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- - - 2005 Hurricane Season - - -

Newer BVI reports for the 2006 season can be found here

- Cane Garden Bay mystery!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 10:08:48 EDT
At 10am it is lightly raining.  Skies are slightly overcast. The rain just stopped, I guess that was our 90 second shower. Temperature is 81 degrees, still very cool at tonight. Ah, the rain just started back, 2 minutes later and can't decide, it just stopped 20 seconds later.
Intermittent rains seem to be the feel of the day. But since I am a mermaid, I just love rain!
Does anybody know what's going on at Cane Garden Bay?  I have been asking around without much success.  See this link about Save the Waves
And if you want to know what's new in the BVI, check here.
This picture of Cane Garden Bay was taken yesterday.
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- rains appreciated
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 10:19:14 EDT
What a beautiful calm day with gentle winds, yet a nice swell for moderate surfing, especially at Bomba's.
Just a week away until the Fool Moon Party!
I am busy dusting and cleaning.  I had spent the weekend cleaning out all the dust bunnies form my place, which sent the kitties scurrying up the mountain.  They think I am too boisterous when I clean so they run and hide outdoors until they think it's safe to return and I have settled down again.
I was enjoying my nice clean place, but then Monday's  explosion, which resulted in fire and black dust and you guessed it, I have black dust everywhere and the smell of fire.  However, last night it rained a good bit, and I notice this morning, I can no longer smell the fire.  We needed that rain dearly, as it was getting pretty dry around here.
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- nice day
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 10:03:17 EDT
It was quite chilly last night, but daybreak brought warmer temperatures and moderate winds with bright blue skies and no bombs in sight (just kidding!)
See a first hand account of Monday's explosion here.
See 100+ pictures in a fast loading slide show there.
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- skies are clear, no smoke in sight
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 08:47:08 EDT
Gorgeous weather.  We pray there are no more explosions.  Two in six weeks less than 100 feet apart has sort of given the surrounding  neighbors and employees,  the jitters.
Sky is just a beautiful blue, just like being in the Caribbean!  Winds are light and surf is UP and the surfers are happy about that.
However, they better surf in a hurry, before the government destroys this pristine bay! 
If the government has their way with a sneaky plan to destroy Cane Garden Bay, nobody is going to be very happy at all!
Also, see 100+ pictures of the explosion, fire and aftermath in Sopers Hole Wharf yesterday at
Gosh, this sleepy little island, is waking up to some harsh realities!
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- pictures from EXPLOSION
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 14:16:45 EDT
See pictures of the fire and smoke form the explosion when a full fuel truck ignited at Soper's Hole Wharf Marina.
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- EXPLOSION rocks West End as fuel truck explodes fully loaded
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 12:51:34 -0400
At 11am we had a tremendous explosion that rocked West End and Frenchmans Cay.  A truck, delivering diesel, to the Soper's Hole Wharf Marina, had just begun to pump when someone told the driver to run for his life, there were flames underneath the truck.  A nanoscond later, the explosion shot flames and black billowing smoke heavenward.
An ambulance came to fetch the driver, who was in very poor conidtion, with very little skin left.
The fire trucks finally arrived after about 15 minutes, but it took them another 20 minutes to get any water going and finally some chemicals arrived. The bulk of the fire was brought under control in about an hour and a half.
Electricity has been off at Frenchmans Cay since 11am.  When it comes back on, I will post the link with  fire pictures.
Pray for the injured.
This is the seond explosion in about a month at Sopers Hole. The last one being the Pussers gas stove and subsequent fire.  (Scroll down for links to that one.)
The insuracne companies must be scratching their heads over this one now. 
More later, I am sending this by battery and super slow wireless.

- BVIwaves.com
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 10:18:59 EDT
Light winds from the east barely pushing 10 knots.
78 degrees and wonderful.
Sky was overcast this morning but clearing up now.
Sunrise was at 6:10am and Sunset will be at 6:32pm
Surf continues to be good on the North Shore through Thursday.
Tnew surf site on Tortola is getting a major overhaul, you can sneak a peek and enjoy some great pictures at:
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  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 09:36:48 -0500
Another gorgeous day in paradise.  The racers at the BVI Spring Regatta are fretting over the light winds.  They want stiff breezes and fast races no doubt.
Rains have been intermittent.  The Regatta Village is set up pretty nicely.  The food booths have nice large tents with wood floors.  The event seems pretty well organized, though the cops are directing traffic and parking.  I don't mean to offend them,  but that is sure to be a disaster, as whenever we have  lengthy traffic jams in town, we know there are cops ahead, directing traffic.
I arrived about 3:30 and was surprised to see a large crowd already there, when I left at 6ish, the crowd was already huge. I was tired, most unfortunately, as the 4pm music was just setting up, as t'ings always run late here it seems.
It was very family oriented and appeared to be an after school day care program as the kids almost outnumbered the adults. But what the heck, we need more activities here where children can run around, and running around they were.
PegLegs restaurant was charging premium prices, but everyone else seemed to have pretty good prices on drink and food. The Plaza Cafe (situated in the middle of Nanny Cay near the main office) had beer and rum specials all day and good deals on food.
The main bar area in the field, requires you to buy tickets from a booth first. The bar itself is manned by volunteers, so it's comical at times if you order more than just a beer.  Some pour real heavy on the alcohol, others barely pass it over the cup, so you kinda have to steer them along.
Jolly Lou was there organizing things and doing quite nicely at it.
Scroll down for links related to the BVI Spring Regatta.
I am sending this by battery and wireless since we have no electricity today.

- note in a bottle...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 08:51:51 EST
Hi there,
I was actually surprised to see you posting on the hurricane website this time of year.  A nice surprise, especially cause you mention the surf.  We're coming down next week for the Spring Regatta, not sailing tho' ;-((  but our son is wanting to do some surfing.  We won't be in till late Thursday, staying at the Jolly Roger, and leaving Monday.  Do you have a recommendation for a surf board rental.  I know there's a few.  Who would you suggest?  And, how about a car rental?  Last time we were down we rented from Deadman's Taxi.  He was great, but, all the way over on the East End.  I noticed Jerry's by the ferry?  ????  Any recommendations would be appreciated.  I love your webpage with the webcams!!!!!  Foxy's???  Wow!!  Thanks.
Maybe we can buy you a beer at the regatta, I noticed you said you would be there.  How do I find you??  What's your name??
Check out D&D Car Rental  in West End, they will meet you with the car. Surfboard rental can he found here.
Look for the mermaid at the regatta, that will be me!  Enjoy the webcams, they keep you in the islands, if not in body, at least in mind and spirits!
See you soon!
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- we be surfin' mon!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 08:44:59 EST
It's a surfer's paradise this week! See photos from yesterday's surf at BVIwaves.com
Scattered showers will continue to punctuate  the day. Temperatures are in the low 80's with virtually no humidity. My weather clock shows smiley faces and rain drops, but no dark clouds.
Dear Miss Mermaid,
This is the mother of the surfer boy. We are headed your way on April 3 staying through the 10th and just can't wait to get there! I can't tell you how much we appreciate your daily updates. They keep us connected to the Island where our Number 1 Son lives so thank you very much. It would be nice to run into you while we're there. We are having dinner at Myett's Tuesday night and then will sit in on Quito's session. I am going to force my son to take us to Bumba's Friday or Saturday night. I'm sure we will be observing the surfing at Capoon's and Josiah's as often as our son can get out of work. We will be the southern family of 5 so if you see us please say hello!
Kindest Regards,
Family of the Southern Surfer Boy
Thank you for your kind email!  You might be pleased to know that Bomba's website added about 80+ pictures recently to their slideshow here.
Bomba's has LIVE music on Wednesdays and Sundays, so you might want to go then and dance on the beach under the stars.  You are missing the fool moon party on the 13th, what a shame!
Bomba still accepts donations of old bras and panties as well as leftover paint (though I don't think they let you fly with paint!)
As southerners, you will do fine here, t'ings are more relaxed, folks are friendly and like the south, they like a greeting such as good morning or good afternoon followed by a how-are-ya.  Good night here, though means hello and can also means goodbye, but mostly means hello.
You might want to see some of the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival, quite the party and fun for the family.
I will keep a lookout for you and if you see a mermaid frolicking in the waves,  it's probably me!

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- rose royce survives another day!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 08:46:46 EST
A brilliant day with light winds but they are supposed to pick up to around 16 knots for the race Saturday. Due to a front, swells are building for good surfing Thursday and Friday. Intermittent rains are expected today.
The jeep wars continue... or poor wittle Rose Royce... (my name for my rusty old jeep)
Sunday, I started the car and drove to Village Cay Marina. An hour later,  I had to get pushed off to start again and made it to Cane Garden Bay.  An hour later,  it miraculously started, but now it was getting dark and my headlights seemed to be getting dimmer, but maybe it was my tired eyes.
Woke up next morning, car won't start, popped open hood and there is alternator belt a tad shredded and dangling off her mounts. Walked to a local breakfast restaurant and got two guys to push me off.  It really only takes one guy who can push it 4 feet, but usually two show up as the thought of pushing a 1200 pound car with a mermaid in it, seems to scare them.
Got going and drove to town, was heading to my mechanics to let him deal with it, while I walked the next 1.5 miles to work.  However, someone pulled out in front of me, I slammed on brakes and I guess I didn't hit the clutch fast enough and the car DIED.
I turned the wheel and coasted into, low and behold, an auto parts store!  It wasn't the one I was headed for, it wasn't near my mechanics, but this is where the jeep died.
A little foreign guy, very well dressed,  with a clip board came out and started waving around "You no park there!  You move!"
I said "Well, my car won't start, the alternator belt broke, I came here to buy a new one."
He continued with the "You  move! No park there!" tirade when I said "Then push me!"
He began to push me and I saw the gate was open to their repair facility and it was on a downhill grade, so great, I can get restarted and park neatly. 
He pushed and I aimed to go through the gate and he starts yelling "Nooooo!  You must not block gate!  Noooo!"
I explained I was trying to start the car, reverse and get out of his way, but he was having none of this, he ran around to the front of the car (now I had to hit the brakes to keep from mowing him down!) and he begins pushing me out of the gate's way, so now I am in front of a building and no way to start the car unless someone can push me in reverse uphill now.  If he had let me be, the car would have rolled maybe 2 more feet and roared to life!
I sighed.  He waves his clipboard around. I held up my shredded alternator belt and told him I came to buy one.
He threw his arms up, looking at the heavens for mercy then said "I get you belt right now."  I could tell, I was ruining his Monday morning, and he was consulting his clipboard numerous times, looking nervously around him, because I was interfering with something on his lengthy list.
About 15 minutes later he comes back with the belt. I now have my engine hood up,letting the engine cool and wondering why I am standing here in my nice new dress trying to fix my muddy old rusty jeep. What kind of Monday is this?
He said "You need mechanic for this!"  Then he saw the wedge of wood holding the alternator in and his eyes grew wide with horror!  He ranted and raved about how my jeep needed major repairs and he consulted his clipboard and said "You leave jeep here, we fix on Wednesday".  Well this was 830am Monday, so you can understand MY hesitation.  3 days to get an alternator belt on?
He explained I needed alternator fixed.  I explained, I did not, that wedge of wood had performed flawlessly for months!  All I needed was to get the belt back on.  At this point, I leaned over the engine and began putting the belt on myself.
"No!  No!  No!  You need mechanic for this!"  and sweat broke out all over his forehead as he looked around helplessly wandering why a mermaid had entered his Monday morning and wrecked his day.
I intoned, "I can't miss anymore work!  Do you know how hard it is for a mermaid to find work?"  I just need to get this belt on and I can be ON MY WAY and OUT OF YOUR WAY (hoping this would appease him.)  I smiled all the while...while trying to daintily put the belt on without getting dirty (something impossible!) I was having trouble, so I get my hammer out of the jeep.
The guy with the clipboard, pops his eyes out and says "You no fix jeep with hammer!"   He said "Wait, I get you somebody else."  I figured he was going for the owner to get him to tell me off in proper English. He sashayed off, consulting his clip board, clucking his tongue, shaking his head side to side, like I had put him days behind with my ridiculous charades.
I see him go up to a guy who is sweeping up the shop and wave his hands wildly at him, while pointing back at me. The  shy man appeared at my side, while the man with the clipboard explains in a rapid language that neither of us seemed to understand but I got the gist of, as something like "this coocoo mermaid, needs an alternator belt, but she says this piece of wood holds the engine together and he disgustedly waved the piece of wood around.  This gets the shy man laughing and nodding and saying "Si!  Si!"
The clipboard man waltzes off, consulting his board and giving us sidelong glances. The shy man turns to me and takes the alternator belt and begins working on it. I begin my own explanation when he says "Se habla espanol?"
I say, "Pequeno!  Mi espanol es pelligrosso!" (a little, but my Spanish is dangerous!"
He laughs at this. So I say "Por favor habla lentamento, mi pienso lientamento"  (please speak slowly, I think slowly.) Then I add hopefully "Neccecito repara y neccecito maestro! (this needs repairing and I need a teacher!)
He laughs some more, and between his broken English and my fractured Spanish, we got the belt on and he came up with an ingenious solution to fix the alternator without the wedge of wood, but just in case, I saved the wood and put my hammer away.
Now he wants me to start the car, but I try to tell him the battery is dead and for the life of me I can't remember what dead is in espanol.
Finally I turn the key (nothing happens!) and he gets the idea. He comes back with a battery pack, the jeep roars to life, the alternator works, the fan turns and we are both quite happy.
The clipboard man is 40 feet away, waving his arms with his clipboard and talking to some employees. I reach into my wallet, fold up some bills (I know the employees are NOT supposed to take money direct...I know it SHOULD go through the front cashier) but I shake the man's hand, shoving the money very discreetly, giving him my best mermaid winking routine,  and say "Gracias! Gracias!  His eyes go wide and he thanks me too, carefully and casually slipping the money into his pocket, so no one sees us, and slips off back to work, waving for me to LEAVE, just LEAVE.  "Adios!  Adios!"  as he waves me off to back up and GO.
He points at the clipboard man, who has his back to us and is now about 60 feet away, and the shy man takes his finger and does a circle around his ear (like please don't make him any crazier!) or  "please don't upset him any further..."
So I smile and wave and off I go, very slowly, in case the clipboard sees me, I will stop and pay whatever he says, and claim I was just parking neater, but he didn't turn around, there was a long line of people at the parts window and it seemed I was being thoroughly ignored, as a royal pain in the tail, so I took my cue, and drove off.
I must apologize to my Spanish speakers and readers, my spelling of Spanish is as dangerous as my talking Spanish...

- white powder
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 09:26:54 EST
Very light winds, cloudy sky, it actually stormed  for a full 8 minutes yesterday.
Surf is UP and expected to get stronger Thursday and Friday. Marinas and anchorages are full of boats, as many have come over for the BVI Spring Regatta happening all week.
Recently a man was arrested for entering the BVI with undeclared cash totaling over $30,000.  He said he ran a bakery in St Thomas and there was a flour shortage on both St Thomas and Puerto Rico and he was over here to buy flour.
The judge took a recess, called a few grocery stories and determined that Tortola does NOT have $30,000 worth of flour on hand, and had no large orders from any bakery in St Thomas.  Furthermore she discovered that the bakery the man claimed to own, was owned by his father and it had been closed for quite some time. (perhaps he had many backorders to fill?)
She finally fined him the $30,000 and deported him and told him whatever white powder he came over here to buy, it most certainly was NOT flour...
I think I would have said I came over to buy white beach sand, we have plenty of that and the price fluctuates...
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- gone surfing!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 07:26:07 EST
Surf's up and getting better, lots of surfers are missing work or already on vacation so it will be a fun day!  I hope to get pictures, but I have a full day booked on the other side of the island UGH!
The Sir Francis Drake channel is pretty flat, as can be seen from the Cooper Island web cam and the Leverick Bay cam.  This weekend, the Nanny Cay web cams will be fun to watch, as the regatta village opens today. This weekend will be the major parties with food booths set up.
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- Royboy
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 15:27:42 EST
Warm and sunny, nice and breezy, we need rain.  Surf will be up Sunday and Monday, however, Tuesday and Wednesday are promising to be even better for surfing.  Of course sailing is perfect right now, clear view of the islands abound as do nice trade winds.
They put a new muffler on the old rusty jeep, figured out her wiring nightmares and got me going again.  I think my hearing may be coming back, as driving that loud mufflerless t'ing was nerve wracking.
However, they wiggled my wood chunk holding my alternator in place, so this morning, two guys were working in the land lady's garden when I came out, hopped in my jeep, turned the key and barely got an anemic grunt from my jeep.
I got out, opened the hood and saw the piece of wood was loose.  SInce I now drive with a hammer, for just such emergencies, I gave it a few loud twacks, while the two gardeners stared in horror as this crazy woman weilding a hammer at her engine. 
Once I was satsified the alternator was whacked in nice and tight, I slammed the lid, walked over and asked them for a little push, as the parking area is flat. 
The old jeep started within 4 feet and QUIETLY purred to life.  That QUIET was the nicest thing.  A jeep without a muffler sounds louder than a jet!
Dear Miss Mermaid,
Hurry back, yea right....sabarock's video cam and your posts are all that keep me from goin' nuts here.  Thanks for the time you spend..... man I miss it....

My Dear Royboy,
    That is the sweetest note ever!  I will endeavor to keep you entertained. 
P.S.  Mermaids are  always single...
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- clear skies, light winds
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 06:06:46 EST
Today we have clear blue skies and light winds.  Last night it was quite chilly and I was bundled up in blankets, an afghan and a comforter.

We've had a few unscheduled power outages this week, just to keep us on our toes. I've been eating last year's hurricane foods and emptying out the pantry, to start anew.
Many of our winter residents are starting to pack up and move north again. 
This weekend is the Rolex Regatta in St Thomas and then the next weekend is our famed BVI Spring Regatta starting Monday and running through the April Fool's weekend.  Parties and live music will beheld at Nanny Cay.
If you can't be here for the festivities, then check out the Nanny Cay web cams and you will see Dear Miss Mermaid and thousands of others partying quite often at the various food booths and bars set up.
See you there!
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- Good Samaritans
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 09:14:17 EST
Well yesterday it rained for 20 seconds.  Today it sprinkled off and on a good 4 minutes. Winds are light and sky is blue with a few big puffy clouds. Swells are down, so surfing is out for today.
Last week, I hit a nasty pot hole and my muffler fell off. I pulled over, tossed it in the back of the jeep and kept going at an ear shattering pace. I was on my way to take a birthday lady out to Coco Plums to celebrate. We had to drive over Zion Hill and next to that huge great wall.
The muffler is exceptionally loud going uphill and the wall amplified it ten fold. We sounded like a heavy metal band coming into Capoons Bay. Neither of us realized how the badly the loud muffler (or lack of, I should say) had affected us both, until we sat down to order.  My friend yells to the waitress standing 14 inches away,  "I'll have a glass of Pinot Grigio" and I yell "That sounds good, I'll have that too!" and everyone in the restaurant turned around to stare at us as the waitress jumped backwards, dropping her order pad and holding  her ears.
Luckily, I had parked on a hill, and when we left the restaurant, lo and behold the car wouldn't start. So I merely rolled down the hill and varoom, we were loudly on our way.
At Jolly Roger, there was no where to park on a hill, I figured the car had enough charge by now to start when we left. I was wrong. So I popped open the hood and saw that the wedge of wood holding my alternator on had come loose. For an explanation of that  repair, see "Good Samaritan Saves the Mermaid Again" on the  January 11th, weather report (scroll down by dates.)
Great!  I asked around and saw quite a few work trucks in the parking lot and managed to borrow a hammer and get that repair wedged back in.  The band gave me a push (they had to go on break cause I was leaving and my muffler (or lack of!) is louder than their 42 speakers but  I rumbled off home, the band played on,  and the next morning, the jeep purred to life.
Yesterday, after work,  I went to make an appointment to get the muffler stuck back on, but the mechanic looked at the 16 year old hunk of rust I had lovingly saved and suggested I might need a new one. 
Last night, right at dark thirty, I find myself heading home when  I hit a new huge deep pot hole and was plunged into darkness.  Luckily I was able to get my emergency flashers going.  I flagged down a good Samaritan who tried to light up my engine with his headlights,  so I could see what was wrong, but we couldn't see anything but dark shadows.
So this good Samaritan offered to drive behind me, all the way to my home,  with his high beams on, and that lit up the road and I was able to drive at a normal speed and get home in one piece (rumbling quite loudly!)
My jeep is only 16 years old, I can't figure out why so much is going wrong with it!
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- elephant tales
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 06:33:16 EST
Dead winds. Flat seas. Dry air. Blue skies. Birds are chirping and roosters are crowing, sounds carry far when the seas are this calm and the winds are this dead. It was still chilly last night, I had to use a heavy blankie to keep my tail warm and a cat on my feet while I slept to prevent frost bite.
If you are a tad bored, check and see What's New in the BVI
If you are in the BVI or coming to the BVI, check out the updated Calendar of BVI events.
For music and band listings, see entertainment.
For fun and giggles, check out today's silly cat pics.
And Speaking of elephants...
    When I was growing up, the circus would come to town once a year. They camped on the outskirts of town with this huge menagerie of exotic animals used in the circus routines. Then the day of the first show,  they would have the elephant parade and ride the elephants through town to the auditorium as well as march and lead the other exotic animals down main street and so on until they reached the auditorium where the circus was held.
    There was rich man who was known to get a tad drunk at times.  This irritated his wife and she threatened to throw him out for his heavy drinking. To appease her, he sobered up for an entire month and then he brought home a brand new Cadillac for her.  This bought him more time and welcoming arms from his wife and she canceled her divorce attorney.
    The next day, the Cadillac had to be registered, and he told his wife he would drive it to town and do this for her.  After spending half the day at the car registration office in the long lines, he sped off to work and wasn't paying attention that the once a year elephant parade was going down main street.  He was waiting at a stop light at a blind corner, and didn't realize the parade had just started, to his right, behidn a very tall building, with the elephants at the lead. He hit the gas when the light turned green and turned right and KER-BANG, he hit an elephant which crumpled up his brand new Cadillac's front fender.
    This annoyed the elephant, as well as the sober driver. He began to open his door to get out and give the elephant trainer a piece of his mind, but the irritated elephant, merely kicked his car door shut, causing it to jam shut and leaving another dent.
    The police came along and wrote him a ticket for interfering with the parade and the elephant wasn't ticketed at all, because after all, the elephant had a parade permit and the elephant had the right away.
    Finally the man made it to work, a bit harried looking and told his boss that he was late because he was registering his wife's new Cadillac and then he ran into an elephant who dented his front bumper then kicked his car door and jammed it.
    His boss, having years of excuses from the hapless drunk, pronounced the man drunk and banished him from the office for the day, to go home and sober up.
    The man couldn't believe it, he WAS sober and no one believed him. So he drove to his insurance company to file a claim on his brand new Cadillac, and the insurers, also used to paying out hefty claims for his past drunken exploits, laughed and heehawed him out of the office and told him to come back another day, when he was sober.
    He drove home to his wife, and she sees the mashed up Cadillac through the window and meets him at the door, and angrily asks him what he has done to her new car!  He climbs across the front seat and out the passenger door and explains that he hit an elephant and the elephant got mad and kicked the driver's door in and it was jammed.
    His wife was having none of this and pronounced him drunk and locked him out of the house, threatening to call her divorce lawyer again.
    Finally the downtrodden sober man, drove off to the bar in the dented Cadillac and proceeded to get very drunk.
    Around dark thirty, he figures he will sedately drive home and sneak in the back door and sleep on the couch.
    But the cops pull him over, and now it's a new shift and different cops. They order him out of the car and he tells them he can't get out, cause an elephant kicked his door in and jammed it.
    The cops pull him out of his car and haul him off to jail.
    In jail someone asks him what he is in for and he starts off with, well I was driving downtown when I hit an elephant...
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- beware the shoe thiefs!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 09:42:22 EST
Yesterday was hot, and  there was a good crowd at Smugglers Cove beach and quite the party going on.  But, bBeware of the shoe thief!  Tales are coming in  from all over the islands about the shoe thieves.
A couple went surfing at Capoons Bay, they left their shoes and shorts in a tree, when they came back the ladies $40 pair of sandals were gone but the shorts were still there.
Another couple went for a walk on Long Bay, and the lady left her shoes at one end of the beach, then they did a round trip walk, and when they got back, her shoes were no where to be found.
I have heard at Smugglers Cove that there is  a shoe thief  out there too, but never knew anyone personally who lost their shoes until yesterday.
My friend B. rode out there with me and she was wearing her $30 crocs and I warned her abut the shoe thief, and since I am a mermaid, I wasn't wearing any shoes.    Well guess what, her crocs VANISHED!  She was heartbroken and of course we are all incredulous that Tortola has shoe thiefs!  HOLY COW!
What do you do with used shoes?  The crocs I sort of understand, you can clean them up to look like new again, but what has happened here?  Why are we being plagued by shoe thieves?
I hope this is just a passing fad. 
all clickable links are underlined

- surfing on all fours
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 07:12:10 EST
Another glorious day in paradise.  We still need rain. Things are drying up some. We've had several good years of nice greenery around here.
Another lengthy power outage yesterday. They just bought more generators for the BVI Electricity Corporation, but from the size of them, I say it's like putting a band aid on a foot amputation...
They have formed a web site (link above) where you can read about scheduled outages.  The problem is, they don't seem to schedule these things. More like a 30 second notice. We have tried to get them to send out a mass email notifying us of scheduled outages, but that is far too complicated for them.
Surfing on all fours might be easier...

all clickable links are underlined

- how good can it get?
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 09:10:01 EST
Another great day in paradise. We sure could use some rain to settle the dust and green up the place, many plants have gone brown and that is not good.
Hey the Willie T at Norman Island wants you to have a free drink!  Just click here and scroll down to March 16th and POOF!  Print out your coupon and have a freebie!
If you are dreaming of being in the BVI, then check out the webcams, Jolly Roger got his working again, you can watch boats sail in and out of Sopers Hole. Also, lots of great underwater cams there too, in case you want to dive from your desktop today!

