saw little structural damage happening. There were bits of trees in the sea and a yacht, the only boat that hadn’t been brought ashore, broke it’s mooring. It looked like a toy-boat in a bath, as it got pushed further and further inshore until it beached. We then saw two lunatics (we found out later who they were) go out and tether it so it wouldn’t get swept away.

At some point during that morning, we did get to finish cooking our breakfast, using the gas cooker in the main kitchen. Later, at about 4.00pm ish, after the storm had subsided, five of us, Colin, Christopher, Yvonne and ourselves had a shared meal, some much-needed rum and some wine. Once again we thought it was all over.

Sea Point cottage was not damaged, but due to the rain, it would have been an uncomfortable night if we’d returned there to sleep, not to mention a wet mattress. Colin arranged for us to move to Blue Mango Cottage, which was sheltered and dry.

For me that night was far worse than the day had been. The rain was incredible. We sat for a while listening to a local radio phone-in. It wasn’t reassuring. The radio was hard to hear, even on full volume, but above the sound of rain drumming on the roof, we did hear a caller talking about hurricanes swinging round and returning and another caller talking about mudslides, two things that had never crossed my mind.

I fell asleep soon after going to bed, but woke up sometime during the night. There seemed to be continuous lightening and thunder, accompanied by the incessant sound of the rain pounding on the roof. You think it won’t/can’t get any louder, but it did. Simon, incredibly, slept through it all! Eventually, still worrying about mudslides, returning hurricanes and lightening strikes, I fell asleep again.

We woke to a dull and cloudy morning feeling tired and wrung out. There was no electricity and we were worried about our dwindling food and drink supplies. We took a walk around the village to inspect the effects of the storm and replenish our stocks. There were several fallen trees, one of them a palm tree which had crashed into the “Welcome to Castara” sign on the beach, some of the power lines were down and there were mudslides that had already been cleared from the roads. Unfortunately we found nowhere open to buy the things we needed and felt quite sorry for ourselves. Silly us!

After a nice lunch of our now defrosted fish, rice and peas and salad, we began to feel more positive. The sun had come out and Simon went off for a second shopping attempt. It was very successful; we had food, rum, beer and more candles.

Although Sweet Point was still too damp to sleep in that night, we spent the rest of the day and evening there on the decking. With no electricity in Castara the view, stars and fireflies provided all the entertainment we needed.

We had no electricity for the rest of our stay, but it actually didn’t matter. Ice became a wonderful luxury, which miraculously appeared in our drinks in several local establishments, the sea breeze was much quieter than the fan and we were given fish, fresh from the sea. (Thanks Marvin).

We were very sorry to hear that a young woman died during the storm on Tobago due to a tree falling on her house and then later hearing of the destruction in Granada. Our thoughts are with those who suffered and are still suffering the effects of Ivan.

We hope to return to Tobago, when finances allow, particularly to Castara and Sweet Point. Our thanks to Colin for looking after us and to the people of Castara. That’s my experience of Ivan in Tobago and I have no regrets that it happened while we were there. Sorry this was so long!

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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler »

Thanks Julia. That lovely report really gives something of a feeling of what it must have been like. Whilst I don't think any sane person would actually choose to go somewhere during a hurricane, think of the wonderful stories you will have to tell for years to come.
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