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For the most recent reports from the BVI see this page.

- - - 2006 Hurricane Season - - -

- Simply Beautiful
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 10:21:16 EDT
Glorious day here on Tortola.  No more earthquakes, just a few little tremors now and then. A few folks are on edge about all this and we speculate about being overdue for a tsunami, then we laugh it away.
86 degrees, light gentle winds, vivid blue sky decorated with puffs of clouds.
T'ings in the road...
The roads are rough, not as rough as they used to be, but still, we have pot holes and lumps and bumps in the worst places. Cars take a beating here and sometimes car parts fly off the moving cars. Everyday I drive by an old radiator on the side of the road. I wonder how far that car got before they noticed they had lost their radiator.
Almost everyday, I see one or two hub caps on the side of the road. Sometimes someone has taken time to prop it up, in hopes the driver might see it and retrieve it.
I once saw a jeep a few cars ahead of me, go around a curve and his red  tail light cover flew off in the road. I needed a  red tail light cover, so I was going to stop and retrieve his. But the car in front of me, seemed to take great glee in aiming for it, and grinding it to a million pieces right before my very eyes.
Another time I narrowly avoided a wreck, when the car in front of me lost his entire bumper.  It loudly clanged into the middle of the road and I swerved and managed to miss it without rolling my jeep over. The car that lost it, just kept going 90 mph like he never noticed.  Bet he was a tad surprised when he parked and saw his rear bumper was gone.
Yesterday there was another mash up, just west of Nanny Cay.  The people looked pretty angry and the cops were there with their measuring tapes, measuring everything. No one was directing traffic, which had been reduced to one lane. I crawled by at a snail's pace like everyone else, so I could get a good look at the wreck.
But one reader, who has recently acquired a home in the BVI, has topped the list of t'ings in the road.  She had always let her husband do the driving on Tortola even though she drove at home all the time. Finally on one of their trips to Tortola, she announced to her husband that she was ready to tackle driving here.
She made it down the steep curvy hill from their new home and turned on to the main road and headed for Road Town. She goes around a curve and there in the middle of the road is a queen sized mattress!  The mattress isn't moving. It's just laying there in the middle of the road. Finally she manages to negotiate around the mattress, goes up the next hill and starts down, when she realizes the truck in front of her, is backing UP the hill towards her.  (Perhaps he realized he lost the mattress?)
I bet her husband was having a good laugh by now...
Which let me point out, it's in the rules of the road here locally, that if you are backing up on a public road, you are supposed to change lanes, so that you are backing up, with the flow of the traffic.
Like the guy near here who backs up the road to his home every evening. He lives at the top of a hill. First gear has gone out of his little car. He can't make it up the hill to his home in 2nd gear, so every evening when he comes home, we see him backing up the road to his house. I don't know why he doesn't just fix first gear. Maybe he's waiting for someone's transmission to fall off in the middle of the road...
Then there is the real tear jerker. This happened on St John. At the time, the road between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay was a donkey trail full of pot holes with the occasional patch of pavement. It was a rough road to negotiate, and folks openly cursed the government because it took a long time to traverse the mountainous road in the horrible condition it was in at the time. A carpenter was so excited to get a job there, he packed up and moved everything from New York to St John  including his beloved tool box.
The first few days he settled into his apartment and searched for a vehicle to buy. He was ecstatic to find a rusty little jeep with a tough engine.  He called his new boss and announced he was ready to report for work the next day.
I saw him at breakfast, as he gulped down his eggs and told me about his great find on the rusty island jeep and his new job near Coral Bay. He pays his tab and leaves Cruz Bay to negotiate his way over the mountains.
On the way there, he discovers that his jeep is quite prolific in bangs, rattles and clunks as he bounces down the awful road.  The rattles, bangs, clicks and thuds were so loud, he had to turn the radio volume up to full blast just to be able to hear the songs.
Arriving in Coral Bay, he hops out of his jeep at the job sight and reaches around back to grab his tool box. There, where his tool box used to sit was a nice neat rectangular rusty HOLE. 
He spent the next two to three  hours combing that awful road, looking for his tool box.  He checked all the deep ruts, looked over the steep cliffs, rustled through the wild bushes and never found so much as a screw driver.
I saw him at lunch at the bar, he was downing his 5th or 6th beer as he told me his story. While some folks are honest and will try to find the owner of found items, this was not to be in his case. Beer after beer, he told me about his tools and how old they were and how long it took him to acquire them.
Meanwhile his buddies are laughing hysterically and poking fun at the nice neat rectangular rusty hole in the back of his jeep...