- light winds, nothing to blow me down
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 08:20:24 EST
Winds are light today, nothing like the dust storm we had last Wednesday! 
A week ago, the winds howled and dust was blowing thickly through the air, making sight a tad difficult.  I was in an open air bar and much to the dismay of the wait staff, the tables, bar and chairs quickly became coated with a thick layer of dust.  I went home to dusty kitties and a very dirty home, as my 12 windows were all open during the dust storm.  ACHOO!!!
Today it is nice and clear, a great day to rent a car and go sight seeing.
In case you are wondering, I went off island for a while and got super sick and came home, laying around my lair for over a week.  I am going to venture out today and pray I don't pass out from the effort.
I am gearing up my energy for the HiHo Surf Competition this weekend.  Look for the mermaid!

- snowing sunshine again!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 13:36:58 EST
Weather is stunningly gorgeous and a perfect day for limin' at the beach or out on the town.
If you are wondering what to do in and around the British Virgin Islands, check out the new

- Miss Mermaid returns!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 05:20:58 EST
Sun is just popping up and when it pops, it shines brightly.  Not much dawn here, maybe 5 minutes of dawn then nice bright sun is up flash in your face!
When I lived on my boat, the sun would pop in the hatch over my head and wake me up at dawn. We scoffed at landlubbers who slept an extra hour or two, we in the harbours were up and ready for the world with the crack of dawn, literally.
Now you can get a free drink coupon, good at the Wily T, just follow the link to the "What's New" page then scroll down for the FREE coupon link and print yours out!
I meant to post this yesterday (oops!)  but I was still suffering mightily from the flu and I forgot.
Last night was the fool moon parties.  If you missed them, there is one or more each month!  In a month when we have 2 full moons, the 2nd one is called a blue moon.
Did you know that as you read this the moon is moving away from us! Scientists say that when the moon was formed it was about 14,000 miles from earth. It is now more than 280,000 miles away! So you had better make the most of the full moon parties before the moon disappears from sight for ever!  See Bombas  and Trellis Bay for full moon party listings for 2006.

- I go to come back, but soon come!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 08:46:54 EST
Just a gorgeous day in paradise!  A great day to go sailing, or swimming or snorkeling or surfing. 
I've decided to go flying, today, then pick up a boat in St Maarten tonight  and go cruising, then next weekend  to the 26th annual Heineken Regatta in St Maarten. 
    I won't be writing for the BVI weather for a little while, as I have decided to avoid computers and phones, and just concentrate on limin...
Don't worry, me son, I answer all your email when I get back.
Limin: to hang about idly or to go out on the town
Dat be me, mon!
So, I go to come back, and if ya wondering when I be back, I tell you mon, "soon come!" cause I be relaxing myself...
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- another warm and sunny day
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 08:20:45 EST
Just another gorgeous day in paradise!  A great day for serious limin at the beach!
Dear Miss Mermaid has decided to go search some other shores.  Mermaids get lonesome so I've decided to hit a few islands and see if any other mermaids exist.
Also in search of a seafarer male who might like an old mermaid around...hey, I am only 4, 646 years old!
After February 26, look for me on St Maarten, or St Kitts, or St Barts or Nevis or St Eustatia or Anguilla or Saba or Tintamarre.  I'm the mermaid with the long brown hair and tan.
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- bouncing back!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 08:21:17 EST
Snowing sunshine, bright blue skies, no rain expected today.
Pussers has reopened. Got a special on well done steaks...

- lovely weather, smoke odors abating
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 10:09:12 EST
Weather is overcast, but not raining. 78 degrees and nice and comfy. We expect occasional short showers, and I must admit, I like rain!
Pusser's Landing kitchen in Sopers Hole Marina on Frenchmans Cay was completely destroyed by fire. An employee went to light the stove at 11am, and BIG-BANG-BOOM.  I thought we might be having an earthquake except the tremor was so brief.
Needless to say, accumulations of grease (remember all those wings, fritters and fires?) fueled the fire as did winds which seemed to suddenly pick up. Boaters grabbed crash pumps and began battling the blaze with sea water,  while the fire department and ambulance was en route.   The employee was admitted to the hospital with burns to her face and arm.  My prayers go out to her, burns are horrendous and disfiguring. Please take a moment to say a prayer for her.
Finally the blaze was brought under control and while the walls of the kitchen are still standing, I sure wouldn't stand near them!  The kitchen is actually located in the back of  the building on the second floor and a small elevator, what we used to call a dumb waiter, was used to send food down to the first
Amazingly, from the front of the building you cannot tell a thing has happened. The bar remained opened until about 5pm, then they closed up for the weekend with hopeful promises of reopening on Monday. The electrical's for all of Pussers up and downstairs was destroyed, so the bar had no electricity.  All the other businesses continue to have electricity and remained open though some have smoke damage as not all the stores are air conditioned with doors closed at all times.
Pisces Restaurant, across the road from the Sopers Hole Wharf, was not damaged and continues to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner while Pussers rebuilds.

- Fire and Rain
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 11:42:10 -0500
We still have scattered showers, but not enough to put out the awful fire at PUSSERS kitchen in Sopers Hole Marina!
Yes, around 11am this morning the kitchen at PUSSERS caught on fire.  A nearby boat, that had a water pump on board, put the fire out about half hour before the local fire department arrived.

- too funny!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 07:56:38 EST
Yesterday it poured down rain, today it is overcast but still summery.  The islands are busy as folks come down here dusting off their snow boots and slathering their pasty white bodies with sunscreen and sand.  By, next week, they will either be beet red or golden brown and very relaxed!
The same truck driver in the same truck, did it again!  Unbelievable!  A few weeks ago, he picked up a load of small rocks, bigger than gravel, but not boulders, and took off without locking his dump truck tail gate. Speeding down the road, he hits a bump and suddenly the gate swings open and the highway is littered with rocks everywhere.
Many of us had places to be, while the driver stopped, got out and stood around scratching his head. So we tossed rocks off to the side, enough to clear one lane of the road, hopped back in our cars and took turns negotiating the one lane so we could get going.
In my rear view mirror, I could see the truck driver still standing there with jaw open, scratching his head as I sped off, on my way.
So yesterday, I go flying down the seaside  road at a good clip, at least 32 miles per hour, and right in front of me this truck pulls out of the rock quarry.  I honk and slow down to keep from crashing under his tailgate. I think, lordy, this guy is BLIND if he can't see a BRIGHT red jeep coming down the road.
It is the he same truck that dumped his rocks a few weeks back. I couldn't see what was in his truck, but he starts flooring it and grinding the gears until he is speeding way ahead of me. 
Then it starts happening.  The tail gate opens a few inches, and gravel starts tumbling out.  I slow down, so the gravel won't hit me, but I can't see to pass around him. Then suddenly  a BIG load of gravel comes flying out the back, while he is still speeding down the road, covering about 300-400  yards of the road in a four inch layer of gravel.
The truck slows down and stops. I slow down, to negotiate the new gravel terrain on the highway.
Same driver. He stands there with his jaw open, scratching his head.
I beep at him and pass him.
In my rearview mirror I see him standing there scratching his head.

- raining sunshine!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 10:44:33 EST
Another gorgeous day, so far no rains today!  We have had quite a bit of rain all week, just heavy short showers, but enough to make for mud puddles and general slop everywhere.
Scooters and motorcycles are getting popular here.  But some folks still have few brains left to drive them.  I was in heavy traffic, when this guy on a motorcycle, who is in the other lane coming at me, decides to stop and play around.  Now there is traffic everywhere, and he tries to rev up the motorcycle to throw it back on the rear wheel and weave through traffic on one wheel!
I was mortified, cars and trucks everywhere, and folks trying to cut into traffic from a side road and a parking lot, plus two hitch hikers trying to catch a ride, so it was the general mayhem of crush hour.  This guy gets his motorbike up on one rear wheel, then looses control of it and now he is headed for ME!  I am thinking, I sure hope he has GOOD insurance cause I would like a better car. But at the last second, he dumps the bike and is nearly crushed by a cement truck growling by. WHAT was he thinking?  Isn't everyone on the lookout for a motorbike thrown back on one wheel, riding  in the 3rd non-existent lane?  Which it should be noted, the driver couldn't see with his front wheel in the air, when he leaned over to look, I think that is when he lost control. 
I don't think the cement truck ever saw this guy, or he just didn't care. One doesn't expect to meet a head-on blind motorbike driver, flung back on one wheel coming at you head on!
Fortunately the motorbike driver did have his  helmet firmly strapped on, unfortunately, he landed on his head. One driver yelled out the window "He ain't hurt, it was just his head he mash up!"  Indeed, if you have no brains and you land on your head, is there anything left to injure?
I get maybe three miles down the road, and there is another motorbike rider.  This one has his helmet on, but the straps are blowing in the wind. So if he should crash, the first thing to be tossed off will be that helmet. Why bother wearing one if you aren't going to use the strap to hold it on in the event of a crash?  To make things twice as funny, he is trying to steer with ONE hand while he eats a mango with the other hand and he is wobbling quite uncertainly down the road, trying to figure out how to change gears with one hand while still munching and dripping away with a mango.  What I want to know is, WHERE did he find a mango this time of year?
Sometimes I wish they would test folks for competency before issuing licenses. I think your IQ should be above room temperature, at least, to get a driving license, but heck, they don't even test for your eyes here or make you produce a certificate to prove you had them checked.
AND that my friend, sums up a lot of the bad drivers around here, THEY CAN'T SEE!

- surf was fun!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 09:23:14 EST
Scattered showers fall intermittantly.  Surf has subsided, but the weekend was fantastic.
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- partly cloudy
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 12:22:58 EST
Surf was up yesterday and is up today too!  Rained a lot yesterday though, and we've had some scattered showers today, but not much.
Sky is overcast and I hope to finish up my work and go shoot some more surf pics and post them for you.
The Full Moon parties come up soon, one at Bomba's and one at Trellis Bay.
Warm and Sunny Regards,


  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 07:40:31 EST
Last message went out to quickly, this was the final sentence...

- (no subject)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 07:26:01 EST
Winds are slight to moderate. Sky is partly cloudy with chance of full sunshine later in the day.
Saturday the surf will be up at Bomba's and Cane Garden Bay!  So plan your weekend.
Lots of fun events coming up like the Sweethearts and Classic Yacht Regatta. Then of course there is the fool moon party at Bomba's and the
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- brrr
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 08:19:54 EST
Well temperatures dropped to a bone chilling 68 degrees last night.  Morning brought beautiful blue skies and moderate winds.
I just love these underwater web cams, looking at the fishes, it's like diving everyday!  Not all work all the time, the German Bank Aquarium is some bank in Germany that has the world's largest aquarium. Maes you wonder about German banking fees...
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- m'aidez
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 07:56:32 EST
Cloudy and overcast with scattered showers today. Surf was up and ferocious over the weekend, Cane Garden Bay was surfable but Bomba's was way too rough. 
The waves crashed in on the north shore, covering the beaches and leaving beach goers running for the trees.  Swimming was like tossed salad and so rough, your bathing suit could get knocked off (as happened to me!)  The bars however were doing a brisk business.
From the mailbag:
Q: Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use "mayday" as their call for help?
This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning "help me" -- and is pronounced "mayday."  French was at one time the "official" language of international communication. . Inmarsat radio-telephone calls to ships were billed in gold francs.  Radio terms "securite" and "pan-pan" are also of French origin.
Securite is a type of warning message transmitted by radio. Securite messages are used to warn of impending storms, navigational hazards and other potential problems that are not immediately life threatening by themselves.
A call of pan-pan is a very urgent message concerning the safety of a ship, aircraft or other vehicle, or persons on board who do not require immediate assistance. It is distinct from a mayday which is used when an aircraft , ship (or other vehicle) and its occupants are threatened by grave and imminent danger and require immediate assistance. Thus, pan-pan indicates urgency whereas mayday indicates distress.
If you are using the radio, repeat the word 3 times, such as "mayday, mayday,mayday" then announce the emergency.
Same for a warning, start out with "securite, securite" securite"
Use Securite for "big fat ship passing through tiny little channel, so stay clear or get squished"
Use Pan Pan for "our dinghy rode broke and now it is adfrit in the Bermuda triangle..."
Use Mayday for "our ship is sinking and we are out of rum..."
Hope this helps!  Bon Voyage!

Warm and Sunny Regards,


- woo hoo, the wind can howl and the moon ain't even full!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 09:53:09 EST
BLUSTERY is today's word. It blew up a stink last night and I wouldn't be surprised if a few people had their dinghies flip over and play turtle. The wind just HOWLED.  Even today, it is overcast and the winds are really kicking up mightily.
I am going to stay put and listen to some Jimmy Buffet.
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- a word to the wise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 08:35:11 EST
Warm and sunny, snowing sunshine everywhere. White caps in the Sir Francis Drake Channel. All is well!
From the mailbag
   Thank you for your response about what you do and why you do it!  Now that I have that background, I'll fire off a question regarding my upcoming sailing trip this summer! 
   I typically sail in the latter part of June to avoid the crowds at the beaches as well as the hurricanes!  This year, however, we are coming out in mid July, which is obviously getting closer to the hurricane peak season.  Do you know where tourists go if there is a threat of or actual hurricane that comes through the BVI?  My guess is that people in hotels stay put, but if you are like me and on a sailboat, you won't have accommodations!  Any ideas here?
A sailor looking for refuge
Well, if you are bareboating, the company will have very specific instructions and you won't be staying on the boat during a hurricane.
Don't even DREAM of staying on bard during a hurricane, I don't care how macho you are, DON'T DO IT!  Once you are on board during a hurricane, you can't get off, if you change your mind!  Also, you can't do a thing about your anchors or dragging in 100+ mile per hour winds. Dinghies if left in the water, will flip right over and flood the engine.
Take my friend, who I won't name, he stayed on his boat during a hurricane, and barely survived to tell about it. It made him crazy too.  He has never been the same, he quit working on boats (he was a professional captain too) his marriage fell apart and this once drug free, non drinking captain succumbed to the gutter. Years, later, he has climbed back out and making a go of putting on roofing now, but he was a wonderful captain until he opted to save the boat over his own life.  Which the boat he tried to save, still suffered over $30,000 in damages and it wasn't even HIS boat and it was INSURED!  So where was the sense in that?
Another man had his boat go out to sea, in pieces, and he managed to swim ashore through some sort of miracle, but when he arrived, he was naked with one snorkel flipper for cover.   The waves literally ripped his clothes and snorkel mask and other flipper right off. Imagine wondering around in the storm, naked, with a  fin for cover... He was eventually transferred to a hospital after the hurricane as he also lost a good bit of his rear end.  So if you see a one-ass man around, that's him! 
Another couple, living high on a cliff near the ocean, noticed their car light was on and they were overly worried about draining the battery.  During the lull of the storm, they ran out to save the car and found a bloody naked body curled up in the car without the strength left in him to shut the car door. His boat had crashed on the cliffs below and he had scaled this near vertical cliff, ripping his hands and feet to shreds and he too, arrived naked. (This was a different guy, but amazingly both men started out in the same harbor, before the storm.)
Another man had his boat break up and as he clung to wreckage he was washed out to sea and deposited on a deserted island, where he clung to a tree the remainder of the storm. Four days later, he is still on the deserted island and drinking salty water out of rock crevices. Incredibly on day 5, a kayak washed up on shore, but he couldn't make any headway with just his hands for paddles. The next day, one oar washed up, and on day 6, he paddles weakly out to sea, with the one oar and a flip flop.  A passing boat noticed the skin and bones man, sun burned and in tattered shorts and picked him up out of the ocean. He was so delirious it was another 2 days before he could tell anyone who he was or what had happened to him.
Now that is just some of the tales from survivors!  Many sailors simply vanished and no one knows what ever became of them.
So, if you are bareboating, take your boat to where ever the bareboat company instructs you, this could be their home base or it could be Paraquita Bay, on the south side, eastern end of Tortola, an excellent hurricane hole where boats are rafted up with tires and fenders, chained to moorings and tied to mangroves.
It would be a blessing too, if you help the charter company prepare the boat for the hurricane as everything must come off the deck including all sails and stowed below, which means there won't be much, if any, room left for you to stay aboard.
Then go stay in a nice sturdy concrete hotel and wait for the storm to pass. Friendly folks may offer to take you in their concrete homes, My tiny concrete apartment has always overflowed with wayward sailors during a hurricane.
Also, when I had my own boat, someone always took me in during a storm, as mama didn't raise any fools and no way was I going to stay aboard my boat, even though she wasn't insured for a dime.
I simply put everything down below, put out six anchors with mountains of rode  and  tons of chafing gear. Then I went ashore, bearing gifts of rum and food and rum.  Many times, I took my cockpit cushions with me, so I had padding on the floor  when I slept  in someone else's home as usually it was crowded.
I could go on and on with the hurricane tales, matter of fact in my upcoming book, these and many other tales are told with more details.

- weather is here, wish you were gorgeous!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 13:35:10 EST
Title: AOL Email
Another wonderful day in paradise. No showers yet, but frankly, I wish it would pour down rain and settle the dust from the construction around me. *Cough* *sputter*.
Don't forget that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
Bored?  Check out what's new.

- great day to be alive! so glad it ain't snowing!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 08:27:54 EST
80 degrees and sunny.  Waters still a bit choppy but swell have surf have laid down. The past week or so,the marinas have done a brick business as some of the northern anchorages were too rocky.
If you are longing for a visit to the islands, check out these colorful guides.
My neighbor was bit by a stray rabid dog yesterday!  So  I went to see how he was and found him writing frantically on a piece of paper. I told him rabies could be cured and he didn't have to worry about writing a Will just yet. He said, "Will? What Will? I'm making a list of the people I plan to bite!"
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- choppy mess
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 09:08:38 EST
Weather is gorgeous today, great to see the sun out in full force.  Seas continue to be choppy but the north swell has abated a good bit and the winds are not near as gusty as they have been.  Still, we have our Christmas winds, so it will make for a brisk and fast day of sailing, if you are out on the water.
Someone (we won't mention names or the charter company)  managed to crash into Little Thatch Island this weekend, and knock a BIG hole in the side of their sailboat.  Luckily no one was injured but the boat had to be rushed to the haulout in West End for repairs.
I remember a few years ago, this group rented a bareboat sailboat, and went sailing up wind, which of course makes the monohull heel over a good bit.  But, they forgot to shut all the side portholes, those nifty ports down the sides of some boats, to give you more lighting and air down below. .  The sailors (if you can call them that!) slowly sailed deeper and deeper until only about 2 feet of the mast stuck out of the water when they bottomed out.
The bareboat company went out to salvage the boat and raise it again and call the insurance company about this latest mishap.  Meanwhile, the charter guests show up, dripping wet and demanded a new boat from the charter company, which refused to give them another one. So they screamed and hollered for a refund, which was of course denied, then they insisted on free hotel rooms, also denied. Moral of the story is of course, don't sink the boat you rent...
Honestly, I would have been much too embarrassed to ask for another boat...and doubtful if I would have had the nerve to even show my face around the bareboat company again. I think I would have very quietly left the islands for Siberia...
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- web cam peeks
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 07:54:47 EST
It was stormy much of Sunday afternoon, with noisy wind gusts. Te evening and night brought on more mini storms and the ocean was roaring rather loudly.  This morning it is overcast with choppy seas.  The sun is expected to make a cameo appearance.
You can see for yourself at BVI Webcams. 
Besides nifty BVI links to web cams, there are also underwater and sea critter cams.  Look for mermaids!
Warm and Sunny Regards,


- fleece
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 08:34:34 EST
Today it is overcast with virtually no winds. The sun is playing peek-a-boo, but I expect this won't deter the beach goers any. Temps are in the low 80's with no humidity but my tail is  real chilly and wrapped in fleece (I know, go ahead and laugh, but I get cold real easy!)
Yesterday it was quite gusty and the KATS (kids and the sea) were trying to learn to sail. What they learned, was how to flip over and right their boats a lot, which can be good training as well, so that when it happens again, they sure won't be bashful about getting the boat righted again.
I ran across your journal entries after searching for shark attack information in the BVI's.  I'm curious...what started the journal?  Are you living in the BVI's now or just visiting?  if you live there, what do you do for work?
Oh yeah, just so you know, I have sailed there twice before, and plan to again this summer! 
Never bitten by a shark
I began writing during a hurricane umpteen years ago on St John, I will have to look back and see,  about ten years ago,  I think, um maybe longer, like 12 or so.  Anyhow, I was living on the sea but had taken refuge ashore in a borrowed  unfurnished apartment,  sitting on the floor with my laptop on a milk crate, typing by candle light and using my laptop battery for power.  I was plugged into a cell phone, that was still working, (there were 3 cell phones on the island at that time, and I had one of them!)  and uploading info about the hurricane to StormCarib.com as it raged around us, and that is how DearMissMermaid got her start!
Yes, I now live in the BVI full time, having moved here as a hurricane refugee from St John after the Marilyn and Luis strikes, 10 days apart that stripped me of everything except my boat. That in the mid 90's, gosh I seem bad on dates, must be cause this mermaid is getting on up there in years, ya know I am way past 21 now...
I currently try to do as little as possible for work, (I WISH!!!) but I am forced to go out and catch tuna now and then.  Some folks toss tuna to me for free (see toss some tuna to feed DearMissMermaid) and I am eternally grateful as I am in the process of publishing a book and ya know how writers starve until the book comes out...

- gusty noisy winds
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2006 11:35:14 EST
82 degrees and winds are 10-15 mph with gusts of 20-35 mph.  Sun is out nice and bright.   It's a great day for the beaches and beach bars.
Things we don't really want to know...
Do fish really pee in water?  Do fish pee at all?
A while back I was at a very remote beach.  About 30 folks lazed about on the shore and in the water. Someone had set up a casual bar and was selling drinks under the shade. I sat there talking with the bartender. I guess he had made a pretty stiff drink for one male patron who stumbled up, ordered another then inquired about a restroom.
At that time, the beach had no restroom facilities, so the bartender explained his options; either hike 50 feet back into the woods or go in the ocean.
So the drunken tourist, stumbled out to the edge of the sea and stood there gazing out at the ocean with glassed over eyes as he unzipped, whipped out his privates and took a pee for all to see, making loud splashes and finally he finished with a loud groan.
Naturally, this disgusted the swimmers and the beach goers, as this was all in  plain sight. I have never seen a beach empty out so fast, as folks hastily grabbed their stuff, car doors slammed and engines cranked to life.
DearMissMermaid recommends a visit with nature in the woods.
However, if you want a beach entirely to yourself, there ARE ways of clearing it....(yuck!)
Reggae Sexy Single String Bikini Bottom

- Bright and Sunny Boo Boo
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 09:41:20 -0500
It poured down rain in the wee hours of the morning.  Kitty came home soaking wet, begging for a towel, usually he just prefers to be "punked up" as in, have his fur brushed backwards so he can air dry (and look silly!)  But today, he was soaked and came drip, drip, dripping into my bed.  Now THAT is one way to get me to wake up, towel dry the kitty and fetch his tuna breakfast.  I lvoe rain, so I went back to sleep for awhile.
The sun came up and it was bright and sunny with scattered mud puddles.  Temps rose to nearly 78 degrees by 9am.
The Frenchmans Cay Bridge is still the scene of much mayem.  Today some fast driving tourists ignored teh stop sign and crashed into a boat.  OOOOPS!  I wish I could get the dang camera to work on my cell phone, it would have made a hilarious picture, thought the boat owner wasn't too happy.
He was driving a truck, pulling his boat and coming off the bridge onto Frenchmans Cay and he had right of way.  Not because he is so large, but because the Frenchman's Cay traffic now has STOP signs, but no one (including the tourists it seems) pay them any attention, so we continually have fender benders and near misses and today, the jeep hit the boat.
Some of my photos are now famous!  See the fantiastic Cane Garden Bay surf shots on the slideshow at

- WOWIE!!!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2006 09:11:32 EST
It started raining hard about 4am and continued until daylight.  We have a flood warning in effect, but the sun is shining and the surf is WAY UP!  See current surf conditions at BVIwaves.com
Cane Garden Bay is double overhead and no way can you anchor your boat there.  Check out alternate anchorages here.   We expect 14 foot waves by Saturday in Cane Garden Bay, just incredible!
If you need a place to stay in the BVI, check out these accommodations in villas from $900 a week and up.

- BIG swell
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 11:38:43 -0500
Today it is bright and sunny with a huge northerly swell rolling in. This makes the Sir Francis Drake Channel calm as a mirrored lake and the north shore quite sloppy.
Last night it poured down rain again and the roads were messy this morning with mud and small rock slides.
Someone took out part of  the Frenchmans Cay bridge, but it is still drivable, just NO RAILINGS to prevent you from driving into the ocean or falling in, so BEWARE if you are drunk and stumbling or driving around that area.
Surfers are out in full force at Bomb'a, Josiah's Bay, Smugglers Cove and Cane Garden Bay.
Surfing info, maps and great pictures at
The webmaster promises to add more pictures later today for your enjoyment.

- rain and sun
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 10:01:02 EST
It poured down rain all night. Seas were flat Sunday at the beach, but waves are starting to kick up today, Monday. Surfing should be superb by tomorrow.
See recent surf pictures at BVIwaves.com (DearMissMermaid submitted several of these fantastic shots!)
Wishing you were in the BVI?  See What's New here.

- Fool Moon Tonight!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 18:39:32 EST
Tonight is the fool moon party at the Bomba Shack on Tortola. The weather is a bit rough, wild seas, scattered showers, and the harbor in West End is packed to the max as folks get ready for the full moon celebration.  Currently it is 74 degrees. 
For more info on Bomba's Full Moon parties click here.

- earthquake on Friday the 13th
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 07:59:48 EST

  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 23:31:13 EST
I feel the earth move, under my feet, I feel the sky come tumbling down, I feel my heart start to tremble...
    lyrics sung by Carole King
Friday the 13th and we had an earthquake at 12:13am!
Loud rumbling noises and the whole 3 story building shook. I got up to go run for the balcony then run for the door and out back but by then the shaking had stopped.

  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 16:03:02 EST
Lovely weather today, no rain in site.  Everyone is talking  about the cool nights and how they bundle up to stay warm when the temperatures plummet to the 70's.  If it gets to the 60's, I am moving further south, I just can't take the cold, it's bad for my tail.
A gentle reader pointed out my predilection for spelling PEEK as peak when I mean peek. So  oops, I did it again yesterday (take a peak at my favorite map) when I should have said take a PEEK!  OOOPS!
Some people you can't take anywhere. I went out to eat with my friend from the south who looked at the menu and proclaimed she loved fish.  So she asked for the WOO HOO... and her face became beat red when the waitress asked if she meant the WAHOO...
I broke up with my boyfriend. Our final conversation went something like this. We were discussing the spelling and meaning of peek and peak and he looked at me and said "Honestly I don't know how you can be so beautiful and so dumb at the same time."
So, I said, "Well, God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me. But  he also made me dumb, so I would be attracted to YOU!"  And that my friends, was the end of that relationship...

- Good Samaritan saves the Mermaid again
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 02:53:58 EST
Lovely weather, cooling trade winds, scattered showers of short durations followed by bright sunshine as if it never rained at all.   Surf is up and the surfers are real happy!  See surf conditions at BVIwaves.com
Many islanders are very handy and resourceful. It comes from living in the middle of nowhere and used to doing without and making do with what's available (and usually not much  either.) I have time and again seen so many creative ways dished up by islanders of unconventional repairs and a can-do attitude when others would throw up their hands.
Today, I drove my old rusty jeep to the store. When I came back out and turned the key, it greeted me with cold silence.
I got out and popped the hood. This made the heavens open up and the rains pour down. I fiddled with the battery posts and connections.  Tried to start it again and it wouldn't.
I sighed. It rained. I looked around the parking lot, not a soul around. Not a hill around, so I couldn't just do a rolling-pop-the-clutch start. I stayed  in the jeep, to avoid the rain.
I tried to call for help, but I had a new cell phone and I haven't programmed any phone numbers into it. They are all on my old cell phone. My old cell phone that I gave to my roommate who knows a little bit about cars.  But I couldn't call him either, as, um, well I couldn't remember the number and my new phone had no numbers stored in it except my apartment number. That's because I can't remember numbers anymore.  I did program  my apartment number into my cell phone.  Not for calling myself, but in case I wanted to know my home phone number to tell someone.
Sigh.  Why didn't I just keep the old phone, it has all my friends listed  in it.  I got back out again and yelled OUCH because I have a problem with my leg and sometimes it hurts so bad, that I yell OUCH.  I hobbled around and looked at the engine some more. I poked the alternator, and it wiggled. Hmm.  I don't think alternators are supposed to jiggle.
Then I saw the broken bolt. Sigh. Battery dead for sure. Sigh. I looked around and still no one in the parking lot but me.
I was  hungry, tired and in pain, I wanted to go home and lay down. I had groceries in the car, only two small bags, because that is all I could carry with my limp, once I got home and climbed the steep hill to my abode.
I thought about hitchhiking home and to hell with the jeep. But usually when I hitchhike, I get dropped off about a mile from home, because I  live in the middle of nowhere. I thought about limping along that last mile with my groceries in the rain. OUCH, my leg hurt again and I sat in the car and a big fat tear welled up in my eye.
Maybe I could just flag down a taxi and to hell with the car. Send my roommate to deal with it anther day. Ironically, about a year ago, in this exact same parking spot my car did the exact same thing. The other night I read something about excessive iron causing batteries to die. Was I parked on a huge iron ore deposit  or just losing my mind?
I wiped the tear away and took a big breath. Maybe I will just lay the seat back and take a nap. Maybe when I wake up, this will just be a nightmare and I will already be home on the couch, with the jeep parked out front.
It stopped raining. I started praying. A few seconds later, a pickup truck entered the parking lot and slammed on breaks, parking illegally next to me. I was parked next to the lane for entering and exiting and now he parked right in the lane. He had neat long dreads and braids and all sorts of fancy hair going on in different directions.
I smiled at him.  He smiled at me. I asked him if he would mind jumping my car or pushing it so I could start it. He said "No, problem, mon."
I hopped out, with intentions of offering up my cheap little jumper cables but he was wiggling the battery posts so I handed him my pliers. I didn't tell him I had tried all that, but he worked diligently on them.  "Maybe you need new batt-tree" he said.  I sighed, "Ah ha, maybe..."
He asked me to try to start it and of course the Jeep still wouldn't start. I got back out and said "Look at this!" and I wiggled my alternator back and fourth. He groaned and  said  "Ah, de batt-tree dead".   I groaned.
He went to the back of his truck and came back with a piece of wood and a heavy metal pipe. He waved the wood around the engine and asked me if I had a knife.
I dug around the jeep, nope, no knife and darn it, I thought my Swiss Army knife was in there, but it wasn't, dang it.
He went to the back of his truck and I heard awful noises and he approached me and the car again and this time the nice neat piece of wood has been literally hacked, into a smaller jagged piece. For the life of me I couldn't figure out WHAT this was all about.
Then he jammed the wood next to the alternator, and banged on it with the heavy pipe and wedged the sucker right in there, forcing the alternator out tightly so the belt would be able to spin properly and charge the battery. I must admit, the engine looked real strange with this bit of wood jammed in there, but I know all about islander ingenuity.
Some folks here can fix anything with nothing and he was one of those types. I praised him and his smartness, I was truly impressed. Reminds me of the time I was on a fancy  yacht with an engine that wouldn't start and the captain  pronounced it dead and rattled a long list of expensive parts and tools we needed and didn't have to fix it. The yacht owner was not amused.
Next thing I know, the born-in-the-islands deckhand,  volunteers to look at the engine.  He goes into the engine room with duct tape and a paper clip and 5 minutes later we were purring just fine with the captain and yacht owner, both in a state of shock.
My good Samaritan offered to push my car and told me if I drove it awhile (I was still 12 miles form home) that my batt-tree should charge up just fine. He pushed and I popped the clutch just inches of crashing into another car  that had come and parked while we were bent over the engine (thank goodness for strong brakes!).
I reversed to talk to my friend and thank him profusely, I was reaching for my purse, I wanted to buy this good man some drinks, but there being no bar nearby, I was going to proffer a cash tip. 
He kept shaking his head and walking away and telling me he was glad he could help.
I drove home, feeling very happy, the world was a lovely place, my jeep was running and a good Samaritan made my day. Tortola has grown and expanded quickly the past few years, but old fashioned help-your-neighbor attitude is still alive and well here. I hope THAT never changes.
By the way, I recently  found a real cool BVI map.  I am a map-o-holic like my dad. This is the best BVI map I have ever seen and I collect them, so I should know.   Take a peak at it.

- brrrrrrrr!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 07:19:56 EST
Cooling winds awoke us this morning and I am wearing a heavy bathrobe as I type this out.  Brrrrrr!  It's 78 degrees!  Yes, Mermaids get cold too.
Temperatures plummeted into the low 70's last night leaving us scrambling for blankets, comforters, socks  and warm fuzzy kitty cats.
Sun is out and bright this morning.  We expect scattered showers and good surfing by tomorrow.
"one boat sinking doesn't warrant canceling New Year's Eve"
See full  article .  I am sure the writer didn't mean to make the article hilarious, but it seemed rather funny to me. 
For more local news, see

- another Tortola makes history!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 08:23:29 EST
Quite lovely and cool this morning, slightly overcast in patches, but bright and sunny in others. All in all, snowing sunshine!
Surf has settled some but rapidly building back up and by Wednesday we should have another week of fun filled days riding the waves.
Recently, it came to my attention that a bahn and raised here Tortolan is  the founder and editor of  Surfer's Path Magazine.  Matter of fact, he has just published issued 51 with stunning photography and interesting travel articles.  Hats off and a big cheer for this unique magazine.
Needless to say, we are terribly proud of him, and this is just another little secret of the British Virgin Islands.

- purple cows
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2006 22:50:30 EST
Weather is gorgeous, lots of tree frogs singing tonight.  Intermittent rains, followed by low to no winds. Nights are chilly but days are gloriously warm.
Surf was pretty good several days  this week, and dozens of folks flocked to Capoons Bay to try their luck.
Purples Cows...
    The painter had moved his family to a beautiful townhouse and planted a lovely garden.  Cows that roam freely and wreak havoc throughout Tortola, invaded his garden one night.
    In his frustration, he grabbed a can of purple paint, ran out to the garden and threw the heavy can of paint at the cows, covering at least one cow with quite a bit of purple paint.
    Several nights in a row, inebriated passengers  riding through town, would say, "Look!  A purple cow! I must be really drunk!  What happened to pink elephants?
Lessons learned:
    NEVER ever yell SHARK while in the water as a joke and if you hear someone yell SHARK, take it seriously. (Didn't we learn this from The Boy Who Cried Wolf?)
I've asked hundred of locals about shark attacks int he BVI and only heard two vague rumors of long ago, minor bites, from small sharks with no deaths, so we are pretty safe here, could be the lack of industrial pollution keeps the waters healthier so the sharks don't have to come too close to shore to feed off us.

- Zeta is still here
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 07:53:32 EST
Zeta is still meandering around but not a threat to us.
Tortola is warm and sunny with birds chirping happily.  Winds are still, odd for this time of year. Sounds carry a long ways.
DearMissMermaid has written a book, but it's not in print yet, but excerpts will be online shortly!  If you are looking for something to tickle your funny bones, take a sneak peak at this...

- nice and sunny
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 12:08:38 EST
Zeta is STILL here and still has tropical status. SHe is located about 1000 miles east northeast of us in the islands. However, she is now headed west northwest.
Here it is in the low 80's and pleasant with little winds.
If you are freezing, then check out these cheap airfares!

- Jesus foot pod bum
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 07:44:49 EST
Title: AOL Email
Tropical Storm Zeta is 1300 miles east-northeast of the islands and heading our way.  However, hopefully, she will die out or turn away, we sure don't need a hurricane in January! Winds are only 65 miles per hour, but still MORE than you would want to be out in a little sailboat. I pray the mariners out there, not all have fancy technology to know what the weather is doing around them and no one expects a tropical storm in January.
British speak confuses American...
    I stepped into work and one of the British workers says, "Hey, take over while I go run an errand and pay a bill."  About 20 minutes later he returns with freshly duct-taped eye glasses, a huge gash on his chin and scraped bloody  knees.  It looked like the playground bully had got a hold of him in a bad way.
    I asked him what happened and he was pretty excited and said *mumble* Jesus *mumble* foot pods *mumble* bum air *mumble*. "  After asking him to repeat this several times, which he did, word for word, I became concerned he had a head injury. I began diagramming the words, asking if he met Jesus, and what were foot pods and who was this bum?
    Finally he managed to tell me foot pods are sidewalks and they were bad and he tripped up, perhaps because he was wearing  Jesus sandals and he fell down with his bum in the air.
    Ah ha!  Foot pods are foot paths (sidewalks) but sound like foot pods to an American ear. Jesus sandals are leather open air sandals with tire rubber on them (gee did Jesus have retreads on his shoes?) and he fell down and managed to get all scraped up.  His bum in the air?  After questioning, I found out his rear end (butt!) was in the air when he fell down.
    Before that he told me he was going to pay a bill, I just hope he paid it, and wasn't beat up over it...
    DearMissMermaid must listen more carefully when Brits speak.   Just because they talk much differently, than this born in the USA, Southern mermaid, doesn't mean they have a head injury...
I find myself a tad confused!  The year has changed, the month has changed and every day they change the dang date around here.  If you are as confused as I am, then buy yourself a great island calendar.

- 22 accidents in one night? holy moly!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2006 13:53:03 EST
Tropical Storm Zeta rings in the new year, not sure WHEN we have ever had the new year start off with a tropical storm.
Dear Miss Mermaid ventured on land the other day, slipped and fell rather hard on a terrazzo flooring, nearly breaking her tail!  That pretty much canceled my plans for the New Year. I was far too sore to swim to Foxy's or Trellis Bay!
Last night, police reported a record breaking 22 accidents on the island of Tortola.  My word!  That certainly tops all previous records!  No one was killed, but a few threw up and many are reporting hangovers of a large magnitude.
Surf has been great the last few days and check out this new surf page! 
and DearMissMermaid.com  has her own web page now, it's there, under construction, but coming along, so enjoy!

- tropical storm Zeta
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 13:23:13 EST
Tropical Storm Zeta has turned westward and is determined to ring in the new year in the middle of the Atlantic!  Winds are 60mph and Zeta is located about 1100 miles west of the Azores.
On Tortola, folks are getting ready for various events including Foxys famous Old years Party and New years at Trellis Bay.
Weather is gorgeous with no rain predicted tonight. Fireworks will be shot off in West End and elsewhere tonight. See fireworks on your computer by clicking here.  Enjoy your last day of 2005!

- White Christmas
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 15:48:20 EST
It was a WHITE CHRISTMAS in the islands with white sand and whitecaps in the sea!
Temperatures were perfectly warm with no humidity and no rains, beaches were busy and crowds were happy!
We cooked several recipes for Dear Miss Mermaid's new cookbook including the Mango Pineapple Ham (YUMMY!)

- Ho Ho Ho!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 19:20:53 EST
Ho Ho Ho and a Merry Christmas to all!
Warm and sunny in the Caribbean, light winds, lots of cheer in the air.
Check out this wonderful picture  (click on it to see the large version.)

- ready for Santa in the islands!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 10:37:23 EST
Title: AOL Email
Poured down rain this morning. Surf was not up to snuff, but may be later on today. I curled up with a good book, a Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett.
Now at 11am, the sun is out and it is 81 degrees and pleasant with gentle winds. I am trying to get ready for Santa Claus.  The reindeer can't take the Caribbean heat so I am going to loan Santa my donkeys to ride.  We have been working with them all week to teach them to fly over palm trees!

- Gorgeous weather, I must be in paradise!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 08:55:59 EST
Warm and sunny, light winds, clear skies with lots of blues.  My feet still get cold at night, and I must drag out my fuzzy slippers and wash the mold off of them. Daytime temperature is currently 81 degrees and all is well!  We don't expect any ice or snow, yet my heart go out to those in South Carolina who, due to an ice storm, have not had power since last Thursday. 
Christmas is in the air on Tortola and man, we have lots of nuts in town. Yesterday my friend was almost in tears, because she had waited over an hour for some inconsiderate soul to move his car (he had completely blocked her in while she was at the bank machine for 3 minutes!) and she had parked legally and he had not.
I comforted her as best I could and I went shopping at the grocery store.  I parked nice and neatly between the lines and ran in to grab some grub.  20 minutes later, I am pushing my cart out to my car to load up the old rusty, dented jeep that grants me transportation and much to my horror I see this big new pickup truck whip into the space next to mine, at a 45 degree angle, crossing over into my parking lot and taking up part of his and his other neighbor's parking spot.
Since he stopped about 4 feet from the curb, this left a considerable amount of rear end truck sticking out at an odd angle and blocking me from reversing out of my spot. I was only going to be able to open the rear door about 5 inches to stuff my groceries in and I just knew that turkey wasn't going to make it...
The driver glanced at me, then turned away and began walking rapidly towards the store.   I put on my best smile and said in a loud voice "Excuse me sir!  Could you please move your truck so I can back my car out and go home?"
Over his should he  squeaks/sucks his teeth loudly at me and declares "You can get out if you want to!" and kept walking away.
In a split second, I  sized up the situation, and sure enough, if I made 42 one inch adjustments,  reversing and forwarding and so on, I could probably eventually, without two hours, inch my jeep out of the spot without hitting anything. So I yelled back at him (honestly I don't know WHAT got into me!) "Yeah!  And I can mash up your truck TOO, if I WANT TO!"
He turned around and his eyes grew wide in horror as he looked at my old rusty, paint peeling,  dented heap that passes as a jeep and looked at his own shiny brand new, just washed and waxed pickup truck, and he leapt into his truck, roared it to life and re-parked 100 yards away.
Little old me, felt bad about it all, yet on the way home, I laughed myself silly.
Back in the old days, when we had 10% of the cars we have now on island and parking was still just as horrible and a parking lot with marked off spaces was unheard of, folks always parked crazy and often blocked you in. But they left the car unlocked, the windows down, and the keys in the ignition, so you simply moved everything blocking your path, then retrieved your own car.
But alas, we were discovered and thievery reared its ugly head on the islands, we got cable TV with all those shiny new car ads, and suddenly we have ten times the cars, 90% of them less than 2 years old, and everyone locks their car and pockets the keys, but inexplicably, they STILL like to block you in!
I say let's all vote for a bus system!  Too many cars for such a tiny island and lately 90% of the cars seem to all be in Road Town at any given moment.   Some days it seems half the folks are stuck in traffic and the other half are stuck in parking lots, blocked in by some NUT.
I love it here, maybe it's the beaches, the sailing, the weather,  and mostly folks are super nice and helpful.  But some days, I wish I lived on Mars...
Now, if you really need some FUN in your life, check out "Deck the house for Christmas" and "Make a wish with Santa", both should having you smiling and laughing within seconds!

- white waves for Christmas
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 07:51:43 EST
Surf is up!  No wet suit needed as the water is warm even if the night time temperatures are cool, but hey, I don't recommend surfing at night anyhow, that's when fish feed...
We had a few scattered showers overnight, enough to settle the dust and water everything so we are all nice and green for the holidays.
For fun and games, we have a hilarious Santa online that will let you make a wish and he carries it out in real time!  Check him out and tell him to eat his cookies or whatever you wish!
There is still time for you to shop for  gifts from the islands and have them delivered by Santa Claus before Christmas! You can also send gift certificates through email!  Now that's a great way to remember those who are hard to buy for.

- another great day with cool nights
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 07:47:48 EST
Title: AOL Email
Folks talk about how cool it is at night. Of course, winter officially starts a week from today!  It is 81 degrees, same as the surf water temperature.  Surf will be UP this weekend!  So get your surf  board and come on out!
Looks like we will have a white Christmas here with white sandy beaches.  If you forgot to do your Christmas shopping, you can always get an online gift certificate.
Need a place to stay near the best surfing beaches?  Check out these surf shacks! 

- fish out of water...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 06:26:25 EST
Woke up rather cool this morning.  Winter is HERE but it's still snowing sunshine all day in the early 80's for temperatures but mid 70's and night and no humidity, or if there is, we sure can't feel it.
All of West End wakes up at 5:30 am now, whether they want to or not!  A new marina is installing underground fuel tanks, and the huge hole they dug, keeps flooding, so at 5:30am every day, they start up a huge noisy gas powered water pump, to drain the pool.  It reverberates across the hills, invades the bedrooms, and some folks in West End (who shall remain anonymous) are a tad grouchy these days as many don't like being woke up at 5:30am.
Tortola used to be so quiet, but it seems to be a noisy place these days!
Weather in the BVI todaySome days I feel like a fish out of water...if you find me on one of those days, please return me to the ocean right away...

- gettin ready for Santa!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 07:52:29 EST
Epsilon has FINALLY wore itself out.
Sun is back out today and sky is blue, a gorgeous postcard blue. Temperature is in mid 80's with no humidity.
Night time temperatures plummet to the mid 70's sending us scurrying for coats, socks, blankets, comforters and afghans.
If you are stuck in the c-c-c-cold somewhere, come down Jan 8-18, and take this SPECIAL at the beach.
Or you can shop online for Christmas at our Treasure Chest, unique pirated gifts for everyone!

- Ho Ho Ho
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 19:39:01 EST
Today we had scattered rains and overcast skies. Yesterday was fabulous surfing on the North side.
Frenchman Cay got it's FIRST stop signs   At the three way intersection at the bridge on the sand spit. It is a T junction.  Now Look at this T and tell me where would you place a stop sign to make it more safe?
West                           East
Would you put it on the south road and let the East and West pass go free?
The West or East side?
The East AND West sides.
Well they put two stop signs up on the east and west sides.  So as you come off the southern road you are don't have to stop, just make a turn, if these other two lanes stop per the sign.
So far everyone happily runs the stop sign.  So next they trimmed up all the bush.  This has made it even better for folks to come within an inch of scraping you as they fly by making right turns from the west and east and others fly down the south road and turn right or left.  We still have lots of near misses at the intersection, punctuated with screeching tires, and squealing brakes..  But by golly, we got our FIRST stop signs on Frenchmans Cay. Even if nobody reads them...

  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 07:55:44 EST
Epsilon is now moving southwest away from Africa. It can't make up its mind. With a name like Epsilon, it is hard to know if this is a hurricane or a himmacane!
Lovely weather here, scattered rains yesterday added to the greenery, bright and sunny today in the low 80's with no  humidity felt. Tortola is putting away the Halloween candies and starting to trot out some early Christmas stuff, will wonders ever cease!  Used to be we had to wait until Valentine's day to buy our Chocolate Santa's for our sweethearts after consuming Orange and Black candy over Christmas. Then when Easter rolled around we had lovely heart shaped chocolate boxes to fill our baskets and by Mother's Day we could treat her to chocolate bunnies and foil wrapped eggs.
Maybe Tortola has decided to use the same calendar as the rest of the world...
By the way, if you can vacation here Jan 8-18, check out this once in a blue moon special and save yourself some bucks.
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
~ Henny Youngman

- the rest of the story
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 08:21:46 EST
In yesterday's report, I gave you half a story...sorry about that, I hit "send now" instead of "send later" as I needed to take a quick break then finish the story.
Weather is gorgeous here today! 82 degrees and sunny, gentle trade winds.
Come on down and take a break with these cheap air fares! 
Need a place to stay at the beach?  Book now before all the good stuff is gone!
I will finish the story tomorrow (sorry about that!)  but I have to dash out to the beach!  Check out these hot new models, oops, I mean hot new swim suits...
If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, come enjoy our white sandy beaches!

- (no subject)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 10:42:00 EST
Incredible as it seems, Epsilon has 70 mph winds AND moving East towards Africa!  Will wonders never cease...
Today in Tortola it is in the low 80's though after sunset, it quickly cools off to the mid to late 70's.  No surf today, but beaches are wonderful.
Riding the ferry yesterday had a bit of comedy thrown in. We were going from Tortola to St John.  After we recovered from the shock that it now costs $90 for two to go roundtrip, we boarded the ferry and sat down.
Tourists sitting in front of us, promptly opened up a soft sided cooler that was packed with American bought food, as I could see the packaging and labeling were nothing sold in the BVI. I thought, WOW, there are STILL tourists out there who think we don't have groceries here!  Too funny!
Then one guy stood up and proceeded to face us, standing, while stuffing this Sandwich in his mouth.  The deckhand reminded him that all passengers needed to sit down.  He sat down, and then when the deck hand vanished, he stood up again.  Why he wanted to face us and eat his sandwich, I do not know.
Then the ferry turned around, and we went back to the dock to pick up two more passengers. Most of the luggage was piled across from us and I noted the proverbial massage table was thrown in with the rest of the stuff.
Once again, the deckhand had to ask the man to sit down. This was repeted about 22 times throughout the trip!  THe guy just would not stay in his seat!  He wanted to stand up, face al the passengers and shove as much food in his mouth as he could get.
I said to my companion, that every ferry or plane I had ever been on, had a massage table on it. Apparently folks can't leave home without one!  I think a massage table rental business would go quite well, because to this day, in 18 years of riding ferries, I have NEVER seen one without the dang massage table loaded up on it.
I have a friend who flies hers all over the world when she travels, afraid that she might need a massage or might need to give someone a massage and she can whip out her table.  I asked her once how often that table got used in all these far flung ports she hauls her dang table to, and she immediately went silent and changed the subject.
Back to the ferry ride, the tourists began making more, sandwiches and woofing them down, like they were starving, then they opened up various ziplocks full of cheese and began chomping on that, chasing it down with beers and sodas.
We thought this all quite funny because this was only going to be a 30 minute trip. Then the deckhand popped up, admonished the man to sit back down, and told us we were going to Jost Van Dyke to drop off 2 women.

- Winter is here!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 07:22:53 EST
 Last night it was in the low 70's and brrrrrr!  I was c-c-c-cold!  Surf was up all day yesterday and one enthusiast surfed from 8am until 6pm, only taking a noon break for a peanut butter sandwich and 6 beers for lunch.
But thankfully, there are no laws against surfing while drunk. I think the sun bakes it out of you anyhow *hiccup*.
By the way, if you want private surf lessons on your next visit, simply click here.
If you are dreaming of the islands, we have a hot new set of Reggae swimwear at the Treasure Chest. I know you northerners planning to come here this winter, need somewhere to shop for great looking bathing suits...

- Epsilon is Greek to me!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 07:15:43 EST
Tropical storm Delta has died out but now we have Epsilon meandering around threatening the area of Bermuda, north of us.
On Tortola cooler temperatures have prevailed and the surf is kicking up again with Friday and Saturday promising to be terrific surfing days.
Still time to order your Christmas Reggae Music.http://reservationsbvi.com/Christmas/index.html
View towards Sandy Spit from Dawson Estate (West End, North Shore)

- Happy Holidays!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 07:49:53 EST
Tropical Storm Delta is meandering out there but not a threat to us, at this time.  Temperatures are much cooler in the Virgin Islands the past few days.
Surfing was not good yesterday, as winds blew forcefully on shore, kicking up sand and waves along the beaches.
At Cane Garden Bay, children were tumbling in the shore side surf with whoops and giggles as they let the waves toss them around.  The beach was considerably smaller as waters came further inwards.  Since no cruise ships were in port, only a dozen or so folks lined the beach.
Frequent scattered showers continue to support the greenery.

- lovely days
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 16:44:09 EST
Delta is still meandering around, now she is headed toward the northeast, away from us, and we are grateful for that.
Surf has been terrific the last few days, though today it wasn't so hot.
It was however, a great day for a walk in Sage Mountain park, our mini rain forest! (click on link to see pictures)
If you need hints for Christmas shopping, check out my 2006 calendars, available mail order  for delivery to you or to your loved ones as gifts.

- Tropical Storm Delta
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 08:25:43 EST
As of 5:00 AM EST, Tropical Storm Delta was located near 24.7 north and 39.8 west or about 1185 miles southwest of the Azores. Delta was moving to the south-southeast near 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph with higher gusts; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 260 miles away from Delta's center.
So, hmm I would have never thought that Delta comes after Gamma, guess this new alphabet is Greek to me!
Guess we better wake up and watch this one.  This seems to be the year that the hurricane season just won't end. 
Thanksgiving is being celebrated throughout parts of  the BVI by many cultures, while others totally ignore it.  It is a big American holiday, that inexplicably is crossing borders. I was even offered a few days off work in view of being the only American employed there, so I gladly took the much needed time off as I am so exhausted these days. I don't think mermaids are meant to stay on land very long, so if you miss me, might be I went back to sea...