- Shake Rattle Tattle Babble
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 10:17:58 EDT
10:20am sun is out, skies are blue, horizon still hazy.
9:40am Light drizzle coming down.
Last night we had a few scattered showers and another earthquake at 9:30pm. Today things are still wet and winds are becalmed. Yesterday was a flurry of activity in town as folks dashed to get t'ings done now that Carnival-finish.
The morning earthquake was the hot topic of the day, keeping folks lingering about in doing their chores, chatting away about where they were, what they felt. Then last night while many were just tucking into bed, shake, rattle, roll!  There it goes again!
Anegada was heavily prayed for as that little island is barely above sea level and it wouldn't take much of a tsunami to wreck the place.
My kitties have decided to bulk up, fatten out and get ready for famine. Trouble is, they keep eating away at their hurricane/volcano/disaster food stash. One kitty eats all his food and then begs for half of mine too.  Maybe they just like to see me lugging all their stores up that steep hill, home for them. Like if I drive up, park and get out, empty handed, I am only occasionally greeted. If I get out of the trusty rusty red jeep with bags in my fins, suddenly this enthusiastic feline crowd surrounds me with encouraging meows, leg rubs, purrs, and they carefully escort me up the steep hill.
My right fin is still weak, so I have to carry everything with the left fin (that's a left arm for you landlubbers).  This causes Miss Mermaid to list to port, and I look a tad drunk, walking up the hill.   Sometimes I test the right fin with a light load  but end up having to stop and give it a rest. That makes Miss Mermaid  look hungover. The kitties all stop too, and keep watch, as if they are guarding me and their food from predators.
At my locked front door, I often set the bags down while I fumble for keys. If I walk in and leave the bags outside for a few minutes, while I refresh myself with iced tea or lemonade, the kitties surround the bags and guard them, refusing to come inside until I bring the bags in. If I leave the bags out there 20 minutes, then 20 minutes later, there they are, sitting by the bags, waiting and guarding.
By the way, ever since my baby generator arrived, we haven't had a single power outage. I've been so busy, I haven't oiled it up and started it yet.
Gee, I never realized  I could single handedly solve the energy crisis...

- I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 10:06:42 EDT
In a message dated 8/14/2006 9:57:02 A.M. Atlantic Standard Time, MOIBEAR1 writes:
Sure felt that quake in St. Croix. My bed was shaking.
In a message dated 8/14/2006 9:22:25 A.M. Atlantic Standard Time, Heygirllll writes:
Greetings Miss Mermaid,
I'm Jill, the local correspondent in St. Croix.
Just a quick note to let you know I felt the earthquake here. It felt like my chair was moving around for no reason ... very odd feeling. Hope all is well on Tortola.
I am going to buy this album, I used to play this song on the piano, back in the dark ages, when I had a piano.
The song has this incredible bass rhythm that can only be reproduced on a true concert grand piano. I think Carole definitely went through an earthquake to write such a moving and powerful piece of music. Guess you would have to hear it to know what this crazy Mermaid is talking about!

- Earthquake Confirmation 947am
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 09:47:57 EDT
I should have stuck with my gut instincts and said the earthquake magnitude was in the low 5's but I subtracted out for mermaid hysteria. Shame on me!
Here is the current official report, note that we are 3 minutes different in reporting, this was true of the last few earthquakes. I guess it takes 3 minutes to reach  from their instruments to my location.
I also received an email from St Croix, they felt is there too!
Epicentral Map (PRSN), Last Modification: 2006-08-14 09:36:54 GMT
DATE: August 14, 2006
LOCAL TIME: 09 H 09 M 35 S
LATITUDE: 19.022 N
LOCATION: 47 km NW from Anegada, BVI and 165 km ENE from San Juan, PR
DEPTH: 21.4 km
MAXIMUM INTENSITY: IV in Eastern PR and Virgin Island, Modified Mercalli Scale (MM)

The Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN) received reports that this moderate earthquake was felt widely in Puerto Rico and US And British Virgin Islands with a maximum intensity of IV (Modified Mercalli Scale, MM). At the moment of generating this bulletin no damage has been reported.