- snowing in Road Town!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 07:28:18 EST
In the late 70's last night and early 80's this morning with winds at barely 5mph.  Not sure where our winds have gone!
Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be excellent surf days, if you keep your fingers crossed.
It was snowing in Road Town yesterday!  Quite the crowd came to see and I was so miffed that my camera was not with me, dang it.  But snow it did!  No wonder I was so chilly last night, it was below 80 degrees, right here in the islands.
Bobby's Market is always the first to get festive for the holidays. Last year, they had a huge snow man on top of their building that swayed with the wind from November to March.
This year they have a huge bubble in the parking lot with Santa Claus inside and endless snow pouring down.  Several grown ups were punching and shaking the huge bubble, why I do not know. Several inquired, what is that white stuff?  The adults were enthralled by this bubble of endless snow but I didn't see any children around.
Poinsettias and Christmas trees were on sale, real trees!  Imagine that, usually we don't get real trees, just local century plants are often used for decor or fake trees or simply no tree.  We don't seem to have many chimneys on Tortola. I guess Santa Claus will slide down the drain spout and come through the sliding glass doors of many homes.

- growing PVSea
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 07:26:42 EST
Bright and sunny but virtually no wind this morning. While the thermometer says it is 83 degrees, it sure feels a lot cooler.  I find myself sleeping under a heavy comforter at night already!
If you ever wondered where PVSea pipes came from, well we grow our own right here in the BVI!  It saves us loads on import duties...
And YES, this is another guess the beach photo, so far no one has identified the guess the beach photo from Nov. 16th either...  However, I will give you a few more days, then I will reveal the hidden beaches...

- geous day
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 09:46:43 EST
Winds are light, sun is out, temperature is moderate.
We took a hike though Sage Mountain National Park and it was awesome.
Click here to enjoy some MORE pictures of such a wonderful peaceful place.

- gamma
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 07:04:45 EST
Tropical storm Gamma is over near Honduras and not a threat to us.   It seems this hurricane season will never end!

- weather is here, wish you were beautiful...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 06:30:56 EST
The days are getting shorter.  Sunrise is at 6:03am today and sunset is at 6:03pm.  This morning at 6am it is 75 degrees and chilly.  Winds are very light, roosters are very noisy.
Yesterday was a great surfing day at Bombas and the next few days should be great for surfers.  Beach goers should be mindful of possible undertows in certain areas and always swim or surf with a buddy.  This can't be emphasized enough!  Never ever go in the water alone!
Speaking of notoriously late islanders, I noted that the NOAA web site for Beef Island BVI weather was last updated August 22nd...  Now we know the weather doesn't change much around here, so perhaps they have chosen to update only a few times a year.
I must still be sleepy, my spell heckler is pointing out numerous mistakes and I am having a hard time understanding what I keep doing wrong but will take the advice of the spell heckler, and pray this is readable.
DearMissMermaid is hitch hiking these days, so if you see a mermaid on the street, give her a lift please.  Most days I swim, but sometimes it is necessary for a mermaid to traverse across land for mermaid business and such.
My friend who was a wonderful nurse, used to lovingly describe her car in medical terms to her mechanics, much to their amusement.
In honor of my late friend, Sheila Dilworth, I have written the following jeep  report, as she would have:
The  patient (aka Rose Royce, a 15 year old jeep) has been suffering from intermittent high fevers, shortness of breath, random coughing  and an unwillingness at times  to go forward.  Monday she contacted doctors who prescribed plenty of water, gassy liquids  and plenty of rest with a follow up appointment on Wednesday.  
However, early  Wednesday morning, Rose Royce awoke totally dehydrated.  A generous serving of  copious amounts of water coupled with gassy liquids, did little to appease her. She struggled for nearly 12 miles trying to make it to the emergency room, and finally went into cardiac arrest as she managed to limp towards  the jeep hospital , where she collapsed in their parking lot, only 9 feet from  the door.  Nurses rushed out and pushed her inside for a look-see and shook their heads sadly and sent for the doctors.
Rose Royce  was transferred to intensive care where  Doctors did emergency surgery and discovered several transplants would be necessary to sustain her life. They have since  searched frantically to purchase  crucial organs for transplant and in the meantime are working hard to stabilize the patient who is still in a severe coma, unable to breathe or move on her own.
As if these events were not traumatic enough for her lone surviving relative, DearMissMermaid, the hospital's  accounting department,  have twice asked for up front cash deposits, in order to continue providing life support to the  patient.  Those folks must have hearts made of ice...
DearMissMermaid, concerned at these activities, brought in an outside consultant to verify the diagnosis and help make the final decisions. At one point it was very briefly considered to lay Rose Royce to her final resting place,  but everyone agreed it would be such a waste and serve no one except other hopeful transplant recipients who might be able to use her few unfailing organs.
Noting that the loss would be traumatic for her lone relative who relies on Rose Royce for daily companionship, as they always travel together around the islands, it was decided to give Rose Royce another shot at life.  
By late Wednesday afternoon, Doctors had already verbally secured some organ donations, however, large cash  bribes are necessary to finalize the deals and someone was dispatched to fetch the organs from various points around the island.  An update from the doctors Thursday, indicated that transplants had been secured and transferred to the hospital by emergency personnel.
Rose Royce will undergo several major surgeries Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Doctors are predicting that by late Friday afternoon, Rose Royce, due to her otherwise strong continence, may be able to leave the recovery room and hopefully by  sunset, leave the hospital under her own power to be reunited with her lone surviving relative. 
Large amounts of cash, of an as yet, undetermined amount, will have to paid to the hospital, before Rose Royce can be successfully released from the clutches of the hospital's accounting department. Her lone relative, DearMissMermaid,  is taking out a large loan on her beleaguered credit card in hopes of appeasing the heartless accountants and securing Rose Royce's eventual release.
Get well cards, flowers and candy, are not necessary, however, all net proceeds from the 2006 Island Calendar Sales and Treasure Chest purchases are being donated towards this worthy cause. These wonderful gifts are just in time for the holidays and can be shipped to your door or to a gift recipient.
Get well soon, Rose Royce!

- guess which beach...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 03:30:56 EST

- wild seas
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 03:16:14 EST
Rains pour intermittently from the outer bands of TD#27.  Winds are gusty.  Seas today in the Sir Francis Drake channel were kicking up mightily.  I was grateful to be in port.  Just driving from West End to Road Town, I had to close my windows, because the ocean kept throwing up on and IN my car and threatening to sink me...  Never thought I would need a bilge pump for the jeep!
Then I saw the  most unlucky tourist.  In front of me, was a rental car driving erratically, watching the sea kick up.  They stopped, rolled down the window, stuck their head out, aimed a camera at the ocean and KER-SPLASH!
Tourist, camera and rental car insides were dumped heavily in a huge wave that left the pour um I mean poor visitor soaked.  If their camera wasn't waterproof, doubt if their pictures will turn out. I promise you I didn't laugh, but it was funny!
I arrived at work, a tad wet to stares from others, who jokingly asked me if I sailed or swam  to work today...
Stopped by Nanny Cay on the way home and met some soaking sailors and I asked where they had been and they said "to the channel marker and back!".  They left to go boating, and before clearing the channel marker, all were thoroughly soaked, so they turned around and came back to the safety of the bar.
Surfing is supposed to be terrific starting Wednesday!
From the Mailbag:
Do you ever have those days when the car won't start because there was water in the gas tanks at the petrol station where you last bought gas, the electricity voltage is so low that it burns out your fridge, nuker and fans, cell phones only have one message "no service", cable tv company conveniently forgets your address except for sending the bill, computers become a monthly disposable item, working printers are a luxury and printer cartridges find themselves in the unavailable on this island category!!!!!!!!!!
AND this all occurs on the same day
BUT, being able to come home at night and sit on the edge of the ocean and watch, smell and listen makes up for all the frustration of the day
Life in the tropics...
Tropic Gal
    Dang!  You must live here too!  I know just how ya feel.  Life is fun and frustrating here, no doubt. But it IS beautiful and lovely here, especially if you overlook those pesky things such as modern conveniences...

- TD#27 or the future Gamma...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 08:28:21 EST
TD#27 is about 200 miles south of us and moving WNW.  The kitties and I have stocked up on a case of tuna in case it hits us. 
Today we have scattered showers and cooling tradewinds.
Well, will wonders never cease!  My phone rang this morning.  It has been so long since I heard it ring that I fell out of my chair. It's only been broken about two weeks and the phone company has drive me mad by claiming day after day "It is fixed"  while I kept insisting "It is NOT fixed." However, from the floor, I managed to reach up and grab the jangling phone and answer it only to hear a bunch of paper shuffling and heavy breathing but no voice.
I said "Hello?.....  Good Morning!  .....Anybody there?"
More heavy breathing and paper shuffling could be heard but no voice.
I hung up.
I picked up the phone and there was a DIAL TONE.  I was ecstatic!  A phone!  Yahoo!  I grabbed my phone book and was going to randomly call someone and celebrate but then...
It rang again.  I answered, heard papers shuffling, heavy breathing and after I repeated "Hello"  3-4 times like a trained parrot, this voice says "Does your phone work?"
Now I thought to myself, WHAT kind of question is this?
So I said "NO!".
There was silence and more paper shufling and heavy breathing on the other end.
So I breathed as heavy as I could and shuffled my own papers around.
A few minutes go by of this mutual heavy breathing and paper shuffling. 
Finally the voice says "This is the phone company.  We are checking to see if your phone works."
So I said "No, my phone doesn't work.  It is retired and collects a pension from Social Security.  Thank you for asking."  and I hung up.
Oh, the phone company can be so maddening, perhaps they HAVE made me crazy...
Don't forget to buy your 2006 Calendars from DearMissMermaid!  THey make great Christmas gifts too.

- Tropical Depression 27 in mid November
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 04:33:54 EST
Incredible as it may seem, we have Tropical Depression 27 located about 150 miles west of St Lucia.
If it gets named, it will be tropical storm Gamma (from the Greek alphabet.)
It is expected we may get heavy rains and strong rains this week.  Some forecasters believe this could develop into a category 2 hurricane by the end of the week.
Governor Thomas Macan said this week that the BVI was fortunate not to have been hit by a powerful hurricane this year and the territory is not prepared to handle such a disaster. Mr. Macan, who is also chairman of the National Disaster Management Council, said the BVI had made some progress in disaster preparedness but much work remained.

"We've been lucky this hurricane season," he said. "[Hurricanes] have gone north or south of us all year, they are not always going to do that. Awareness has increased and we've come a long way but we have not done enough."
Amen to that, Tortolians are  notorious late for everything, and announcing in November that we are still not ready for hurricane season strikes me as humorously true!
Visiting paradise is far nicer than living in paradise. I kid you not!  I have seen tourists nearly have a melt down over a one hour power outage.  Imagine last week when we had two 4 hour outages coupled with numerous shorter outages, and  you wonder why I stopped eating meat...
Thanks to our local power company, it doesn't pay to stock up on meat and perishables, as the frequent outages just begin to ruin the foods.
My land line telephone has been out of service for OVER 10 days!  I call the phone company everyday and everyday they say they will fix it the next day and the next day never happens.
We have a cell phone but for some reason the cell phone company is having loads of trouble keeping the cell lines up and running.  I seem to be out of range in all the places where I used to be in range!  So, many folks have accused me of being off island since none of my phones answer. 
I paid a hefty fee to a mechanic to put a re cored radiator in my old jeep, but behind my back, he put in a used piece of junk, full of holes, causing my car to overheat severely and now I need a head gasket, an expensive repair.  I work 12 miles from home most days, so you can see where this is a problem, given that the government here doesn't want us to have a bus service.
Oh man, there are days, I love paradise but some days I wonder why we live in the dark ages with erratic power and unreliable phone service and businesses that can deceive and rob you with little recourse available to the consumer. Maybe we have grown too fast too soon, and we should have stayed in the dark ages.
T'ings can be very problematic, to say the least. Better to visit here and enjoy our lush beaches and terrific sailing waters than to try to live here.  It's taxing on the soul.  If all I had to do was lay around the beaches or sail all day, I would be immensely happy.  But alas, paradise is expensive to live in, thus I am forced to work for a living *giggle*.
By the way...  I am pushing my 2006 calendars, featuring beaches, islands, sailing, dolphins and such at Buy My Calendars.   These make terrific Christmas gifts as well as wonderful presents for your own walls. Proceeds go to my aged jeep...
I had to pirate an internet connection this morning to get this report out!  So if you don't hear from me anymore, you'll know I was busted...
However, picture taking is still a gorgeous pastime here.

Shown  is the northwestern side of Tortola with St John and St Thomas in the background.

- raining sunshine
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 07:44:53 EST
This morning I awoke to bright sunshine with rain pouring down hard.  It was a sight to see and I bet there were rainbows to be had.  Now the rains are gone and the roads are a tad steamy and folks are scurrying about to get on with their days. For the past few days we have had isolated showers around the island.  There isn't a hurricane around and for that we are all grateful.
Now for the mailbag:
Hi Miss Mermaid:  Please don't think I'm a smart-arse, but I do wish you would get your horizon lines straight on your excellent beach photographs.  I lived and sailed on Antigua for 5 years or so in the late 80's, and I'm pretty sure the horizon was always horizontal, except when I was gassed on too much 'you know what'! I've followed your most entertaining island news all summer, and I'm looking forward very much to the start of the 2006 hurricane season - well I would wouldn't I? - I live in France! Best Wishes,  Frenchie
Dear Frenchie,
     I must admit, I have heard that persitant rumor for years, that the horizon IS STRAIGHT in Antigua.  One day I must go there and see for myself.
    However, I have noticed that with a little French wine (just a few wittle bottles...) the horizon on my pictures begins to look pretty straight.
    Just for you, I went out today and worked very hard at taking a horizontal horizon picture for you.  I think I FINALLY got it figured out!
    Thanks for pointing this out to me.
See more photographs by clicking here.

- racing in paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2005 08:12:12 EST
Sun is out, sky is blue, winds are light, surf is supposed to be up around noonish.
Over the weekend we had the triathlon which finished with a human race around the horse race track.  I understand the horses, showed up and placed lots of bets and the big winner went home with a barn, 3 saddles and 12 shoes...
Dreaming of a white sandy winter in the islands?  Click here!

- surf's up!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2005 09:02:16 EST
Surf's up, though small, it's up and folks are out in it. Winds are light, but blowing.  Sun is out in full force and DearMissMermaid finds it necessary to go work on her tan.


  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 08:02:34 EST
Sun is out, sky is this incredible blue.  Winds are light but humidity is low.  A great day to go to the beach. If you are dreaming of a white sandy Christmas...check out these villas for rent.

- Sun flurries
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 07:24:30 EST
It's warm and sunny, about 83 degrees, light winds of 5 knots at best, just another gorgeous day here.
 Smugglers Cove Beach

- ain't life grand
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 08:01:48 EST
Sunshine beams across the islands, with puffy clouds in the skies. Temperature is 84 and winds are from the east at about 5 knots.  Today is just a post card day all around.
If you are dreaming of coming to the islands, mon, then check out these rental villas  and sailboats for rent.

- Snowing Sunshine
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 12:09:37 -0500
Another grogeous day, though skies have dark clouds, we are expecting a bit of rain this afternoon.
Sun shined all weekend and we finally got in some much needed beach time and it felt wonderful to get my tan back.
We have some tropical waves to watch, hurricane season isn't over yet!  But we are well ready for it to be.
The charter yacht boat show kicks off this week at Village Cay Marina.

- another lazy day in paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 08:15:32 EDT
Gentle winds, baby blue skies and puffy clouds dot the horizon.  Humidity is low, sunshine is high, and it's a great day to go sailing. 


- Alpha, Beta...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 09:19:44 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Alpha has gone and Beta has formed near Central America.  We have 3 tropical waves east of us.  Looks like bowling balls coming off Africa!
All is sunny here for now with rain expected somewhat later in the week, maybe.
More later!

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

Treasure Chest, Gifts From the Islands, Shipped to You

- wet and windy before dawn
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 05:39:27 EDT
Title: AOL Email
I woke up at 5am, with a funny feeling, got up and wandered around in the darkness, enjoying the quiet.  Then 15 minutes later, the winds picked up and began howling!  It must be blowing 35 knots through here right now with much higher gusts.
The ocean sounds noisy, like a freight train coming, or perhaps it's just the winds.  No rains yet, but why the wind storm without the wetness?  I just felt that cool blast hit me, that so often comes in moments before the rains.   The trees are bending and swaying, it's an eerie sight in the near total darkness.
I see on my trust crystal ball that we have tropical waves at 34, 54, and 64 west.  It is so unusual to see so many so late in the so called hurricane season which is supposed to END next Monday!
Ah, as I am writing this, the rains have started to pelt the garden.  That cool blast, was definitely a warning right on target.
It's a strange year for storms, as we are now on the Greek alphabet, having run through the regular alphabet name of storms.  This hurricane season just doesn't want to  end.
By the way, get a jump on your Christmas Shopping and check out my selection of 2006 Calendars featuring Sailboats, Dolphins, Pirates, Beaches and Islands.  Send a taste of the Caribbean to those you love. Click here.

- here comes the Greek Alpha...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2005 03:17:58 EDT
Tropical Storm Alpha passed through the Virgin Islands anonymously, giving us gusty winds and lots of rain.  No longer a threat to us, it (is Alpha a he or she?) is meandering towards Hispanola.
We had gusty winds all day and now rains much of the night, but just drizzling rains, with not much wind.

- Wilma stomps Mexico, gusty winds here
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 16:52:51 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Blustery and windy here.  It stormed much of the night with gusty winds of 30-45 mph.  Today it is gusty with winds of 30-40mph with occasional surges.
Sun is out today, I started to go to the beach, but since it has rained the last 3 weekends, the moment I set foot on the beach, I decided to stay home and enjoy the sunshine and not jinx it by going to the beach, just to see the rain.
Looks like the storms and hurricanes  are still  missing us, but we have had our share of close scrutiny. 
Hurricane Wilma  hit Cancun and Isla Mujeres pretty hard and it's not a pretty sight.  Loads of homeless and tons of clean up and rebuilding await the hapless residents. The dead will be mourned and many will be abruptly forced into a different routine and lifestyle.
I am so saddened, in the late 80's I lived on Isla Mujeres, setting up what I thought was going to be a long happy future on a quaint far flung island. 
Not many folks lived on the island then and I was just learning Spanish, and studying the culture, living amongst the islanders.  The one hotel was destroyed from a previous hurricane in the 80's or 70's, I forget which,  and tourism at that point was mostly occasional day and evening  trippers from Cancun.  I had a unique job there and lived aboard a sailboat in the lagoon, at the only marina, a tiny affair still under construction.
I clearly remember arriving in Mexico, en route to Isla Mujeres, it was quite memorable.  I had taken a series of flights through quite a few countries trying to make my way from St Thomas in the eastern Caribbean  to Isla Mujeres in the western Caribbean, by plane.  In those days, this was not easily done without a great deal of delay and numerous stops.  I think every flight was on a different airline.  I overnighted twice along the way due to erratic connections.
On one small Mexican airliner, we were weighed and scrutinized by the crew on the runway, as we lined up to board, our luggage in hand.  Our baggage was handed over and a perplexed man tried to stuff it in the tiny cargo bay, giving me a big smile because mine was a soft duffle bag, which I saw him scrunch and wad up as padding for the others, shoving the cargo door rather harshly with my bag as door insulation. They didn't bother to hand out luggage tags. Many were traveling with boxes tied with string and heavily taped.
Everyone boarded the plane with little coolers, except me, and chose their own seating.  Then the two pilots slowly walked down the middle of the plane, studying us left and right. They politely made a few seat changes, shuffled a large man across the aisle and placed  a tiny woman in his vacated seat. Then two more were switched, and the pilots turned around to face us, smiled broadly.  We were strongly  urged  to stay strapped in our current seats the entire flight.  No one seemed to mind the seat shuffle,but  this was unique to me at the time. 
 After take off, the other passengers opened up their coolers, popped tops, shared bottled openers as requested,  then sat back drank beer, made iced drinks and devoured snacks. I looked for the airline attendant and she was strapped securely in a passenger seat, staring out the window looking bored.  A thin curtain separated us from the pilots and it swung around now and then and you got peaks of the two guys hunkered down over the controls. 
As I sat there, the only American on the flight, my Spanish painfully pitiful, I took glances at the party developing around me and smiled if I accidentally caught someone's eye.  Two nice Mexicans  across the aisle started up a conversation with me while offering  me drinks and snacks.  I gratefully accepted a stiff drink, and later some snacks, as the plane was buffeting wildly.  The  party in the cabin was noisy, as it became more of a flying picnic amongst friends than strangers on a plane.
I finished my drink and the guy next to me, reaches across and takes it from me with a gentle smile, opens his cooler, makes me another stiff drink and passes it back. I offered him money and he burst out laughing.  "We always have some to share!" he tells me. Indeed you could hear in the seats behind me, folks ask for ice or to borrow an opener, snacks etc. traded, or not,  in payment.
As the flight wore on, it seemed downright boisterous, at times, everyone talking at once, the food and alcohol odors permeating the air.  As we prepared to land, everyone seemed to suddenly get eerily quiet. This worried me a bit, but the stiff drinks made me not care.
We had to buzz the runway first, coming in low but not landing, just  to clear it of goats, chickens, cows and the elderly janitor who had a very old worn out broom he was sweeping the runway with.  We did a 360 and came around  again  for a landing.  After touchdown, coasting down the bumpy runway, the passengers  burst out into applause and cheers, hugged and kissed, shook hands, high fived and pronounced the entire flight and party, a safe success.
I thought, WOW, these Mexican airlines are downright fun. While we de boarded, I noticed in every pocket-back in the seats and stuffed under the seats were tequila, rum and beer bottles, with soda cans  rattling around, food wrappers, crushed paper bags, wadded up napkins, plus used plastic cups, some with melting ice,  seemed stashed everywhere.  I rolled my eyes, at the garbage, after all , my used gum wrapper, was stashed in my purse, but, um, ahem, I had stuffed my used cup neatly in the seat pocket.
As we walked across the hot tarmac, the old janitor slowly rolled out a huge 60 gallon garbage can towards our plane.  I wondered if it was big enough. The airline attendant caught up with me and explained in Spanish and tough English that if I had luggage, I must come unload it from the plane. So I turned around to go back for my luggage (silly mermaid!).
From the airport I took a series of curious rides and an old ferry until I embarked upon the aged dock at Isla Mujeres.
Many happy days, some of the best in my life, were spent on Isla Mujeres.  I learned how to get around the island without a car.  The old farmers at the market, many of them women, took upon themselves to teach me simple Spanish words, when I came to shop several times a week. So I am now proficient in Spanish food names.
I was told by my boss to hire this 12 year old Mexican girl, during school break,  as my assistant. I protested that I really had little work for her to do, wondering what on earth I would do with a 12 year old assistant.
He said, well, you can learn Spanish faster with a child, her father wants her to learn better English, children are patient, and you can get her to help with laundry, cleaning, whatever, it's only a $1 a day to have her, and we owe her father a favor. So on some weekends and all school breaks, I often had this 12 year old assistant in tow. Basically she worked half a day and the rest we spent swimming, sailing or at the beach. Her 13 year old brother was employed by my coworker as his assistant.  
The marina had a palapa and at lunch each day, boat occupants, workers and relatives gathered under the palapa and ate crackers topped with sardines. I got used to the meal, but since leaving Isla Mujeres, I admit I haven't had sardines since. Though every time I see them in the grocery stores here, I smile and think about the carefree days in Isla Mujeres, long ago.
Then Hurricane Gilbert plowed destruction across the tiny island,  and that wonderful life, so full of future dreams, came to an abrupt halt in the late eighties. I had to rethink my future on a moment's notice.  After living like a refugee, first here, then there, I was eventually  hired and flown to Venezuela to join a 120' sailboat as professional crew.
I haven't been back to Isla Mujeres,  but I understand it has grown massively and does volumes of tourism there now.  
I spent a very special time there, tearfully  leaving with nothing but my treasured  souvenirs;
pleasant memories...
Looking for unique Christmas gifts?  Check out this beach and nautical jewelry.

- Wilma
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 18:18:15 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Hurricane Wilma is breaking all the records.  She is almost due west of us, but not expected to come near us.  Still such a huge powerful storm is frightening.
My kitties are already into their hurricane food stores again and this season just doesn't seem to want to end. Even if it does end, then we need earthquake supplies and tsunami supplies, though with a tsunami you mainly just need a life jacket and loads of rope, preferably tied to something large and heavy in the mountains.
Somehow I missed the full moon this month, but man oh man, life sure was crazy the last few days, so now it all makes sense!
14k Yellow Gold Sailboat Slide CharmSailboat Jewelry

- Last Mango In Paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2005 09:03:02 EDT
Another gorgeous day.  We have a tropical  wave to watch about 850 miles of us.  Surf was up this weekend and it was almost crowded, but folks were sharing the waves and having a grand time.
Taken off my balcony, the last mango being devoured!

- sailboat masts in tropical sunset
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 04:08:31 EDT

- Wilma? but it's late October!!!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 07:28:11 EDT
Hurricane Wilma is on the horizon, but not a threat to us.  Looks like she is headed for the Gulf of Mexico again.  Those poor folks are just really having it rough this year.  My heart goes out to them.
Years ago we were slammed 10 days apart with Luis then Marilyn, it was devastating for many of us here, it tore my life apart.  However, I chuckle now, as I recall the number of folks who insisted I should move to America "where these things don't happen..."
Mother Nature is fickle and she can strike back at any time. Perhaps we have overpopulated the earth and we're living on the edge, literally.
Today in Tortola, the surf is up!  To see surf reports, click here. Surfer
Temperature is 84 degrees, winds are light and blue skies are scattered.

- Life in paradise!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 08:21:21 EDT
84 degrees today with slight breezes, low humidity and gorgeous, wonderful lovely SUNSHINE!
The airline regatta is in full swing here, we could hear and see the raucous partying all over the harbor and bars.  Glad these folks are on vacation and not on duty flying!
For over 24 hours, I have had ALL utilities working and SHHHHHHH don't tell anyone!  Usually if they find out all your utilities are working, they cut one off for you.  Like we were out of cooking gas for almost a week (shared tank and person responsible for filling kept putting it off...)
We got gas but then it rained and the cable TV went down for awhile.  Got the TV back but the de-sal plant went down so we switched from street water to cistern water.  Then it clouded up so badly for a few days that the solar hot water stopped working so we enjoyed brisk c-c-c-cold showers (you can here the muffled screams around the apartment building at 6am!)
Sun is playing peak a boo so looks like we will have warm water again, maybe even hot.   The current was going off daily but suddenly they left us on for a few days uninterrupted (how lovely not to listen to the neighbors HUGE generator, wish I had a tiny one to drown theirs out...)  We listen to theirs and they positioned it so the fumes and noise enter our bedroom window (how thoughtful...)  and we think, great, we smell the fumes, we hear the noise and we sit here in the dark...
The cell company came back up so the cell phone is working most of the day and the land line is surviving the trees the at #$%^&* repariman strung them through, but the next big winds, I just know, are going to tear those lines down, dang it.
We have decided we are going to the beach tomorrow, to get in the ocean whether it is raining, storming or sunshining.  For two weekends we have had stormy weather and we are just so over it. It's a joke, "Oh, storming again, must be the weekend... Sunshine?  Must be Monday!"
Life in paradise...

- sunny day today!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 07:51:18 EDT
I was searching for weather and hurricane sights on the web and came across
your mailadress on some kind of chat.

I am coming for holiday next friday and i am a bit worried about the weather
at the moment, are there any hurricanes coming in at the moment? Is it still
ok to go to the beach or is it raining all the time these days?

I would be so greatful if you could answer some of my questions since no
weather site in the net seems as real as somebody who really lives in it so
to speak.

Best Regards
Bikini Gal or Umbrella Chick
We have had rains nearly everyday for almost a week and this is most unusual for us.  By Friday we hope to have this stationary low moving along and onto to other parts of the world. 
Right now there is no threat of hurricanes, this could change, but highly unlikely.
This morning, we awoke to BLUE skies and bustling winds, with SUNSHINE! 
Pack some sunscreen and come on down and enjoy our gorgeous beaches.

- rain, rain , rain, let it rain, let it pour
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 07:00:58 EDT
Dawn broke with an eerie deep dark blue.  Thumber coughed and grumbled, a lone bolt of lightening touched down.  The winds picked up, the trees hustled, the kitties came running in begging for breakfast.  I rushed to grab the laundry off the covered porch and then the heavens opened up and it poured down hard fast rains.
Monkey Tails...
FOUND, African Monkey with baby chick. 
Remember the lost and found a while back?  Well, monkey has been spotted many times since, and I saw her several times myself yesterday.  She has adopted a baby chick, which she clutches to her breast and comforts. While she is reluctant to move back in to her cage, she does turn up at her owners' porch for fresh fruits and generally hangs around the neighborhood, avoiding people, but taking her baby chick with her everywhere. I keep trying to catch a picture of her.
I remember 25 years ago, in Barbados, waking up to monkeys swinging in the trees outside my bedroom. It spooked me at the time, but I had no inclinations towards petting them.  I like to leave the wild thangs alone and in peace, as their world is slowly shrinking as humans seem to populate every last square inch for themselves.
Sometimes mother nature takes a swing back at us for over running the planet, as demonstrated in the picture below.
Too much rain on the waterfront highway at the cliffs, spelled disaster for  this unlucky motorist last week. No one was killed, just injured.

- gorgeous
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 09:04:05 EDT
Just another gorgeous day in paradise.  81 degrees and breezy, bright blue sky with a few clouds wafting by.
There are lot of depressed folks around here these days.  The Labour Commissioner is thinking up strange awful laws to get rid of all the foreign workers and we just wonder, why now, why us. About 70% or more of the work force is comprised of foreign workers on work permits. 
This nutty commissioner wants to kick everyone off after 4 years and have born-here locals fill their jobs, but there are not enough born-here locals living here to fill all those jobs.
Some islanders grow up and move away, discovering cities, Walmart, McDonalds, Arts, big business and stuff you never see here.  Many don't come back until the inheritance kicks in and they gain some land or business or both.
It has put everyone on edge, to think you have moved here, bought car, furniture, signed leases, and so on, and that suddenly you could be asked to leave through no fault of your own.  It is mind boggling. 

- sunshine again! yahoo!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2005 08:39:45 EDT
82 degrees and sun is actually out today, sky is blue and we have yet another tropical wave about 1300 miles east of us, moving at 20 miles per hour.
Tropical Storm Tammy is in Florida, and the US is having a much busier storm season this year than we are.  We feel so  lucky and yet we feel sorry for those getting hit by storms.
Cell phone still not working but phone repair finally showed up to fix my land line.  And what a mess he made of it.  Strung my phone line through two different trees, then wrapped it around the balcony railing, draped it through the window, plugged in my phone, got a dial tone, pronounced it repaired and left.
I just know that next time the winds are above 20 mph that the trees will wiggle and rip down the phone lines.  The old phone line was strung neatly to the corner of the house without being draped across any trees. Technology here is typically going backwards instead of forwards.
I remember about 10 years ago, my friend had built a one room house with visions of adding on more rooms one day.  To increase her living space, she had strung up tarps amongst the trees outside and fashioned a kitchen and dining area. She called to have her phone installed and it took the phone company another nine months to find her and she still just had the one room house with tarps outside over the kitchen.  The phone man didn't bring enough cable with him, so he just nailed her phone to a tree in the kitchen...
Opal Dolphin Pendant

- calling in
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 07:33:48 EDT
Yesterday is rained so hard that we had a mud and rock slide just east of Fort Recovery with traffic backed up for miles. The cellular phone hasn't worked in days, I wonder if their antenna fell down or what.
I gave up and went back home and called in dead at work.   You see I have called in sick so much, (been a rough year on me)  that I ran out of sick days, so I called and told them I wouldn't be in today because I am dead.
After a deafening silence on the other end, I entertained them with the rock and mud slide and told them I would venture out again tomorrow.  I didn't feel like driving over the mountains to get to town, because I have seen Joe's Hill look like a river with water a foot deep cascading down its near vertical drop.  Ditto for the many switchbacks on the way to town by mountain path.
I tried to call my neighbor  in town, to warn her to go over the mountain to get home, as progress on clearing the road looked pretty slow as more rocks and mud kept filling up their newly cleared area. Turns out she had called in sick, because she doesn't like driving when there is the potential for rock and mud slides either. 
Two years ago we had bad flooding here, that tore up roads and houses, creating impassable spots throughout the island with many folks stranded far from home because they ventured out to work. I remember the first clear day, I had to drive to town, and I counted over 40 cars on the side of the road in a ten mile stretch, either the owners had abandoned them for cars with higher clearance or they had flats from the sharp rocks that had fallen or they had drowned cars, that had breathed in water instead of air into their air intakes.
My neighbor was one of the unfortunate who's car had drowned and she had been forced to buy another at an inopportune time. Her boss had fussed at her (for missing work over the car drowning) that the weather shouldn't prevent her from working and we wondered just WHERE her boss was from that she thought work was worth more than life?
So, if you are ever visiting here during heavy rains, I recommend you find a nice bar, listen to Jimmy Buffet and stay put all day. 
Today it is 79 degrees, cloudy and cool.  I expect more rain, but hope I can make it to work anyhow, lest they think me really dead.
However, we still have a disorganized area of disturbed weather hovering around us, but hopefully, it will calm down soon.
Here is a link to our local doppler radar:

- rumbles of thunder
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 08:53:27 EDT
We have a tropical wave on top of us.  It is pouring down rain and the sky is dark gray at 845am!  Rumbles of thunder rattle the nerves.
It was raining throughout the night, horizontally, as I woke up to find many wet t'ings near my 12 open windows (Ooops!)
Surf is down, and not a great day for the beach, at least not yet.  We could have some serious flooding, as our land was already saturated when the rains started.  Look how dark it is at 853am!

- Storm Free for a day!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 08:30:30 EDT
Today it is 82 degrees, bright and sunny, a great day for painting.

- Surf is up!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 08:32:50 EDT
82 degrees, and snowing sunshine.  A few scattered showers turned into light rains in the early evening yesterday, the same is expected for today.
The surf is up and the waves are big.  Surfers from St Thomas, St Croix, St John and Tortola turned out to try their luck on the northern shores of Tortola.
Check out the surf at Capoons Bay yesterday:
Surfer Charm

- thumbs up!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 08:54:51 EDT
Winds are clam today, sun is out and waves promise to be spectacular, will report back later and let ya know if that was true or not.  84 degrees, a few clouds, small showers expected.
Josiahs Bay on a lazy Sunday Afternoon

- bird chirping in mango tree
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 09:02:28 EDT

- warm and sunny, lost and found
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 08:46:24 EDT
Sun is out again after a brief rain squall of about 5 minutes duration.  I can hear a little bird chirping softly in the mango tree.  It is 82 and sun is getting brighter by the minute, so it promises to be just another gorgeous day in paradise.
From The Lost & Found Department:
Item 1
Woke up yesterday and discovered our monkey has  escaped, cage was empty and no way to tell how she managed to sneak off, (Houdini? or   WhoDoneIt?) so if anyone finds a lost monkey, the owners want her back.  She loves to eat fresh fruit, so you may find her near your fruit bowl or fruit trees or near your  fridge.
Item 2
To the fisherman who left a bucket of fresh caught fish Friday night,  under the back seat in Taxi Van #0498, (which same van sat unused & closed up for 2 days while the driver was off island) you can now come to the Central Taxi garage  to  claim the bucket AND the  taxi.....
Item 3
LOST:  one blue fender, fell off my Suzuki Jeep somewhere between East End and Road Town, fender has some rust, a bit of duct tape and 2 dents, small reward for return of same, if  still undamaged...
Item 4
FOUND in wife's bedroom upon my early return from an off-island trip: Size 14 Nike shoes, pair of men's red surf shorts (36") and gray tank top (XL). REWARD to anyone who can positively identify owner of same. (May need ya in court too...)
Send emails to DearMissMermaid if you have info on any of the above...

- pretty quiet here
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 08:01:03 EDT
Hurricane Rita is headed through the Gulf for Texas. Himmacane Phillippe is north of us and headed for Bermuda.
On Tortola it is nearly windless and waveless, with cloudy skies.
Looks like we have been lucky so far this year.
 Sailboat Lamp Sailboat Lamp

- Phillippe
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 09:31:18 EDT
Phillippe is meandering slowly northward, about 320 miles east of us with 65 mph winds.
We have no winds on Tortola, I guess Phillippe  has sucked them out to power his own storm.
Rita of course is heading across the Gulf and threatening to hit the US, perhaps Texas or Lousiana.  God help the poor evacuees.

  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 10:48:50 -0400
Last Thursday the squall we had tore down our phone and DSL line.  So my reports have been scanty and few.  The phone compnay promised to have it fixed in 24 hours, that was 5 days ago...
We are stuck between RITA., north of us and PHILLIPE, east of us.
Sky is quite dark at 1030am but no rain yet.
Surf was up this weekend and dozens of surfers turned out to try their luck on the waves.

- horizontal rains and winds
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 11:29:10 -0400
Yesterday about 530pm-ish the sky darkened, thunder rumbled and roared,  the winds picked up and howled, then the rains poured horizontally!  I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as things in my home began flying around my head, and I ducked to dodge a few baskets, plants and a huge lampshade, aiming right at me!  No kidding!
We rushed to close the windows, and wondered where all the kitties had gone, we speculated they were hiding in their secret place under the headboard of the platform bed.  For the next 40 minutes the storm raged on, as coconuts flew by and dust bunnies scurried about.
Ten minutes after the storm had passed, we were mopping up when one very wet kitty came home, crying quite loudly as he dripped, dripped, dripped and slid his way across the floor, begging for some comfort and describing in loud plaintive cries how the storm had scared him.  Moments later, the other two kitties showed up, quite dry, staring at the soaking one, very oddly, as if to say, Next time wear your rain coat silly!
This weekend promises good surfing waves, from the tropical wave north of us,  and you may find the Mermaid frolicking about at Capoons Bay along with the surfer dudes and dudettes.
East of us is a HUGE (did I say BIG? I meant HUMONGOUS!) tropical wave and it looks as if it could develop into a system over the next few days and perhaps give us another storm test.
I have 28 cans of tuna in my hurricane kit, I found them priced wrong at the grocery store, so I um, began buying a few a day, hoping no one would notice the wrong price. It is so RARE to ever find a deal on anything on Tortola, especially food which at times is frightfully pricey.  Last week, we did find some super cheap steaks at $3.25 a pound, but we had to marinade them 5 days, yes, I did say FIVE days, in this Jamaican Jerk seasoning with a splash of Worcestershire sauce.  We sliced them thinly and stir fried them with broccoli and other veggies and man oh man, we renamed it Caribbean Jerk Szechuan as it was a hot spicy meal with after burn, but by golly, that cheap steak was tender!

- surf's coming!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 09:09:59 EDT
Ophelia is meandering around the North Carolina outer banks.
We have a tropical wave about 1000 miles southeast of us, that looks as if it could develop into something.  W are expecting some good surf days this weekend and hope to report back with some pictures for you, once I figure out how to work this newfangled camera.
Today it is in the mid 80's and a bit humid.

- surf's up!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 08:40:58 EDT
Bright and sunny.  Surfing was good yesterday, unusual for September.  Some hardy St Johnians paddled over from St John to the car rental agency on Tortola, by kayak, towing their surf boards.  Then they rented a car with the boards sticking out the back, and toured all the surf spots on Tortola, deciding they liked Capoons Bay best.
Camera on the way, so eventually I will have some photos again.
Three tropical waves are east of us but nothing much has come of them thus far.

- four waves east of us
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 09:04:57 EDT
Yesterday the surf was up and surfers at Bomba's were having a blast on the 4-5 foot waves.  This is unusual for September, but no one was complaining.
The four tropical waves just east of us are responsible for the surprise surfing.

- busy storms and an active water baby
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2005 07:50:26 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Himmacane Nate is northeast of Bermuda and not a threat to us in the BVI.
Tropical storm Maria hasn't gained strength and this of course is always good. Ophelia has weakened but still is so close to Florida and her current winds are strong enough to rip off tarps that still dot the landscape, as my Floridians relatives and friends report back to me.
Three tropical waves are east of us and not expected to develop much.  A fourth wave is almost on top of us, and not expected to form into anything until it hits the central Caribbean.
We are so very fortunate thus far, to be spared any grief from bad weather this year.
Today it is overcast and muggy.  A time of year when tempers are shorter as the heat is on and many businesses are closed for vacation time yet those not closed are faced with chaos and a shrinking work force as many folks opt to take a 4-6 week vacation off-island. How I wish I could do the same!
Last Sunday I went to the beach and for the first 3 hours, only 5 of us populated the lone stretch of powdery white sand and crystal blue waters.   The afternoon brought out a dozen families with several dogs and in moments,  a raucous water Frisbee game involving children, dogs, and adults broke out and dominated the swim area.  I could hear 4 different languages being spoken around the  crowd of merry makers.
Some swam in stylish bathing suits, others simply showed up in shorts and T's and swam and splashed.  One energetic tiny toddler with inflatable water wings apparently learned how to swim and with her parents' eyes turned away briefly, checking on their other children,  she would slither away 50 yards and send her parents splashing and scurrying after her.  This scene was repeated several times and I had to admire the spunky kid, she is probably going to be a water baby all her life.

- hot time
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 09:26:24 EDT
Tropical storm Ophelia is headed for the east coast of Florida.
The tiny island of Bermuda escaped the wrath of Himmacane Nate.
Hurricane Maria is meandering in the northern Atlantic.
We currently have one, no two, ooops threes, correction, FOUR tropical waves to the east of us.  There are worth watching, but the pros don't think they will mount to anything.
Today in Tortola it is sunny with gentle winds.  We had scattered showers yesterday and more would have been a welcome relief as we are in our hot time of year. (Or maybe I am just having a hot flash...)
Either way, I am dripping in sweat, and the hardest thing I have done is lift my coffee cup this morning.  I think the waves have just sucked out the much needed trade winds.

- tropical wave east of us
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2005 07:42:04 EDT
Warm and sunny today in Tortola with little winds.  Hurricane Maria is about 475 miles east of Bermuda.  A large tropical wave is located about 375 miles east of us and expected to bring scattered showers and choppy waves.
I usually live carefree in paradise.  I avoid news shows, preferring beach and limin' time.  I have survived several devastating hurricanes, a fire, rescue at sea on a turtled boat and other assorted calamities.  Why I am still alive, is a great mystery or a major miracle.
However, since Katrina and the devastation of a beloved New Orleans, I have found myself inexplicably drawn to the TV news shows as one horror after another unfolds.  I have visited New Orleans about 2-3 dozen times in my short life and was expected to return there this fall, but obviously, I won't be going unless I can figure out a way to go help. 
I have started over several times in my life, it's tough and it's awful and hard to do alone.  I pray that the southern refugees are able to come to grips with their own starting over and that one day they find some peace and happiness.

- Red Cross needs you
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 12:49:55 EDT
Once again, I am pleading for donations to the Red Cross for victims of hurricane Katrina.
Donate online:
Today in Tortola, it is dry and warm with very little winds.
We have a nasty tropical depression to our east, well worth keeping an eye on.
Tropical Storm Maria is northeast of us and heading west so not a likely threat.
Tropical Depression #14 is northeast of us as well and not a threat, unless it does a loopy loop.

- TD Lee and imminent death of Katrina
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 07:26:20 EDT
Tropical Depression Lee is located about 790 miles east of Bermuda with 35mph winds.  Lee is  not a threat to us at this time. Yesterday he was discontinued when he was still called TD#13, but now he has regenerated and acquired a name.
Killer Katrina is dissipating in Canada and we hope to lay her to rest soon.  Killer Katrina, the name, will be retired and next year we will have a different K name. 
I find myself glued to the TV watching the horror unfold in New Orleans and other areas hard hit by the hurricane. I think New Orleans is destined to be a ghost town, I just don't know how you recover from that much water damage.
In Tortola, the sun is out, rain has been scarce all week (does that mean it will rain on the weekend?) and September is here.
Let's see I have survived hurricane Gilbert, Hugo, Luis, and Marilyn, all in September. I hope this year, nothing happens around here. 
"Moonlight sail cufflinks"Sailboat Cufflinks

- warm and sunny
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 08:05:39 EDT
Blue skies with bird chirping.  82 degrees and no winds.
Makes us a feel a tad guilty to have it so wonderful here when others hit by Killer Katrina are suffering in misery.
Having survived several devastating hurricanes my hearts go out to those affected by Killer Katrina.
Remnants of tropical depression 13 are just north east of us and not expected to do much.
There is another TD in the making far east of us, but it hasn't been numbered or named yet.
The earth is overpopulated and it seems mother nature is taking a strike back.

- screams at the table...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 08:13:59 EDT
Woke up to birds singing and roosters crowing.  Sun is out and winds are very slight.  Temperature is 82. Scattered showers are expected and welcomed.
New Orleans still waits for the worst to come from Katrina.
We have two tropical waves east of the islands which bear watching, though with Killer Katrina overshadowing the weather news, not much will be available on these waves, but I will try to keep you posted.
QUOTE of the day:

"I'm expecting that some people who are die-hards will die hard,"

said Jefferson, Louisiana  parish council President Aaron Broussard.

MEMORIES of New Orleans...

I was once again riding the train from South Carolina to New Orleans in the early 80's.  I befriended a steward who took me to the luggage car and slid the big door open as we crossed the 21 mile bridge across Lake Ponchartrain as the sun was setting.  It was exhilarating to be in the fresh air,  the train trestle was built pretty close to the lake. I remember how the setting sun was mirrored on the windless water and I thought life just couldn't get any better.

I was traveling with an older woman who owned a bar and restaurant in S. C.  She had never been to New Orleans, and I insisted she take the trip as a business expense for research and development. How could a club owner not know anything about New Orleans?

The food and exotic drinks in New Orleans is some of the best the country has to offer, and me being a consummate shrimp lover, had often dreamed of moving to New Orleans, just to enjoy the jumbo shrimp delivered daily by the fisher folks.

We got off the train and took a taxi to the French Quarter where we plopped down in a lovely courtyard and ordered up fresh steamed shrimp, our little carry on bags, tucked under the table. It was still early, and there were few patrons around. Moments later, the proud waiter appeared with two huge baskets overflowing with bright red shrimp, complete with heads and tails, those little dark black  eyes seemingly staring at us from all angles amidst a tangle of legs, tails  and antennae.

Ellen, let out an ear piercing scream that threatened to shatter the tall shapely glasses we were sipping colorful drinks out of, the waiter dropped his tray (and jaw) the bartender, waiters, and kitchen staff all came running out to see what the commotion was. I sat frozen in time, trying to figure out what had just happened.

My face was as red as the bright shrimp as I stared at Ellen imploring her to explain the frightful look on her face, her hand clutched across her heart and terror written all over her huge round eyes.

It was the shrimp.  In all her years as a club owner, she had only seen pre-cleaned  (headless)  shrimp and it never occurred to her that the little buggers had heads and odd little eyes plus an assortment of legs and antennae attached to the thorax. 

As she explained to me and the crowd that had gathered, she had never seen shrimp like THIS before!  The chef calmly picked up a shrimp, de headed it, peeled it and proffered it to her.  She pronounced the shrimp delicious but begged him to take the basket away.  I held onto my basket firmly, because I love shrimp, it is my favorite food in the whole wide world, nothing in my book, will ever top the exquisite taste of shrimp.

While Ellen turned  the other way, and sipped on a 2nd drink, apparently made quite stiff by the startled bartender, I rapidly de headed my shrimp and moments later, the chef appeared with Ellen's basket, which appeared to be substantially smaller, as now it contained pure shrimp, cleaned, peeled and mercifully de headed.

We finished our meal and Ellen left a lavish tip to the bemused staff who probably still talk about us to this day.   As we wandered down Bourbon street, I inwardly speculated about the rest of our trip, as I intended to eat shrimp for all my meals and hoped that Ellen would learn to cope. I don't think she ever ordered shrimp again, the entire trip, while I had shrimp cooked every way imaginable, but my favorite being plain old steamed.

My prayers and thoughts go out to my friends in New Orleans and to Ellen, where ever she is now.

I also pray for the stupid reporter on TV last night, who was desperately making up questions to ask the meteorologist she was interviewing.   He was explaining the potential damage to homes, trees, buildings, power grids and so on, plus the potential for loss of life if residents stayed behind. The stupid reporter  asked if the grave yards could survive such a huge storm and the metrologies assured her those folks were already dead...

sailboat kiteGo fly a kite...


- td #13
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2005 21:44:37 EDT
TD 13 is out there, about 960 east of the Leewards.
Killer Katrina is poised to stomp the gulf coast and one of my all time favorite cities, New Orleans.   I spent many happy weekends there.
Today was bright and sunny with gentle winds.
Today's report is dedicated in loving memory of Michael Arneborg, who passed last night.  Michael was a friend of mine and a renown architect who designed many beautiful homes and businesses throughout Tortola. God rest your soul.

- life's a beach
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 08:39:43 EDT
Katrina is marching through Florida, while we have scattered clouds here.  I went to the beach yesterday and it didn't even rain.  Amazing!

- Katrina
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 09:19:23 EDT
Tropical Storm Katrina is rambling through the Bahamas. She was here last week, anonymously, when it rained every day when I went to the beach.  All I had to do was show up, and it poured.  Mind you we drove to many different beaches to evade this black cloud, but there she was, where ever we went.
One day we got our tootsies wet and were about to plunge in headlong when thunder and lightning began rumbling, sending us scurrying away from water and trees.
Finally one day it was so sunny, we drove to three different beaches in one day and swam at them all, just to thumb our noses at the clouds that kept following us around.
Today it is coolish and overcast with stiff breezes.

- scattered rains
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 05:43:23 EDT
Tropical Storm Jose is near Mexico and not a threat to us.
Tortola has had rains off and on all week, the island is very green.  I tried to go to the beach every day for a week, and dang, if it didn't seem to rain as soon as I arrived!  Now I like rain, but sometimes a mermaid needs to work on a new tan...
There is a tropical west due east of us, but it hasn't formed into much of anything yet.
Today's Favorite Quote:
I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb -- and I'm also not blonde..
-Dolly Parton-

- beachy weather
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 12:27:34 EDT
Cloudy and breezy.  Remnants of TD#10 are just north of us and we have some iffy weather. Yesterday we arrived at the beach, plunked down in the water, just as thunder rolled across the sky.  What luck.
So we left the beach as the rains began pouring and took cover in a nice bar.  When the rains let up, we decided to drive to a different beach, but alas, as we arrived there, the rains started again, so we were forced back into a bar.
When the rains stopped, we resumed our drive, in search of a dry beach, but dang it, we ended up at another bar.
I guess you could say we went sight seeing rather than beaching, we saw lots of nice beaches, under cover of rain.
I wanted to take lots of pretty pictures for this web page, but my camera has packed it up and refuses to work.
We will try again tomorrow.

- just say mo...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 10:51:27 EDT
It is such a gorgeous day in paradise that Miss Mermaid has gone to the beach to take a weather report.  Mo' later.

- Welcome to Paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 07:23:52 EDT
Hurricane Irene is east of North Carolina.  Tropical Depression 10 is 770 miles east of us and quite weak.  Sun is shining and winds are gentle.  A great day for beach combing for old coins.

- we got your number...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 18:18:41 EDT
Tropical Depression ten has been numbered. Winds are 35 mph, located about 1100 miles east of us and moving at a leisurely rate of 9mph.  The slower the rate, the greater chances of it building into a storm with stronger winds, so it's something to watch.

- cool rains
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 08:14:51 EDT
Tropical Storm Irene is packing 50mph winds, but no threat to the BVI.
A tropical wave is located 1350 miles east of us and looks ominous.
Partly cloudy here with coolish winds, scattered rain expected of short duration.
OH, boy, I got THAT right, the rains just started as I was writing.  Sky is dark and rain is heavy, probably be over in under 10 minutes, but OH, it feels so great to feel those cool winds!
Palm Tree Charm

- summer is here!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 09:03:56 EDT
Hot and very summery now.  Many islanders have fled elsewhere for vacation, many for 2-6 weeks.  I think I may swim to a cooler ocean...
3 Tropical Waves east of us, certainly a busy year, but looks like they will all miss us.
Hazy with 59% humidity and 89 degrees (or 32 Celsius.)
apple bay beach

- another escape, Irene no threat to islands
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 08:38:18 EDT
Tropical Storm Harvey is way north headed for Newfoundland.
Tropical Storm Irene was just named and is about 959 miles north east of us.
Neither one is a threat to our lovely islands.  We have cheated death again!
Today it is 82 with gentle winds.  Sahara dust has been thick, as you can hear some folks whooping and coughing and others it doesn't affect at all. The horizon is thick and hazy. It's lazy days of August, when very little gets done on Tortola. The outgoing flights are pretty full as folks take off for lengthy vacations.  Dear Miss Mermaid wishes she was one of them!
A nice southern lady,  sent this lovely letter, which I have broken up into segments:
Miss Mermaid,
As an avid Hurricane watcher ( only via the internet as here in Northwest Louisiana, the wrath of a hurricane has yet to reach us) I check the stormcarib site daily to get the best accounts of any hurricanes. By the way, it is rather sad, but it took me a while to figure out what a "Himmacane" was. Does not speak well of my "bottle blonde" hair.
Oh dear, I should explain if you are new to these reports. Traditionally hurricanes have been named after women, but a few years ago the men demanded equal time, so the names began alternating between female and male names, hence, every other hurricane, became a himmacane.
I wouldn't worry about the hair, unless it makes you suicidal (dyed by her own hand...)

Your reports and mailbag are always very interesting. The husband and I are hopefully planning to visit your gorgeous island next August. Are there any specific sights you recommend we take in?
Yes.  I find the sunrises and sunsets quite spectacular here, especially in August, when the Sahara dust often makes them incredibly colorful. This phenomenon is not prevalent in the winter, as the dust seems to settle down by mid to late September most years.  The beaches are wonderful, August is carnival month then it splits off into two segments, one in East End and one in Carrot Bay called the Carrot Bay cultural festival. 
Also, I was curious, as we get many stares for our abnoxiously deep southern accents, do you think you and fellow "tortolans" will be able to understand us?
Well, truth be known, Dear Miss Mermaid was born in South Carolina. My parents weren't southerners, but growing up in the south, my parents saw to it we learned southernisms, manners and speech.  You should have a wonderful time, as southerners have great manners and the locals here love it when you start off with a Good Morning, Howarya or Good Afternoon etc. As a southerner, I found my manners, a definite asset.  If locals speak too rapidly and you fail to understand, give them a coy smile and ask them to tell you again, slowly, you think slowly...  I have used this technique to great giggles as well as for welcomed assistance.
Do you have any tips on communicating with the islanders better?
Smile!  Smile a lot!  Don't be afraid to speak, since southerners tend to speak slower than those New Yo'k and New JorZee types, it's easier for the islanders to understand you. Pour on your natural  southern charm and islanders will do anything they can to make your vacation special. Time and time again, I see islanders refer to southerners as "those nice people."

Maybe we will just carry a pad and pen with us. This is a normal beginning to a conversation with a stranger, as translated into what we rightfully like to call "Hick Speak."
"Hey-loooow. Where-ah iz the neer-ist gro-sharee stow?"  See, things might get complicated. Even people in Georgia have trouble understanding us! Any tips are appreciated!
Thanks for the great column, it's always an enjoyable
And thank you for reading the column and emailing me!
You will get along fine here.  In local lingo the r's are often flattened out, so grocery or gro-sher-reee stow or store, is likely to end up with directions to the food markets. You will also note that islanders pronounce orange with two syllables and vegetables is spoken with 5 syllables, so yes some island words are actually drawn out.
You might use your pad and pen for notes and names of the lovely folks you are likely to meet. Though, those dang Yankees, sometimes have a way of making fun of southerners, I have never seen the islanders make fun of me or my southern accent.
Ya'll is a common word with the islanders and they never refer to women or a mixed crowd as "guys" (something the northerners love to do, much to the confusion of those born elsewhere).  We still have sodas here (the Yankees have pop!)  Order up "pop" and the bartender is likely to think you are soliciting an herb deal....
I do have a friend who cracks up when I say "I am fixing to do something, or fixing to take a shower, or fixing to go to town."  He wonders what all this fixing is about. Also, he notes, that I "cut the light on as well as cut the light off or cut the TV on"  apparently those northern types don't cut t'ings on.  Go figure!
However, da current here is what we called electricity and they say locally "dey cut da current again" when we have a power outage.
So as a southerner, I think you will find the lower the lattitudes the slower the speech, so you will do just fine here.
Now, I am fixin' to post this to the web page...
Again, thanks for writing Dear Miss Mermaid.
Now the begging cup rattles, as Miss Mermaid struggles to make ends meet...Bet you didn't know Jimmy Buffet wrote more than just songs, here's his latest book..

- survived Carrot Bay Cultural Fair
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2005 09:26:10 EDT
Here it is Sunday and breezy, bright and sunny, a great day for sailing or beachcombing.
I made it to the Donkey races in Carrot Bay.  The police turned out to close down the street for the race, effectively cutting off both halves of the island, so you had to stop and enjoy the races, whether that was your intended venue or not.
The donkeys looked a tad nervous, tied off to the side to someone's fence by ropes, not bridles.  Finally they were saddled up, one with an old piece of foam rubber, all jagged on the sides and stained in the middle, the other with an old pillow.
One was named AssPectation, a take-off  after our famous race horse on island named, AxPectation.
The other one was named Mango something and as the race started, Asspectation took off at full speed, while the other one calmly ambled down the road, with an immense jockey poised on his sagging back, barely at a goodly trot.  The crowd was giggling and the jockey looked embarrassed, nothing he could do would coax the donkey any faster, so I yelled out "and this donkey  is named GOVERNMENT" to which the crowd cheered quite heartily!
Nothing is slower on Tortola than our government so the poor donkey became GOVERNMENT the rest of the races. Even when the heavier jockey was traded for a lighter one, the donkey still ambled along at a steady slow trot.
So by the end of four heats, AssPectations had won and Government was last place. So I guess you could say Government got its ass kicked!

- Carrot Bay Carnival
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 08:38:48 EDT
Public holidays are over.  Town should be a real zoo today.  Banks have been closed for 5 days now!  Bank machines are empty and dead.
Weather is beautiful with scattered clouds and gentle trade winds.
Carrot Bay carnival is kicking up now!

- Himmacane Harvey
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 16:47:07 EDT
It's official!  Bermuda has a himmcane watch for Harvey now.  He is packing winds of 60mph and meandering at a sluggish rate of 10mph.

- Technically Speaking...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 10:07:23 EDT
Tropical Depression 8 is up near Bermuda, and no threat to us. It's in the mid 80's here with moderate winds keeping us cool.
It's still going in full swing here!  Carrot Bay takes over soon, as a mini carnival sets up on the waterfront. More of a neighborhood thing, so I will definitely have to turn out and see all my neighbors and support the local bars *hiccup*.  Besides, I wouldn't miss the donkey races for anything, even if I have to call in sick at work (could I say I am sick and tired of working?)
From the mailbag:
Hi Again from Mpls,
I have a question for you, I read your hurricane report and need an explanation of what you mean by tropical wave.  Is it a cloud formation, or a cold front coming over Tortola?  Up here in the Midwest fronts look different than down in the Caribbean. Thanks for the explanation.
I read from you newsletter that most things are shut down, is Riteway and Bobbie's closed?  I've not been down to Tortola at this time of year and am interested in the events during Carnival.  Good food? Good Music? 
Up here is in the lakes country, we are expecting 90's and humid, no storms, winds south at 15.  Yesterday was blueberry picking, 5 gallon pail !!    Now my work starts making jam and jelly.  This afternoon it will be hit the lake and go swimming!! My golden retriever will hang out with me. I can relate to your cats getting the chicks, Skipper my dog is 1  this year for catching a squirrel, but I don't have to deal with the bones, all she wants to do is find the squeaker in the squirrel, one squeak and the squirrel squeaks no more!!!!
 Thanks again!
Dear Sailgardener,
    Did you say BLUEBERRY jam and jelly???
    My mailing address for such treats is:
        PO BOX 1533
        St John, VI 00831-1533
    Pad those jars well!  Hint!  Hint!
    (By the way, half of Tortola gets their mail in St John, the other half in St Thomas...)
    Carnival is definitely a blast!  A two week long party that last for a month!
    All the grocery stores stay open during carnival cause we all still got to eat and many of the food booths have to restock at the carnival.
    OK, now for the technical terms, you asked about:
Squall--A brief sudden violent windstorm. (Secure the rum bottles!)
Rain Squall--A brief sudden violent windstorm, accompanied by rain, usually you feel a blast of cool air preceding a strong one.  (Open da rum bottles and test for purity...)
Rum Squall--Consuming copious amounts of liquor, no matter what the weather is doing.
Rum & Rain--A drink made with Rum and cold rain water (immensely popular during storms with power and ice outages)

Tropical disturbance, tropical wave -- Unorganized mass of thunderstorms, very little, if any, organized wind circulation. (Buy another bottle of rum, just in case...)

Tropical depression -- Has evidence of closed wind circulation around a center with sustained winds from 20-34 knots (23-39 mph).  (But 3 more bottles of rum, just in case...)

Tropical storm -- Maximum sustained winds are from 35-64 knots (40-74 mph). The storm is named once it reaches tropical storm strength. (Buy 3 cases of rum, just in case...)

Hurricane/Himmacane -- A named storm with maximum sustained winds exceeding 64 knots (74 mph).  (Buy all the rum left in the store, just in case...)
Thank you Sailinggardener, for your email,  I am sure other readers will enjoy this technical  info.
And now for the begging cup...(Miss Mermaid has to earn a living somehow...)
Today I am pushing the BEST hammock in the world, still made by the decedents of the man who INVENTED the hammock, a useful old sailor and skallywag, every time I stretch out in my lovely hammock, I thank that old salt who made it all possible.

- another wonderful day in paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 09:34:54 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Today it is nice and cool, a bit cloudy, and almost windless.  Maybe it cooled off due to all these public holidays...with government shut down, we don't have all that needless hot air puffing around...
My neighborhood is very quiet this morning, no traffic noise, no people, just birds sending out the occasional noise. One hen escaped carnival and is wandering around the yard with little chicks that are peep peep peeping endlessly.  The kitties no longer attack the chicks, unless they become really annoying.
Such as recently a chick ended up in the utility room, the outside door is often ajar.  The chick set up such a ruckus, but the mother hen never showed up.  The endless peep-peep-peeping  became quite loud and plaintive.  Finally, the laziest cat of them all, woke up with a scowl on his face, ambled out to the utility room and came back with his prey, which he lazily consumed on the patio, just leaving a few small bones and fluff behind.  With a satisfied burp,  he stretched out apathetically on the cool tiles, to resume his 19 hour nap in peace, with a little smirk on his face.
Cat-1, Chick-0, game over.
This is the time of year when nothing much gets done on Tortola, especially if it involves government or banking or business.  Several restaurants and bars have closed.  The happy hour regulars are having to regroup at different places next week.
And de Carnival is in full swing mon!
A huge tropical wave is passing by us, another one is south of us and I don't like the looks of him, but he's not likely to be a threat to us, at all, but I suspect he will flare up, though the pros don't think so, but heck, they don't use a crystal ball like the Mermaid does!
If you can't be a good example, then make yourself useful & be a horrible warning...
Now the Mermaid's begging cup rattles...with a great offer on a weather station.

- Carnival Spirit
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 01:21:49 EDT
That tropical wave was building right on top of us today!  The skies darkened, and someone drained that big ole bathtub in the sky and it poured and poured and poured!
I was forced into town to work today, against my wishes and better judgment.  The owner announced we would close at 12:30.  He dashed out to run errands and while he was gone, I taped a big sign on the door "Closed Until Thursday, due to Public Holidays".  He came back at 11:30 and saw the big sign and thought it was PAST 12:30 so he told everyone to go home!
Pretty sneaky eh?
I left, picked up a hitchhiker,  and drove barely a mile, and it took 45 minutes, the traffic was absolutely horrendous! My hitchhiker even abandoned me in favor of walking.  Folks were doing silly stuff which kept causing mile long snares that would take another 20 minutes to untangle.  I was thinking of just parking the jeep and walking the 14 miles home, it was so awful.
I noticed a parking spot, conveniently located near a sailor's bar, so I parked my hunk of rust and went in the bar and left the traffic battles to the pros.
It rained and poured while I was in the open air bar, and we chatted about the ridiculous traffic jams, as more folks poured in the bar, refugees from the traffic mess.
A few hours later, I ventured out, picked up a new hitchhiker, and actually made it 4 more miles, before oops, I discovered convenient parking near another sailor's bar...so I let the hitchhiker out and parked.
Fetched a drink and some wonderful togo food, chatted up my friends  and by golly, on my third try, I picked up another hitchhiker and  I actually made it all the way home! 
Though, dang it, I parked my car and realized that I still  live 100 feet from another sailor's bar... 
I guess  you could say I got into the carnival spirit!
It has cooled considerably here, winds are whipping up and intermittent rain squalls dot the night.

- tropical waves and donkey in the pool hall
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 08:53:40 EDT
Title: AOL Email
We have a vigorous tropical wave almost on top of us, an Airforce reconnaissance plane is supposed to go check it out today and let us know if it is a tropical depression.
Here we are, full swing into carnival and we got his mess on top of us. 99% of the carnival activities are held outdoors.
Another tropical wave is about 900 miles East of the BVI. No rest for us, always something exciting on the horizon.
Public Holidays will be observed in the BVI this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  No kidding!  Everything will be closed except carnival related business. Many businesses begin closing early today, as employees often start drinking before lunch time, if they bothered to show up at work at all.
If you are single and LOOKING, then you definitely need to be at carinval as not only is it fun for couples and families but the single meet-market is operational.
If you are a single female (or want folks to THINK you are) then merely stroll around by yourself, and within 30 seconds, the offers will start appearing before you.  If you are a single male, then you are obliged to hit upon every single female you can, and the more the merrier.  As one single man patiently explained to me, "If you ask every woman you meet,  to sleep with you, eventually some say yes... so I just be asking all dem women...til I get me somebody interested.  Age and size don't matter to me, all I want is a willing woman...and I know if I ask them all, I will find the one(s) that be saying yes to me..."
I am looking forward to the Carrot Bay Cultural Festival, I attend each year, especially  the Donkey Races.   While I see the Donkey races are not listed yet, I think they are held Friday afternoon. 
Last year one spirited donkey ran off the course and into a bar, which promptly emptied out, a few seconds later the rider coaxed the donkey out of the bar, but he then ran inside  the pool hall, but nobody would play him a game, as all potential opponents ran out in the street.
I guess he was just taking his cue from the rest of us, he made his parade, albeit fast, down the street, now he was ready for drinking and partying!
So if you plan to race your donkey, make sure he has had plenty of play time, before racing, and also give him a few drinks before hand so he doesn't feel like he has to detour from the race, to dink and play. 
By the way, now that it is carnival, not a single chicken is left alive on the island, unless you have your own stock under lock and key...

- padded cell for crazy mermaid...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 08:43:37 EDT
The solar alarm clock went off at 5:54am, otherwise known as SUNRISE.  Unless you have a super dark bedroom, it is next to impossible to sleep after the sun comes up, it comes up strong and fast, and makes one feel like, "Oh, a new day to get going on!"
Sunset is at 6:54pm, so we get 13 hours of nice pretty sunshine these days.  Gentle winds rustle the waters, humidity is at 66% but feels less when the wind is blowing.  Shade trees appear to be 10 degrees cooler, it is 84 in the sun right now.
Drying clothes on the line is faster than a tumble dryer.  Did you know tumble driers are designed to wear your clothes out faster?  I hang towels and sheets in the bright sunshine to get mother nature's natural sterilization, but clothes I don't want to fade too fast, (a common problem in de islands mon)  I hang under cover on the patio, but still they dry pretty quickly.
If it is raining, I sometimes hang my clothes in front of a stand fan, and it dries amazingly fast.  Sometimes I wonder why they bother to sell clothes dryers here, except they are good for plumping up pillows, and Miss Mermaid must have LOADS of pillows.  There is a certain laundry lady who takes all my pillows every few months and washes and fluff dries them all for me, with great care. She is a Godsend.
When I  lived on my 30 foot sailboat, a friend came over and looked at my V-berth which had pillows on all 3 sides plus a few more to lay my head on, and yet a few more for hugging, and he looked around and said "This padded cell is PERFECT for a character like you..."
I got a new job in advertising and marketing recently.  Very exciting work!
Recently a new hardware store opened on another  island and they asked Dear Miss Mermaid to come up with some exciting grand opening slogan and promotion, as well as to make an appearance (Mermaids are still an oddity  that folks like to gawk at...)
So at the very last minute, I turned in my project, a huge banner, draped across the entrance of the new hardware store, that said "NEED A GOOD SCREW?"
The crowds were so thick and the aisles nearly emptied out, so a sunglass company came to me to see if I could help them launch their new product line.  After weeks of head scratching, I finally turned in my new ad, showing off the new sunglasses and my new slogan for them:  "We'd LOVE to be sitting on your face!"
However, I was promptly fired in my new job, after creating a beautiful brochure for a company specializing in bar stools, something we desperately need here as most places here have the most horrendous horrible bar stools (why I do not know, but seems to be an island trait to make  by hand, the most uncomfortable bar stools you can...)
On the brochure, I pictured all the different types of bar stools and printed in huge letters "Check out our stool samples..."
I was fired.
Some folks just have NO sense of humor...
Long Bay Beach Picture Loading...

- Catching up on the mail bag...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 08:14:06 EDT
84 degrees, gentle winds, blue sky punctuated with small clouds.
Franklin is close to Bermuda, no threat to us. Two tropical waves are east of us and are worth watching as they could develop further in a few days.
Thank you readers,  for all the wonderful emails.  Your questions are so interesting, I have posted my answers here today, for all to enjoy.
Is it true you were in a terrible accident recently?
Yes.  I went out drinking with another weather reporter during a rum squall. 
Afterwards, we were stumbling from the bar, walking across the parking lot, when a speeding taxi, hit us both.
I broke my left arm and right leg,  my colleague broke a leg and his arm too.  So we had to work from the hospital...  with our four casts...
Do you know what the weather is like in Mexico?
Mexican Weather Report:
Chili Today, Hot Tamale...
Are Forecasters Always Truthful?
No, if we were, then an Honest Forecaster Would Say:
Today is nice and sunny, with an 80% chance I could be wrong...
Do you have special lingo for a great day weather-wise?
The technical term for a gorgeous day, preceded by 2 rainy stormy days, is... Monday.
During that storm squall last week, you mentioned a flying cow, going past your place, whatever happened to her?
It was an udder disaster...
I know you have had trouble with "da current" lately.  But what gives with the bank machines?  I went to five yesterday, and all said "communications are temporarily down" and wouldn't give me any cash! 
I am on vacation and not all bars take credit cards (I so hate being sober on vacation!) For two days, I get this same annoying screen on the bank machines.  I am almost broke and a little too sober now!  What do you suggest?
I suggest you go on a  walk about, outside, with your purse wide open, in case there is some change in the weather...
Every time I visit the islands, I see chickens running around, all over the islands.  Sometimes we find fresh eggs in the strangest places.  Does the weather affect them much?
Only if it's very hot.  Then we feed the hens crushed ice, so they don't lay hard boiled eggs...
Keep that email coming!  As always, I strive to answer them all!
And now, the begging cup rattles...

- snowing sunshine again
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 08:28:09 EDT
Tropical Storm Franklin is headed for Bermuda, Tropical Storm Gert is in Mexico.
Gert our webmaster is reputed to be in the Caymen Islands  according tot he coconut telegraph!
On Tortola, it is nice and cool with gentle winds.  Thermometer says 86 degrees but it sure doesn't feel like it. 

During a taxi run, the crew of a US AIR flight to Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. The irate ground controller (a female) screamed, "US Air 2771, where are you going? I told you to turn right on "Charlie" taxiway; you turned right on "Delta". Stop right there!  I know it's difficult to tell the difference between C's & D's, but get it right!"

Continuing her lashing to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically. "Now, you've screwed up everything; it'll take forever to sort this out. You stay right there and don't move until I tell you to! Then, I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you. You got that, US Air 2771?"

"The humbled crew responded, "Yes, Ma'am".

The ground control frequency went terribly silent; none of the aircrews wanted to engage the irate ground controller in her current state. Tension in every cockpit at the airport was running high.
Then an unknown male pilot broke the silence and asked, "Wasn't I married to you once?"

- Gert goes to Mexico
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2005 15:53:36 EDT
Sunshine and very tiny winds here.
Gert is headed for Mexico, just a tropical storm.
Also, for those of you new to this area, Gert is the name of our beloved webmaster for Storm Carib!

- da current done mash up again...but beach weather is GREAT!
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2005 09:56:41 -0400
Weather is beautiful!  Mid 80's, sunny, blue sky dotted with fluffy cotton balls, gentle winds stir the leaves of the garden.
But, da current done gone again, monLordy mercy, you would think I live on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere... 
So I am using this new fangled battery laptop and bouncing a slow signal off the cellular tower with some little 4 inch antenna, to send you this report.  It takes about 5 minutes to send a simple email, but hey, it works!  So if we get the "big one" I might be able to transmit to cyberspace a few notes here and there.
Franklin hasn't become a himmacaane and that is good, he's still just a Tropical Storm, making a pest of himself around the Bahamas, no threat to us, he already got us last Wednesday, anonymously.
I was going to spend an exciting day housecleaning, but there I was poised to vacuum, dragged out the 50 foot cord, cleared a path across the floor, then I flipped the cleaner switch and it roared to life. I cranked up my stereo to almost full blast, so I could dance my way through housework.  Kitties scampered out the cat door pretty quickly.  (Are they afraid I might ask them to dust?  They are kinda lazy...)
I managed to vacuum about 3 tablespoons of cat fur, mermaid scales, Sahara dust, Volcanic ash, beach sand, a hairpin and one dead leaf when *POOF* da current done gone, leaving my vacuum lifeless.  The laptop sent out a shrill alarm, as if heavily offended (dang I hate that and can't figure out how to disable it!)
Now, how am I gonna play my old time rock and roll CD's at full volume if I got no current and  how am I gonna vacuum up this Sahara dust that is everywhere?  Sure, I got a battery operated boom box, but just not the same as that rich Bose sound that gets your heart pumping with Santana.
Laundry is piled up, brand new washing machine, delivered this month, ready to go and no current to make it rumble.
So dang it! 
Looks like I will just have to go to the beach and do the housework another week.
I guess life's a beach when you live here...

- Franklin is his name
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 08:59:36 EDT
Well, that mess I reported on this past Wednesday, was nameless at the time, and passed through here and on up to the Bahamas where he was bestowed the name of Tropical Storm Franklin.
If he gets any stronger, then he will be Himmacane Franklin.   A certain weather reported pointed out that for 20 days nonstop we have had storms to look at, man everyone is digging up sensationalism everywhere.
Around the BVI, we are quite happy, that this year we voted to send all our hurricanes and himmacanes elsewhere.  So far, this has worked beautifully!
But we also voted in a new government, a few years back, and it has not worked so beautifully...
Dear Miss Mermaid,
How does the weather look there in your lovely islands in the near future?? Seems like it's clear looking at Satellite, but one never knows - wondering what your local weather reports say....
Thank you,
Dallas Gal
Well, there are lots of useful links for local weather reports at
Now if you want the Crystal Ball Weather Predictioncrystal ball report, that is my expertise.
The next week should be absolutely stunningly gorgeous in the BVI with gentle rain showers of 2-4 minutes and plenty of sunshine snowing down on us...

- funny weather
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 08:17:11 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Warm and sunny, light winds, birds singing, low humidity, few clouds, just an all around great day to be alive!
I was reading the newspaper here and it gave me quite a giggle, and I quote:
    Mr. Stanley pleaded guilty June 20 to handling of stolen goods which included ... an IBM laptop computer and carrying bad.
    Judge... also put Mr. Stanley under a curfew from 10pm to 6am for a year and he mush enroll and complete an alternative education program.
Imagine if the guy had been thrown in prison!
    What are you in for?
    Um, carrying bad.....
Now, he mush enroll...  does that mean he should sign up for our culinary school here and learn to make mush?  Should he go to Alaska and learn how to mush and race dogs?  Would that qualify as an alternative education program?
And about this curfew, does that mean he can only steal from 6am to 10pm?  I think that is overly generous curfew, I mean what's wrong with sunrise to sunset?  Why let him out until 10 every night?  Most hard working folks are far too tired to stay out until 10 at night, so why does a convicted felon get off so light? (hey, that rhymes!)
It used to be if you were a thief here you got a harsh sentence in our rotten prison.  Then they built a new fancy prison high up in the mountains with million dollar views of the Caribbean Sea and moved all the men up there while the women still  languish in the centuries old dungeon downtown.
Makes ya wonder...
And now from the mailbag:
Dear Miss Mermaid,
    Do you have a boyfriend?  If not, what kind of boyfriend would you like?
Lonesome Sailor in Search of Mermaid
*blush* *blush*
Are you flirting?  (Hmm,... Seems men always beat around the bush...)
OK, no I do not have a boyfriend, but I am interviewing...
All I am looking for, is a man who'll do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want and then wait nearby like a Dust Buster, all charged up and ready when needed...

- Tropical Wave Catches us asleep... and Lessons we learned
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 09:59:52 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Last night, while I was sleeping soundly, I awoke to the tropical wave that came through here with 50mph gusts, blowing torrential rains horizontally.  My apartment had tree leaves blown into every room, a stack of papers, on my desk look like a tornado hit and the kitties, who fled inside through their cat door, were looking a little rough around the edges. 
My potted plants survived, somewhat, but laundry hanging under cover on the patio was thoroughly soaked and re-rinsed and is literally drip-drying as I write. The Cable TV wire was ripped from the pole, and that will be months before they get around to fixing it *sigh*.
My neighbor on his sailboat in the harbor, had his flag get loose and then tangle with his wind generator and strip it of two  of the six blades.  Incredibly, this sped the generator UP and he wondered if his boat was going to take flight!  Imagine the news headline, Boat Flies to Mexico during Squall in Virgin Islands...
The hapless boat owner,  donned his foul weather gear, cheap stuff, and discovered it is no match for a small storm and was pretty worthless.  (Lesson 1, get the good stuff...) The wind generator was high up, and he found himself in the dead of night during the height of the squall, precariously balancing atop his stern rail, trying to disengage the wind generator overhead, which by now was pumping enough juice to run a small electric plant. (Lesson 2, a safety harness, tethered to the boat can be useful in an anchorage too, though he didn't have one at the time, he was concerned about slipping overboard and realized Lesson 3, that perhaps a boarding ladder would be useful after all...)
He also noted, "Well, that has totally discouraged me from ANY thoughts of staying aboard during a hurricane... if that is the power of 50mph gusts, I can only frightfully imagine what 150mph winds and rains must be like..."  (Lesson 4!)

- hot flash
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 07:28:48 EDT
Quiet and sunny.  84 degrees, light winds, moderate humidity, though I don't feel anything yet.  Scattered rains expected of 2-5 minute duration. 
Real Women don't have hot flashes, they have Power Surges...

- Evil Emily continues onwards towards Mexico
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 20:41:17 EDT
Title: AOL Email
I was reading the Mexican reports here on Storm Carib, and oh I feel for those people.  I am surprised so many tourists chose to stay!  Of course, you can't wait until the last minute to evacuate, cause then the airports are already overloaded.
A tough call, but man, I was surprised to read there may be 80,000 tourists still there.  I guess NOBODY wanted to leave early and mess up their vacation, now they can't leave, so man oh man, I feel for these people.
The last hurricane they got hit badly with was Gilbert in 1988.  I know because I was working and living  there then.   I thought my entire future was laid out for me on Isla Mujeres, a little island across from Cancun.
I lived at a little marina on a beautiful boat and worked on the island, I was learning Spanish and having great fun.  There was a doctor who wanted his boat delivered to Mobile, AL and my boss at the time, said I could go, make a few bucks, and then fly back in, a few days later.
In some ways, it turned out to be the trip from hell with another couple, she a parole officer, he the parolee.  Things you find out at sea!
When I got to Mobile, I packed my little bag, got off the boat and went to a bar to get food. That is when I found out Gilbert was headed for Mexico! I also  met a super nice couple with a gorgeous Bristol boat.  They let me stay on it a few days.
Gilbert came and went and I lost all communications with Mexico. I heard the place was devastated and now here I was homeless and jobless...in Mobile...
I called up a couple in Pensacola, I had met in Mexico, who said, if you are ever in Pensacola....come see us.  Turns out they were cross country now, but had house sitters who were sailors, who invited me to come stay at the house with them. The housesitters said, the couple had spoken of the mermaid in Mexico and they were excited to meet me.
So I move in with strangers, and promised to leave as soon as I found, um, a place to go to.  That night on the HAM radio, the housesitters  talk to the owners of the house and say, look, this hurricane refugee from Mexico moved in...
Then they tried for hours and hours to reach my friends and coworkers in Mexico, and the news coming out of there was sad.
So, I cooked and cleaned, played with the dog, laid around the pool, banged out a new resume and cover letters on a borrowed typewriter.  The housesitters were an interesting lot, and we all had a great time, living it up in someone else's house. 
I borrowed a fax machine, sent my letters and resume everywhere, made a ton of calls on my credit card, then the home owners come home, and I felt I should leave, the housesitters had already packed up, and they said, um, no, it was tough to be homeless, and I could stay.
A few days later, I get a call to go to Fort Lauderdale on an interview, and they hired me and off to Venezuela I went.
A year or two goes by, and I get this odd little postcard from Mexico, it had chased me for six months before catching up with me!  It's my old boss and he says, come on back down, there's no work for you anymore, but we salvaged some of your stuff and we're sending you a ticket.
I went back, and it was bittersweet. I watched some children, launch a small beat up leaky dinghy, then rig up bed sheets and broom sticks and sail around the lagoon.  I was mesmerized, that these kids were doing anything they could to make that bedsheet sail them along, while they furiously bailing out water.  They derigged and rerigged and when they finally caught the wind, they would go careening down the lagoon, giggling all the way, tossing buckets of water out of the leaky boat.
Let's  say a prayer to all those hunkering down in Mexico, bracing for the worst from Evil Emily.

- (no subject)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 10:46:10 EDT
Hurricane Emily is now due west of us, but no threat to the BVI, winds are 150mph which doesn't bode well for Cuba and the Yucatan, where Emily seems to be headed.
There is a tropical wave 825 miles SE of Bermuda, not a threat us the BVI either.
Brief rain here, nice and sunny.

- we have had current for 12 hours striaght! WOW
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 19:18:56 EDT
Title: AOL Email
All is quiet here, brief shower around noon and that was it.  Nice and summery.
I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe

- Da current done mash up again, mon
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 14:02:12 EDT
Emily is a category 3 hurricane now, churning...
This report interrupted at 718am by BVI Electricity Corporation
Da Current done mash up again, mon...
I am earnestly saving up for a new tiny little Honda generator, and then I am going to pray that somehow, some way, I can get one mailed to me from the U.S.
As you can tell I am seriously DAY DREAMING!  I don't mind the occasional power outage, I can live without electricity, but dang it, my refrigerator can't!

- testing wireless and battery
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 08:18:28 -0400
I was writing about how Emily has become a very strong hurricane, very quickly, when *POOF*
Da current mash up at 718am...
What is going on with BVI Electricity?  We have been having 2-3 outages per day and there is no storm here!  Rumor, is they want us all to buy noisy generators, so if we get the big one, we won't be complaining about lack of current from downed lines.  Well WHERE are these generators?  Only stuff sold here is BIG pricey stuff, (5 digits and UP!) none of those cute wittle Honda generators like I long for so badly, the little 1000 watt deals, about the size of a sewing machine, they weigh about 30 pounds and work marvelously.
So if any nutty tourists are flying in here and wish to bring an extra 30 pound piece of luggage, Miss Mermaid could and would reward ya handsomely...
Now I can live without electricity, I read books, sing to myself, light candles, play with my animals, do some balcony container gardening, but DANG IT!  My refrigerator can't live without da current!  I foolishly bought food the other day, and da lack of current, day after day,  is making things get green and fuzzy looking.
I have installed a wireless thingy that operates off the cellular antenna, (don't ask me, I am just da mermaid...)  and I am using my laptop battery, so this is a TEST to sea if I can get a LIVE report out to ya, without da current and without da DSL.
Currently the weather is typical summer day with nothing remarkable, other than I woke up alive again.

- 415pm conditions
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 16:20:54 EDT

- death and sadness
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 14:52:34 EDT
Currently pouring down rain with thunderous sound effects.  If I lose da current again, you won't hear from me anymore, because my 25+ year old 500 watt tiny generator was pronounced dead.  Viewing is today (during daylight hours only) and burial is this weekend, at the Solid Waste Department.
Needless to say, I am in deep mourning, as nothing like this little Honda baby is sold anywhere near these islands.  I do not know what is wrong with the BVI Electricity Corp., but since last week, they can NOT keep da current on for more than 12 hours at a time, and this is very sad.  Most outages now are 2+ hours and often interrupted with brief electrical bursts, then outage #2 follows for another hour or so.
Perhaps I will move to Nicaragua.

- Evil Emily is up to 100mph winds
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 13:12:51 EDT
Hurricane Evil Emily is exactly due south of us but moving WNW at a slow 18 mph. 

- I made a BOO BOO! but the crystal ball was right on target...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 13:02:14 EDT
In my report for July 13,  To Tell The Truth, WHICH one is the storm???  I thought I was pasting a picture of the then current satellite which showed two huge storms!  However, I seemed to have posted the current link, so when you scroll down and read my message (will the REAL storm please stand up?  Because I see TWO!) it doesn't make sense because you are looking at the CURRENT satellite (see date and time) rather than the very unique picture I thought I was posting at the time, that showed two huge storms.
Mermaids make mistakes (rarely!) but it happens...
Now for the crystal ball report..
Last night my dear friend came by to bid farewell before her transatlantic journey today.  I shushed her for a moment because I was studying my Crystal Ball Weather Predictioncrystal ball.  Then I gave her a big hug and said "I hope you can stay the night, I hate to be alone in a storm with da current (electricity) off."
She burst out laughing, gazing off my verandah at the clear evening and the decorative nightlights strung around outside, then wandered into my brightly lit kitchen and made herself a drink.
"No, I am serious!" I implored, waving anxiously at my crystal ball, "It is going to storm and da current is going off and I hate to be alone in the dark when it does that!"
She giggled some more, pronounced me a nut (well I've heard THAT before) and then, as if on cue, I couldn't have had a better take if I was making a live reality show...
The winds picked up with quite a howl, rain began blowing horizontally, and rumbles of thunder punctuated with lightning lit up the sky just as POOF, the electricity went off, plunging us into darkness for the next few hours, while the storm howled around us.
Unwittingly, because of the sheer force of the sudden storm, she did indeed spend the evening with me until the storm had passed and da current was restored.
So if you see a young pretty lady at the airport today, with a bruise on her chin, that is my dear friend (her jaw dropped open with such force she banged her drink glass and ooops!)
Today it is breezy and overcast with scattered little showers punctuating the day.

- WOW, more strange news!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 17:51:32 EDT

- To Tell The Truth, WHICH one is the storm???
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 17:35:28 EDT
Remember that old game show "To Tell the Truth"?  They had 2 imposters and one real person and they would answer yes/no questions and try to fool the stars as to who was the real person and who was the fake. At the end of the show the host would say, will the REAL so-and-so stand up please...
Well take a look at this picture, and tell me, will the REAL storm please stand up?  Because I see TWO!
Caribbean satellite

- Erratic Emily, has the forecasters confused!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 17:17:28 EDT
Title: AOL Email
The forecasters are having a rough go at it!  Emily has NOT turned into a Hurricane yet (they keep predicting she will) she has not turned north yet (they keep expecting she will) and the 5pm report from the hurricane center, didn't even mention the winds!
So more than ever, these reports, straight from the islands, are more accurate it seems. At least you hear what is really happening...
Sunny but overcast in areas around the BVI, kind of humid, rain would be welcomed.
Will keep ya posted!

- dark and overcast
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 12:54:25 -0400
Venezuela has issued a tropical storm watch!  When was the last time they ever did that?  Seems like years ago, back in the dark ages, I think it was the late 80's, I was hired as professional crew on board a large yacht in Venzuela in December.
Incredibly, we were in Florida with the owners, and we were scheduled to fly to Venzuela and there was a hurricane in December so our flights were delayed a few days, it was very odd to see a small hurricane wobbling towards Venezuela, but nothing much happened and we finally arrived to great weather in Venezuela.
Here in Tortola, it is dark, cloudy, overcast but still dry.

- busy year and it's only July
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 08:07:57 EDT
Emily is disobeying all the forecasters.  She has not turned towards the north, but stubbornly continued onwards in a westerly direction.
She has not increased in intensity though she has winds of 60 mph so she is not officially a hurricane.
Hurricane Hunter planes which are normally stationed in Biloxi Mississippi, have relocated to St Croix, so they can monitor Emily, TD#6 (Frank) and TD#7 (Gert!)
Dennis was downgraded to a Tropical Depression and is spinning in the Ohio Valley, USA, nearly stationery.
Such a busy year! 

- ash and dust
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 17:53:10 EDT
Dear Miss Mermaid,
I've been reading your posts and watching weather as we are headed to your beautiful islands (Virgin Gorda to be exact) next week. I noticed your
mention of Montserrat ash/dust - just curious if it's making things hazy and
gritty? Was not aware of the impact........can you comment? Thank you! -
Dallas Gal
Sometimes we get ash from Montserrat, they are pretty close mouthed about it, but sometimes the volcano has little eruptions and the ash gets carried across the skies and dumped here, creating hazy conditions.
The Sahara dust comes in here, yes all the way from the Sahara Desert, and that creates haze as well as spectacular sunsets such as the one shown on June 10th (scroll down this page until you get to June 10th!)

- Emily not to be trusted
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 17:15:56 EDT
In the BVI folks are totally ignoring Emily it seems, thinking that the track, which only concentrates on the center of the storm  is going to be so far south that it won't matter.
I, on the other hand, look at the sheer size of the storm and see that it is nearly the size of Texas and that either way we are in for some sloppy weather. 

- Emily and # 6 and possible 7!!!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 07:29:57 EDT
NOAA offers up this forecast, of course that wide white area, is all the possibilities. It will be interesting to see where Emily really goes.  
Right after Emily is #6 and another area that could become #7.  Such a busy year so early!  Though one year, we did have hurricane Bertha on July 5th pass by us with 100 mph winds and very little damage on Tortola, only one roof lost as I recall

- 11am updates
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 11:34:40 EDT
TD#5 (future Emily???)
11 AM AST POSITION...10.3 N... 44.7 W.  MOVEMENT
Individual Storm Summary
Winds in knots, pressure in millibars, category is based on Saffir-Simpson scale.
# Name Date Wind Pres Cat  
1 Tropical Storm ARLENE 08-13 JUN 60 30 -  
2 Tropical Storm BRET 28-30 JUN 35 1002 -  
3 Tropical Storm CINDY 03-07 JUL 60 -  
4 Hurricane DENNIS 05-11 JUL 130 930 4 Active
5 Tropical Depression FIVE 11-11 JUL 30 1008 - Active
Forecasters are predicting it will move well south of the BVI, but how many times have they been right?
However, my animals,  who predict weather extremely well, are indicating that rough times may or may not follow. That sure helps, doesn't it! 
They are suggesting, weather may get messy and though I stocked up on hurricane food for them, they seem to want to eat it all now, and bulk up for lean times. While they usually roam outdoors all day, patrolling their property, they are staking out individual napping spots indoors, for future reference.
One cat has staked out a little cubicle in the bookshelf with a small soft rug in it. He has dragged the rug out, shoved it back in, balled it up like a pillow and curled back up on it. He has moved this little rug about a dozen times, trying to get it just right, finally he dropped off to sleep, half on and half off the rug, but mashed as tight into the corner as he can get...

- Wet End (briefly!)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 10:13:12 EDT
Title: AOL Email
I was reading about the sudden rain squalls on Culebra when POOF we had the same, came and went in under 8 minutes, but oh it poured ferociously, ever so briefly.

- almost Emily...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 08:59:28 EDT
Title: AOL Email
About 1100 miles east of the islands, we have Tropical Depression # 5 forming.  If it gets nasty, then it will be named Hurricane Emily. Such a soft name for such powerful nature. I would name it something like Errant Ergot, but nobody asked me...
Today the birds are singing, the winds are gentle, the sun is strong, the temperature is moderate and humidity is welcomely low.
And now the mailbag:
Dear Miss Mermaid,

I have been a faithful reader of your weather discussions since the
Spring of 2004. I began reading your reports in the run-up to my
sailing trip to the BVI last July with my wife. I really appreciate
your reports as they give me much more insight into what is actually
going on in the BVI, weather-wise, than what I read in the weather
reports and satellite maps.

I am returning to the BVI again in two weeks for another sailing trip.
This time I am bringing along my wife and two daughters (ages 12 and
9). Everyone is now more than a little concerned about all of the
tropical waves, depressions, storms and hurricanes happening so early
in the season. Dennis is nearly downgraded to a tropical storm, but
there is another wave in the Caribbean and yet another on its way. The
U.S. National Weather Service says that this next one coming from
Africa looks like it will be a depression (and perhaps more) in the
next 24-36 hours.

Do you have any advice for a father who's about to bring his family to
the BVI. I know that you don't have a crystal ball, but some words of
wisdom from your experience would be helpful.

Thanks and keep up the reports!
Concerned Sailor
Oh, indeed I do have a crystal ball!  Crystal Ball Weather PredictionJust that today, when I asked it about two weeks from now, it clouded up..... I will ask again later today, and see if I can get a clearer answer...
Come on down and go sailing, sounds silly right?  Not exactly.  Report to the chartering  company and check out weather reports before you sail and check them daily.  Most waterfront watering holes will have cable TV turned to channel 22 (the weather channel) and the sailors will tend to be anxious while the local islanders will tend to be laid back (it ain't coming here, mon).
Indeed we haven't had a major hurricane since 1995 when we had Luis & Marilyn in September, 10 days apart.  Amazingly, in both cases the BVI came through quite well, though the USVI, a few miles away suffered substantial damage.  We had power back on in 24 hours or so and phones didn't even go down. We were making so much ice that those on St John in the USVI were sneaking over here by dinghy to buy all the ice they could fit in their coolers, then race back to the USVI and sell it to the highest bidder.
Do you have trip insurance?  If not, see if you can still get it!  Do you have life insurance on you and the family?  (Just kidding!)
99.9% of the charter companies have specific instructions what to do with the boat in the event of unfavorable weather (such as hurricanes, himmacanes etc.)  and usually they just want you to return the boat to the base or to Paraquita Bay so they can get it ready for the storm.  Most boats come with a cell phone, if yours doesn't, ask to rent one. All boats have radios.
We often spend a few days each year getting ready for storms that never happen. My thinking is , if we are ready, it won't come... and it rarely does.
The forecasters are a hit and miss, so you really have to pay attention and consider relocating your vacation to a concrete hotel if things get sloppy.  (Most of the hotels are concrete anyhow, so not to worry!) Of course if you have trip insurance, you just file a claim and fly home on the first plane out of here. Which by the way, if you choose to leave the BVI because of an approaching storm, get to the airport soon and plan to wait around.  Here again, use your best manners and smile, the nice folks get what they want faster here (if you can get ANYTHING fast here at all!)
The tourists naturally have priority on flying out of the BVI, but there comes a point when all the planes leave and don't come back until the storm has passed.  So if you wait until the last minute to think about flying out of here, you may find the airport eerily empty and quiet.  The other consideration, if you don't fly out right away, and change your mind later, is that you may get promises of going home at the airport and then end up dumped at another island while flights are grounded or planes leave EMPTY to head south and hide from the storm.  So you may inadvertently be exchanging one disaster for another...
The airlines, may or may not hit you up for a change fee on your ticket, and if they insist and you pay, (though sometimes silent big rolling tears down your cheek can help as nobody wants a crying man and even worse to feel responsible for it...)   then go home and write them a cheery letter about how their customer service stinks for charging you for changing your ticket due to severe weather conditions.  Usually they will cough up airline vouchers by return mail (now the airlines are gonna hate me!)
Many charter companies (they will HATE me TOO for this) will actually provide your housing complimentary,  if you ask for it very politely.  Remember, we have no control over the weather, so nobody likes to be screamed at, especially about the weather.
Many charter companies (oh man, they are gonna really dislike me now) will offer incentives for you to return, this could be a half price discount or better (depending on just how nice you are and how affluent you can be with impeccable manners) as nobody likes to turn down such "nice people".
Next you will want a sturdy hotel (concrete) and don't be surprised if they put all 4 of you in one room or in their own home. Buy up some easy to make and eat food, lots of rum, candles, and a deck of cards.  Chances are you can borrow a cooler from the charter company, though when the ice goes, she goes. 
One hurricane my sailing friend and I had stowed our boats and moved ashore to a hotel and we didn't get to buy any ice. Much of the storm was wet and cold, so we would throw open the balcony door, dash out to fill up 2 glasses with icy cold rain, then slam the door, and pour rum on top. We referred to this as "Rum and Rain". We also recommend, you buy 5 times the amount of rum you think you will need. If the kids get cranky, just slip some in the Kool Aid...
If the storm gets really nasty and you are bored, you can play little hurricane games, such as counting the number of roofs blowing by, the number of cars crushed by trees, the number of cows sailing  by and how many goats swam past and so on.
So, IF we get the big one, and IF you end up here, and IF all ends wells (it usually does!)  then when the storm is over, you will want to get out and help everyone.  There is big community spirit here after the storm, as folks pull together to help each other out.  From helping to clear debris, to taking in the less fortunate to digging out mud from someone's home, you will see folks out and about everywhere, very busy putting things right again.
Of course lots of folks want to sight see after a big storm, but I recommend you NOT go running around the island any further than your feet can take you.  The reason, is all the work vehicles will need to be on the road, and sometimes roads are blocked and they have to clear things up. So take a hike after the storm, but don't venture beyond your neighborhood, or further than walking round trip, because sometimes inclement weather can continue after a storm.  Or things that were weakened, wait a few days to finally break, like a tree that blocks your road moments before you arrive.
There have been hapless folks who ventured out by car after the storm, only to get stuck somewhere else and find themselves camping out, wishing they had stuck to their own neighborhood...
Matter of fact, certain folks, who shall go unnamed (they know who they are) fled to my apartment by car, clearing rocks and trees as they headed my way, one year during a lull in the storm.  Once inside, the storm worsened considerably and they of course inadvertently ended up taking refuge with me.  They were drinkless and had heard a RUMOR that I had an expensive case of Champagne on hand (I did, but it wasn't mine, it belonged to a wedding party & was merely stored here) and you can imagine what happened next...  At the end of the storm, we had managed to save one bottle (and only because I craftily hid it) for the upcoming wedding party.  Imagine the bride and groom,  when I told them the only thing that broke during the storm was the case of champagne..... save for one bottle.....
If your boat and charter company have survived, then by all means try to get back on the boat. Why?  Because the boat will have water, electricity from the engine or generator, and communications by radio,  and if there isn't much of a mess, you can move to a breezy harbor while you dry things out.
I felt so guilty years ago, to be anchored after a hurricane, in Cruz Bay St John.  Folks ashore had this awful 6pm curfew, there was no water or power or phones.  I was going home to solar powered music, computer, radio, cell phone, fans, propane refrigeration and tanks full of fresh water while my friends ashore suffered.  So every afternoon, I took home one or two of my homeless friends and they thought staying on my tiny sailboat, to be heaven on earth.
So if the islands  are partially devastated (doubtful) then boat living is definitely a step above. One nice thing about the BVI is that many homes and business are built to withstand hurricanes (good old concrete!) so we tend not to have tons of debris from wooden structures (though we do have wooden homes here, not recommend, but still here somewhat).
I think now, if you had insomnia, I just cured it!
Please, as you read this, give a 30 second moment of silence and pray for the poor Floridians, some whom just went through their 5th hurricane in one year.  At those odds, let's see, Florida had 5 in less than a year, we had one over ten years ago, so we are something like 7,438% safer  here than Florida.  Now what this number means.........is somebody has been too busy at the calculator.....

- mail bag and crystal balls
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2005 11:12:12 EDT
From the mail bag:
Hello, I have a brother and sister in law visiting there and I appreciated reading your posting about Dennis. I gather there were no injuries or real problems, if you could confirm. Thanks!
It's raining sunshine here, skies are blue, water is deliciously warm and clear. 
My crystal ball shows your relatives are laying at the beach sipping rum.
If you are gonna lay at the beach all day drinking rum, remember, you gotta start in the morning...

- guilty as charged!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 17:30:15 EDT
Title: AOL Email
I feel so silly writing about how wonderful the weather is here, when others are getting pounded by Himmacane Dennis the Menace!
I heard Cuba got it really bad with 150 mph winds.  That is scary.
Pray for the sailors at sea, for they know knot what the future may bring them.  I have friends sailing offshore and I just hope they have managed to escape Dennis!
Those poor Cubans, I hope there aren't any boat loads at sea.
We have a couple of waves rolling our way from Africa.  Will have to watch these bad boys.
Atlantic / Gulf / Caribbean Satellite Map

- Himmacane Dennis packing 105 mph winds
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2005 08:18:57 EDT
Dennis is now almost due west of the Virgin Islands, a few days ago  he was due south.  Winds are up to 105mph, making him a category 2 hurricane.
Many folks on the island here are blissfully unaware of this storm system.  I mentioned Dennis to several islanders yesterday and he was news to them! 
Last evening we had thunder and lightning. The sunrise brought us gray overcast skies and little winds.

- it's official! what we got here is Himmacane Dennis!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 18:20:48 EDT
Title: AOL Email
At 547pm Dennis was upgraded to a Hurricane.  He is big and he's a menace.  We  pray the forecasters know what they are talking about, since everyone figures it will bypass us and keep going.
We are so darn lucky here, I guess.
Yesterday, after that ferocious squall around 5pm, I took a ride over the hill  (or is it a mountain?) and was quite surprised that within the 1st mile we came across 5 downed trees, each blocking half the road.
They ranged from about 12 to 20 feet high, nothing major, but surprising, nonetheless.  The southern chore is choppy today with little white caps teasing the eye.
Stay tuned for more exciting developments...

- eerirly quiet but overcast
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 09:12:41 EDT
Gray skies with faint traces of blue hues. Gentle winds. Tropical Storm Dennis is big, but not a hurricane yet, but probably will become one later today.

- on the fringes
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2005 04:19:28 EDT
Gusty and choppy.  Waters have white caps, winds are pretty constant, scattered rains, loads of clouds. The BVI is so tiny and Dennis is so big, but looks like he will miss us, just giving us some wet weather on the fringes.

- mini storm
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 17:24:16 EDT
At 5pm the outer bands of tropical storm Dennis hit Tortola with wind gusts of 40-50 miles per hour for a few minutes.  It poured down hard rain for about 8 minutes then stopped abruptly and the winds died down to 10 miles per hour.

- calm before the storm.... the fringes of Dennis
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 16:58:01 EDT

- winds howling
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 05:33:22 EDT
At 530am, the winds picked up and began howling!  Rain splattered erratically.

- Tropical Depression 4 & Tropical Storm Cindy
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 05:29:01 EDT
Tortola is located at 18 North and 64 West...
Atlantic / Gulf / Caribbean Satellite Map

Tropical Storm Cindy, in the Gulf of Mexico, is not a threat to us at this time.

- squally breifly
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2005 08:44:10 EDT
Tropical Depression # 3 is located over Mexico.  We have a tropical wave passing through here. This morning around 6am we had a mini hurricane, or so it seemed. The winds whipped up and the rain came down with such force, I thought we were getting hailed upon!
Humidity is high and today is July 4th, Independence Day for Americans!
We might be able to see some of the USVI fireworks tonight, we hope.  Miss Mermaid might swim out to watch the pretty colors.

- rainy for all of ten minutes
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 15:16:51 EDT
At noon the cloud darkened and it poured rain quite seriously for a good ten minutes, just soaked everything.
And I take full blame for this downpour, it was ME who hung their laundry out to dry....
The good news is, it hopefully settled some of this Montserrat Volcano Ash and Sahara Dust. 
Dusted entire house yesterday, today, it is dusty again...
Mid morning I drove the length of Waterfront Drive, I was amazed at how thick the haze was, I could not see Ginger, Cooper, Salt, or Peter Island. (Maybe they picked up their anchors and moved...)
Tropical Storm Bret, near Mexico, is not a threat to us at this time. However, there is a BIG tropical wave coming off Africa and it looks like the BIG one.

- Tropical Storm Brat
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 09:01:47 EDT
Well, I guess it couldn't last forever, 29 days into storm season and we have our 2nd named storm, Brat, oops I mean Bret.
Luckily Brat is over in Mexico, and not a threat to us at this time, as Mexico is a long ways across the pond from us.  S'cuse, me that is Bret, not Brat.
Why name a storm Bret?  Wouldn't Brat be more appropriate?  Something  like Brat the Bogart sounds like a storm to me. Bret sounds like the neighborhood kid. But, heck nobody asked me!
The fancy forecasters are predicting rain for us, but I think it will just be passing showers.  The winds have kicked up a little, though yesterday it was flat and a great day to go upwind to the Baths at Virgin Gorda.  Friends of mine went up there and said it was a fast quick flat trip by boat.
Unfortunately, on a sad note, a speed boat of 5 occupants was zipping around the waters, late the other night and a few passengers were spilled overboard, and 2 have vanished.  Divers and searchers have spent 3 days now looking for the passengers, without luck.
We shall pray harder.

A sailor meets a pirate in a bar, and they take turns telling about their adventures on the seas. The sailor notes that the pirate has a peg-leg, a hook and an eye patch.

The sailor asks "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?"

The pirate replies: "We were in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as my men were pulling me out, a shark bit my leg off."

"Wow!" said the sailor. "What about the hook?"

"Well," replied the pirate, "we were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut my hand off."

"Incredible!" said the sailor. "And how did you get the eye patch?"

"A seagull-dropping fell into my eye," replied the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a seagull-dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.

"Well," said the pirate,"it was my first day with the hook..."


Check out Pirate Gifts From the Islands

- Sunset in the Virgin Islands
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 09:12:30 EDT

- from the mailbag
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 08:11:35 EDT
I get automatic weather reports mailed to me, but this one puzzled me and I forwarded it to my readers in the Carolinas.
Tropical Disturbance
26 JUN 2005

DearMissMermaid wrote Tropical disturbance?  Since when is N.C. in the tropics???
One faithful reader replied:
Dear Miss Mermaid;
mebbe it came from the tropics and disturbed n.c. or mebbe they got high cancer rate in n.c. so they qualify as part of the tropic of cancer! or mebbe the disturbance so bad the latitude lines got shifted into n.c. causing it to become tropical; or mebbe they is disturbed about the topic!
your faithful reader,  h.p.
Thank you H.P. for your wonderful insight and unique input.  Folks like you keep my email lively and entertaining!
Today, June 28,  it is 86 degrees and snowing sunshine with moderate light winds, clear blue skies and scattered clouds.  No rain , nor hale expected.

- No Snow Predicted
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 09:02:34 EDT
It's a gorgeous day to be alive.  86 degrees, gentle trade winds, no storms on the horizon and best of all, no snow predicted.
What do you call a mermaid in the Arctic Ocean?
A  BuuuuuuurrrrMaid!
What do you call a Mermaid in a Mink Coat?
A FurMaid
More Fun Stuff...

- North Shore of Tortola, looking West
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 00:29:04 EDT

- Hurricane & Himmacane Preparedness (Part II in a series)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2005 12:30:02 EDT
Today the weather is gorgeous, gentle trade winds, blue skies, clear waters.  Seems perfect for the 4pm wedding at the beach I am going to.
No, it's not me getting married (mermaids don't marry) but I was informed that I should wear a top and something to cover my tail...
Hurricane & Himmacane  Preparedness (Part II in a series)
Interviewing the insurance companies was a cinch.  Just walk in their office and they are happy to chat, provided (A) they don't have to insure me and (B)  I don't use their name or the company names.
Basically, I got the same story at each company.
If you already have insurance from us, then you are covered for hurricanes automatically if either Claus A or B  applies:
A- Your house has two-foot thick concrete walls reinforced with steel
B-Your house is located in Ethiopia
Your windows and/or glass breakages are covered for hurricanes provided:
A- You have no windows
B- Your house is located in Slovakia
C-You have shutters
Shutters Considerations
Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall off.
Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, it will be December and your hands will be useless bleeding stumps.
Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them.

If you live in the Caribbean & desire hurricane insurance:
An inspector will assess your abode,  then bill you for annual insurance premiums, (roughly equal to 80% of the replacement value of your home)
***You must be insured with us 12 years before filing a claim
Filing of claims:
Once you have provided videos, pictures, receipts and complete documentation of your loss, we will take one of the following actions:
A-Forward your file (without making any duplicate copies) to our home office in Bangkok (check back in 9 months)
B- Drop you like used dental floss (you sure don't need insurance now that the hurricane has reduced your house to rubble)  and give you a toll free number in India to call with your claim (the number rarely works, but try at 2:20am, and then  expect a 58 minute hold,  don't expect English to be spoken by many of the claims adjusters)
C-If your claim is really large, like a total loss, then we will bankrupt and pay you nothing  (but  we reserve the right to reopen under a different name on a different island)
Usually payments are made within 3 years of filing a claim, (if they are paid at all.)
If your house appreciated by 30% since you first insured it, we will accuse you of underinsuring and cut your claim by 70%
If your house was a total loss, we will pay you after you have secured a high interest 40 year mortgage and rebuilt your house EXACTLY as before (but this time use the-two foot concrete and steel walls we now specify & don't build any windows)
Once you have secured a 2nd mortgage to pay our premiums, we might insure you, (but not for hurricanes, unless your house is located in Nepal)
REINSURACE after filing a claim
Typically, our office will have moved 4,890 miles away and our toll free number will not work from wherever you live, but if you come in our office in person, we will take your application for consideration.
Note there will be a 640% increase in premiums, (if you filed a claim and if we ever got around to paying you anything), and IF you had been a customer with us for over 40 years.
Stayed Tuned for Part III in the series

- Bowling & Fishermen
  • From: dearmissmermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 13:20:44 -0400
Last night at midnight, they opened up the bowling alley in the Heavens with a boisterous party.  First came the crowd rushing in, which produced a great deal of rumbling (distant thunder).  Then they began bowling and you could hear the bowling ball rolls down the alley then crash loudly into the pins (close thunder).  This was often punctuated by pyrotechnics (lightning)
Somebody spilled a beer and then the janitor tripped over the mop bucket and soon we had buckets of water pouring down upon us (heavy rain).  Then in under a half hour, all was done and quiet again, Dear Miss Mermaid tried to go back to sleep.
There's these three guys and they're out having a relaxing day fishing. Out of the blue, they catch Dear Miss Mermaid who begs to be set free in return for granting each of them a wish. Now one of the guys just doesn't believe it, and says:
"Ok, if you can really grant wishes, than double my I.Q."
Dear Miss Mermaid says: "Done."
Suddenly, the guy starts reciting Shakespeare flawlessly and analyzing it with extreme insight. The second guy is so amazed he says to Dear Miss Mermaid:
"Triple my I.Q." Dear Miss Mermaid says: "Done."
The guy starts to spout out all the mathematical solutions to problems that have been stumping all the scientists of varying fields: physics, chemistry, etc.
The last guy is so enthralled with the changes in his friends, that he says to Dear Miss Mermaid: "Quintuple my I.Q." Dear Miss Mermaid looks at him and says: "You know, I normally don't try to change people's minds when they make a wish, but I really wish you'd reconsider."
The guy says: "Nope, I want you to increase my I.Q. times five, and if you don't do it, I won't set you free."
"Please," says Dear Miss Mermaid "You don't know what you're asking...it'll change your entire view on the universe...won't you ask for something else...a million dollars, anything?" But no matter what Dear Miss Mermaid said, the guy insisted on having his I.Q. increased by five times it's usual power. So Dear Miss Mermaid sighed and said: "Done!"
And he became a woman.

- (no subject)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 12:02:52 EDT
Dear Miss Mermaid is back online, in de islands mon, with more up to the minute (or up to the week) Local Weather reports, comedy and madness...

See Tortola Weather Reports
Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

- Hurricane & Himmacane Preparedness (Part I in a Fun Series)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 11:42:10 EDT
Just another glorious day in the BVI.  Clear blue skies with scattered clouds, cooling trade winds passing by.  No storms on the horizon, just lazy sunny days ahead.
Hurricane & Himmacane  Preparedness (Part I in a series)
We are into Hurricane & Himmacane Season now, (DearMissMermaid prides herself on being inpolitically correct).
It is doubtful, that we will get the big one near us this year. 
But, if we do, get the big one, turn on your TV and some weather person two thousands miles from here,  will be pointing to a radar or satellite blob and basically making two meteorological points.  Next they usually  show a wide path of possible strikes (which will generally cover two thirds of  the Caribbean.)
While there is no need to panic, (we could all be wiped out.)
So DearMissMerMaid, for your benefit, has gone into reporter mode and hit the streets, phones, emails, as well as  consulted the coconut telegraph and complied this Part I in a Series.
It was an exhausting task & only  took me  7 1/2 weeks of dogging the Local D'sastah Department Coordinator.  I made stops by his office, but he was never in, or in a meeting of indeterminate length.  Numerous phone messages were never returned, and emails were replied by robot,  with a  no such address or  (my favorite!) server down, retry to send your message in 31 days... 
I spoke to his voice mail, his cellular phone voice mail, and  often the voice mail of his assistant, his secretary, his administrator, his chauffer, his body guard, his planner, his valet, his event coordinator, his publicity head, and the information officer. None of which would give an interview, to a reporter.
I tried faxing a simple one page letter of introduction with a few basic interview questions but the fax wouldn't go through.  I called the government & a sleepy  lady said "dah fax paper finished..."
Day two...(see above)
Day three...(see above)
Day four...(see above)
Day five... (just how long does it take to load paper into a fax machine?)
Day six, seven, eight & nine (all government holidays)
Day ten...
I discovered my neighbor's cousin's girlfriend's brother had the subcontracted  daily car washing, waxing, detailing contract for the government.   So I went to see him, and presented  a basket full of mangos & papayas (fresh picked from the garden) plus a bottle of Cat's Pee on a Bush Wine, (sold locally at Rudy's Mountain Bar) and after much chit chat,  I was slipped a crumpled piece of paper, with a grocery list of  rice, mutton, beans, plantain, AND on the  other side, the Guv'ment tag number of the Head Honcho of the Dah'saster Unit. 
So I began trailing this 2006 model 4wd XUVG (the one with the super dark opaque windows, trailer hitch, & surf board rack) and when I finally caught up with him, at the beach bar, it turned out to be his girlfriend's daughter's boyfriend, borrowing the vehicle to move his boat. He thought the Coordinator was in Manitoba on Holiday until December 1st.  (Hey, isn't Manitoba in the middle of Canada???)
After 2 more weeks of  sleuthing, I located him remotely, in Manitoba (yes it IS in the middle of Canada!)  at a secluded retreat.  I am new to technology and I  accidentally faxed him my one page letter, 358 times beginning at 4:36 in the morning. (I don't know WHAT happened, musta pushed a wrong button somewhere, maybe the dang cat walked on the keyboard...)
At 8:32am, the Hotel manager called me from Manitoba,  to inform me they were out of fax paper, then he promptly put me through (by phone) to my quarry. By now, my birthday had come and gone, as well as 5 public  holidays but here I was talking live to the MAIN MON.
(Whew!  The things I do to get one story, and you wondered why our newspapers were so thin...)
After exchanging Good Mornings and How-are-yahs,  I asked him his correct title and he said it was Hon'bull British Virgin Islands Dah'sastah & 'Mergency Man'gment Dee-partment Head Cord'nater Chief of Affairs Minis-Tah!  He finished with quite a flourish, obviously very proud of his rank.
After much prodding, but not before 5 interruptions from his cell phone, 2 more "hold ons" while he conversed with his wife, (about their room service order and how the resort didn't have saltfish & Johnnycake, and no, the smoked salmon & bagels, just won't do....) and another "just a sec..." while I listened in the background discussions with his accountant (how to bill the government for a 3 week side trip to China...) he finally offered these words of wisdom for you, my gentle readers:
Several Days Before the Storm You Should:
1-Prepare your home by removing all outside debris, clearing off all outside porches etc.
2-Put up storm shutters, then stack furniture and everything else inside your home as far from the floor and windows as possible, cover all with hefty garbage bags.
3-Buy enough food and beverages for your entire family for 3 days
4-Put these supplies into your car
5-Drive to airport
6-Fly to Alaska (You can eat the food en route)

Then he said he had a meeting to go to (I could hear that room service had arrived, the champagne cork popping for mimosas...) and Hon'bull..... abruptly hung up the phone with a cheery Thank you Miss-um-Dear...
Tomorrow (or next year) I will post
Part II of the Series, (Soon Come Mon!)
Wet & Stormy  Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid
sponsored by
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Gifts From the Islands, Shipped to You (even if I am in Manitoba or Alaska...)
 emergency weather radio  Emergency Weather Radio
  • Crank-powered generator runs for 40 to 60 minutes on 90-second turn
  • Built-in cell phone charger ensures phone service
  • Optional Ni-MH battery pack or 3 AA batteries
  • Emergency radio receives AM/FM broadcasts, 7 NOAA weather channels, and VHF TV audio reception
  • Includes built-in LED light with emergency flash and emergency siren

- fan mail (blush, blush!)
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 07:36:58 EDT
Title: AOL Email
GREAT post!!!
You have, again, outdone yourself! That post (about the scattered showers below) should be put in every
Caribbean visitors info pack;)

Culebra, Puerto Rico
MJ, I thank you whole heartedly for your support and great comments!  Thanks for staying tuned!

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

Treasure Chest, Gifts From the Islands, Shipped to You

- from the mailbag
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 06:59:51 EDT
Hi, Miss Mermaid --

I've enjoyed reading your daily postings on
http://stormcarib.com/reports/2005/bvi.shtml, especially as my family will
be on your otherwise sunny and beautiful island between June 22-June 30.
Problem is, the forecast looks awful:


Are you guys getting the same bleak forecast in Virgin Gorda (the above link
is for Tortola)? Looks like it's gonna be an indoor vacation, which really
stinks. Please give me a glimmer of hope! (And if you can't, please be
gentle with the ugly reality.)


Don't Trap me Indoors
Ok, here's the ugly reality...
The forecasts are just that, some body looked at their crystal ball and plunked up a 10 day forecast.  To be on the safe side, they have included 30-40-60% chance  of precipitation on each day!
Now what this means, is that it will probably rain SOMEWHERE in the BVI each of those days, but maybe not where you are.
Our weather moves fast here and scattered showers are common.  They typically last 5-10 minutes of hard rain, then POOF, the sun comes out and the cloud moves along and it's sunshine and happy days again.  The showers seem to be very localized, and I've been at the beach where it was pouring at one end, and sunny at the other.
Depending on where you are, you can often see better weather somewhere else, in other words, if it is raining where you are, you can probably see sunshine at the other end of Virgin Gorda or over on one of the other islands (connected by ferries).
The beach bars love rain, as beachgoers typically race for the bars during a sudden downpour.  It's rarely worth leaving the beach, as by the time you gather up your family, sun lotion, hat, towel, chair, cooler, radio, umbrella, picnic basket, book and clothes and stuff it all into your car, the rain typically stops immediately, just to mock you, it seems. So, it's usually best to run for the bar and have a Painkiller or Pina Colada.  It's rare to polish up more than 2 drinks before the sun returns.
Because of the frequency of scattered quick showers, the car rental companies are very reluctant to rent convertibles here or to encourage you to remove the top of a soft top jeep.  That is because the showers often sneak up on you, seemingly out of nowhere and by the time you get the top back on the car, it's already soaked on the inside and as you put that last clip into place, the sun will poke out and dry you off, while your car steams up on the inside.
You will also notice, that rain often means break time to the islanders, and they will run for cover, screaming and shouting, often with a box over their head or wearing a  Tortola Rain coat (big garbage bag with holes cut in it).  I've seen folks wear paper bags over their head, balance to-go boxes on their heads, carry a newspaper over their head, as there is this myth here, that one will melt if left in the rain.
This is why we don't have beach waitresses, bringing you drinks as you laze about working on your sun burn.  Who wants to buy a drink from someone with a bag over their head?
Recently, I was downtown, where folks often walk from place to place, doing their errands and suddenly it poured down rain. I watched as one young mother pulled her to-go lunch out of her paper bag, then put the paper bag over her small child's head, and she was holding the  plate of food, covered in foil, over her head, as they ran down the sidewalk.  Problem, was the kid couldn't see out of the paper bag, and he kept tripping and falling.  The mother would stop to scoop the child back upright, while at the same time balancing this  plate of food, over her head.  Every few feet, the same scenario would repeat itself, and the child was looking pretty banged up by the time the rain stopped a few minutes later.
Rain coats aren't sold in the islands, but umbrellas are, rain coats are too cumbersome to carry around all day, on the off chance you might get to wear it for 5 minutes. 
So come on down, and remember, tanning is possible  under the clouds, the sun is strong here and it's easy to burn if you aren't careful.  Just stuff a bag in your pocket, and if it rains, put it over your head and everyone will think you are well informed of local customs.

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

Treasure Chest, Gifts From the Islands, Shipped to You

- case of tuna
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 09:44:42 EDT
Gentle trade winds waft by, all is quiet on my tiny island, I am currently on Frenchman's Cay.  I can hear some roosters crowing lamely, birds whistling, and the palm fronds rustling.
Humidity is low, crowds are gone.  Beaches are terrific with crystal clear waters and loads of open space (no crowds!)
I am prepared for hurricane season, have some batteries, candles, and a case of tuna for me and the cats. I figure if I am all ready to go, then nothing will happen to our quaint little islands.

Warm and Sunny Regards,

Dear Miss Mermaid

- another day in paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 07:44:55 EDT
We have some cloudiness, but lots of bright sunshine, winds were still yesterday, but today are lightly blowing.

- No wind today it seems
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 09:13:30 EDT
Cloudy and almost windless!  A great day to get a sunburn without feeling it until tonight...
If you are a SCUBA diver, then today is a great day for diving, as the waters are calm and crystal clear, likewise if you are a snorkeler.
If you are a sailor, it's a wonderful day to motor upwind to the Virgin Gorda baths.
If you aren't in the British Virgin Islands, then you should be planning your next trip! 

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

Treasure Chest, Gifts From the Islands, Shipped to You

- a distant roar
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 04:02:13 EDT
At 4am the rains started in the BVI.  I was quite happy as I was wandering aimlessly around the house, unable to sleep, the winds were so still and the heat seemed oppressive, something uncommon for this time of year.  Now the winds have picked up and the heavens opened fourth and I am feeling pretty cool.
I can hear a strange roar in the distance, something odd.  I am not sure what it is, perhaps heavy rains on the way. My kitty seems unconcerned, and usually he gets antsy if really bad weather is headed our way.
It's been several minutes now, and the roar is still there and the winds are really picking up. 

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

Treasure Chest, Gifts From the Islands, Shipped to You

- Sunset in the BVI
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2005 03:53:54 EDT

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


- tropical storm Arlene
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 09:17:36 EDT
Well, we have our first storm, Arlene, and she's a lefty but she's headed due North currently.
We seem to be in the clear for now.

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

Treasure Chest


Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


- corrected link
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 07:38:23 EDT
Ooops, I seem to make mistakes, the Dolphin link below doesn't work!  But this one does!

- No hurricanes, no snow, just sunshine and gentle winds
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 07:35:09 EDT
80 degrees, 8 mile per hour winds.  The humidity has cooled, the oppressive heat is gone, folks are moving along, not just stuck in time, like a few weeks ago when we seemed to have a temporary heat wave.
One hears the funniest stories, I don't know if this is true, or not, but it's making the rounds on the island and does give one quite a giggle!
Many folk find themselves dealing with immigration to get a work permit for the BVI or to extend their visit beyond 30 days.  Often this results in lengthy waits, long lines and general confusion. 
Sometimes immigration will suggest you leave your passport and check back in a few days to see if they have stamped it yet.  Some folks apparently did this, only to return a few days later and find out their passports could not be found.  Imagine the horror!  A worst case scenario, stuck in a foreign country with NO passport.
However, a few days later, the mess was settled.  Someone has broken a leg on their desk and used a stack of passports to hold the desk up level, then apparently took a leave of absence for vacation or illness, leaving the hapless passports stacked under the desk.
I heard they stuck a rock under the desk and retrieved the passports.  I hope one day they get the desk fixed properly.

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


- time to shop
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 07:15:26 EDT
Hurricane season is here.  Just like Christmas, it's time to shop!  Shop for batteries, canned goods, bottled water, candles, flashlights, hurricane charts, cat  and mermaid food.
I have checked my crystal ball, and there are no hurricanes on the horizon through Tuesday, so we are SAFE!
If there is a hurricane, you may notice that some links to weather and satellite pictures become  overloaded.  I have found a useful list of links, it's handy to have quite a few on hand, in case others get overloaded.

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


- back to normal
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 09:02:41 EDT
Weather is typical tropics now, breezy enough for sailing, sunny enough for vitamin D *giggle*.
Lazy days are here again and our Electricity Corporation seems the laziest of them all, treating us to frequent inexplicable power outages.
OK, I can understand they had no choice when some 90 mile an hour driver plowed into the utility pole, 2 days ago, breaking it off into the ocean and plunging us all into darkness. But what excuse they have for the other 14 outages, I've no idea.
But hey, it's the Caribbean, and we're lucky to have any utilities at all!
I love it here, but sometimes I would like electricity too.
Summer brings on many specials and less crowds and no cruise ships, so it's a great time to visit and lay around the beautiful beaches.
For more info:

- Scattered Showers Some Days
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 08:58:33 EDT
From the Mailbag:
Dear Miss Mermaid,
My boyfriend and I are planning our first visit to Tortola this week and forecast shows thunderstorms and clouds for the next 10 days! Is this for real? Is it possible that we can have an entire day of clouds and rain for the duration of our trip? Please advise as this would be most distressing.
Thank you,
Packing an Umbrella
I have dusted off my crystal ball and checked the weather forecast.  We do plan to have scattered showers but not rainy days. It is possible that is will rain at one beach and three miles away at another beach it will be sunny with scattered clouds.
We tend to have more isolated showers, though about a year and a half ago, we did have entire days of rain, which is most unusual.
Tanning works whether the sun is out or not!  So beware, that you can actually tan (or burn!) on even a cloudy day in the tropics.
Pack a small umbrella or buy one when you get here, I doubt you will hardly ever get to use it, as whenever I carry my umbrella with me, it seems to NEVER rain!
Today it is bright and sunny with incredibly blue sky showing.  Winds are light and variable.
This weekend brings on the Music Festival in Cane Garden Bay as well as the Wooden Boat Regatta in Jost Van Dyke.

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


- Weird Weather
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 09:26:03 EDT
There is a tropical disturbance over Hispaniola and Jamaica.  It doesn't seem to affect us much, however, we have virtually no wind and it is sticky humid, most unusual for this time of year.
Yesterday brought heavy scattered showers.  Sun is out today with scattered clouds.

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


GIF image

- Sunny Days are Here Again
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 07:51:00 EDT
Last night was the full moon.  If you went to Bomba's party, then it was the Fool Moon Party!
Today it is bright and sunny with gentle trade winds, 84 degrees (29C).
No hurricanes on the horizon, no snow predicted, though it is 43 degrees in Rye Beach, New Hampshire, USA, and according to my calendar, this is May 24th!  Brrrrrrrrr, we are so lucky to be so warm.
I went to the Smugglers Cove beach Sunday and the water is so nice clear and warm, I just wanted to float around in it all day.
For those of you that knew Bob and his Honor Bar at Smugglers Cove Beach, well he passed on a while back, but his grandson has shown up and re-opened the bar and is serving food.  It's not the same honor bar, where you put your money under a rock in a cigar box, but you can now have all manner of exotic drinks that Matt the grandson will make for you.  Most days he makes lunches too. 
Hours of operation vary, as Matt is an avid surfer, so if the surf is up, there is a good chance the bar might close early (or not open at all!)

GIF image

- Rain, Rain, Rain
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 23 May 2005 17:33:18 EDT
The morning was greeted with rain, thunder and lightning!  Driving to Road Town from West End, one notices that the flat level roads are leaning inward towards the land, rather than outwards towards the sea, resulting in large deep puddles.
Looking across the Sir Frances Drake channel, I noticed the fog was so thick, that indeed, the world did look flat and that the lone boat braving the messy weather might sail off the edge of the earth!
For nearly  a week now, winds have been from the West rather than our traditional easterly trades.

GIF image

- Hurricane Adrian
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 08:47:45 EDT


Hurricane Adrian has hit El Salvador and Honduras.  Only one death is reported thus far.
The British Virgin Islands don't appear to be in any danger.
Adrian is the first named Pacific storm.
Our names for the Atlantic hurricanes in 2005 are:
The archives, show older posts, but there is still some useful info there about hurricanes.


Clock with Thermometer, Barometer & Hygrometer

- Earthquake on Monday May 9, 2005
  • From: dearmissmermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 13:19:22 -0400
The link for the EARTHQUAKE on Monday May 9, 2005 is
I could sure feel it in West End!  It was close to Anegada, which is only about 8 feet above sea level, but no tsunami has been reported.

Forget to buy your mom something on Mother's Day?
Get her a ISLAND GIFT FROM THE TREASURE CHEST (delivered to your door!)


  • From: dearmissmermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 12:36:11 -0400

- info on Dec 11, 2004 earthquake
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 08:57:18 EDT

- earthquake in paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 08:49:39 EDT
This morning at 823am I felt a mild earthquake shake the concrete 3 story building I am in on Frenchmans Cay Tortola.
If you live in the islands and feel an earthquake, you can report it at:
To see recent reports of earthquake activity, see
Afterwards, I was nervous because I thought I heard the sound of rushing water, and that upset me a tad, until I realized it was probably the sound of my stand fan running and not water after all.
But since the huge Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, we are all on edge, at the least little earthquake.
Well, if you forgot to buy mom something for Mother's Day, then check out the Treasure Chest for Island  gifts, delivered to your door!

- Weather is Here! Wish you were beautiful!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 08:35:34 EDT
DearMissMermaid is BACK!
Today the winds are light, the sun is out and scattered showers of short duration are expected.
The ocean is warmer than usual for this time of year.
Life on the island has slowed down, as less tourists pack in for the spring and summer.

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