- Crystal Ball Earthquake
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 09:35:22 EDT
932 am, still waiting for the USGS and Puerto Rico Seismic  Network to wake up and report the intensity of the earthquake felt here at 9:12am.
Early estimates from my crystal ball are around 5, like 4.8 or 4.9
The Puerto Rico Seismic Network hasn't updated since July 22nd, but hopefully they will come on line soon and report the latest for us.
I sent them an email with my Dear Miss Mermaid Earthquake Report!  Now wake up guys and look at your instruments!

- 9:12am EARTHQUAKE!!!!!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 09:15:00 EDT
Oh man, talk about an adrenalin rush!  We just had an earthquake tremor that shook this concrete building and rattled my stove and my nerves!   It kept increasing in intensity, I could hear my neighbor saying unprintable things and my cats were wide eyed and looking at me with horror on their little furry faces.
I ran and opened the doors, planning to make a hasty exit in case the concrete started to crumble, but then the tremor abruptly stopped.
I will write more later, right now I have to go change my undies...

- Carnival Finish
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 08:59:42 EDT
A tropical wave is approaching 61 degrees west this morning and moving at 17 mph. We should start to feel it later on today or tonight with some intermittent rains expected. We still have that thick Sahara dust haze and some more rains could do a lot towards settling that.
This morning it is flat calm and quiet except for assorted  birds singing with backup crows from the rooster loft. Winds are gentle and light though expected to pick up to 10-15 mph, enough for a gentle sail.
Seas are forecast to be good today and rough tomorrow. My crystal ball indicates that beginner surfers may be able to try their luck on the north shore at Bomba's Wednesday.
Carnival is over.  Stores report brisk sales in Paracetamol  this morning (a drug that is used for the relief of fever, headaches, and other minor aches and pains; aka hangovers).
Every morning is the dawn of a new error...
New WebCams have been added, for those of you longing be here and aren't, you can get a taste of paradise.
Today's report is dedicated in loving memory of Marian Fairchild Gill and her grandson, Adam Jalal Palmer: two wonderful people who graced this earth a very short time. Both are dearly loved and sorely missed.

- Another Tropical Wave, Weaving Towards Us
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 13:25:42 EDT
We have a tropical wave along 56 west this morning, it is expected to move into the northeast Caribbean late Sunday or early Monday.  It may bring about an increase in showers and thunderstorms as well as wild wind and sloppy choppy seas.
One more day of carnival in Carrot Bay!  Then party time is over and Monday will show how many wake up with a severe festival hangover. Particularly those living near Carrot Bay...
Today is positively gorgeous, and you can find me at the beach!
Now Dear Miss Mermaid puts out the begging cup...
The trust rusty red jeep has more complaints lately than a cactus has needles.  So to save up for necessary repairs, I'm hard at work, printing out  new 2007 Calendars  for sale, with net proceeds going to the piggy bank for the poor jeep fund.
I've doing the math and here is how it works.  If I sell 10 calendars, that will be enough to buy a can of  Fix-A-Flat for emergency flat tires.  If I sell 200 calendars, that will be enough for ONE new tire (at BVI prices).  So 800 calendars will buy the jeep four new tires. Wow!
If you truly love my calendar selections and through a miracle I sell one thousand calendars, then by golly, I can buy tires and make a few small  critical jeep repairs.
If you told everyone you knew, and they told everyone they knew, that they should buy my 2007 Calendars this year, and I sold a whopping twenty-five thousand calendars (25,000) I would FAINT!
Once the smelling salts arrived, I would be able to buy a new little jeep and be eternally grateful to all who sported my 2007 calendars. But, selling 25,000 calendars is a long shot, I'm just hoping to sell enough this year, to buy one new tire.
Currently we have about 60 calendars to choose from with themes such as Pirates, Mariner, Sailing, Beaches, Surfing, Fishes  and of course our Weather Calendar with 52 incredible photos, plus Phenomenal Weather for Each Day &  Weather Trivia with Illustrations, all that for ONLY $10.
We don't have any Mermaid calendars yet, because Mermaids don't photograph and your camera will break  if you do try to photograph one.
All this stuff I sell through Amazon, because they have all the high tech security to handle online orders and you don't have to worry about Miss Mermaid swimming away one day with all your money. Miss Mermaid isn't paid until your calendar has been delivered to your door. So I think this makes everyone happy.
Miss Mermaid isn't here dripping &  licking stamps, and you don't have to worry if your 're going to get your calendar or not (you will!) whether I swim away or not.
So make a HUGE LONG  list of everyone you want to buy Birthday and Christmas gifts for, and pick out some nice calendars for them. These calendars make beautiful wall art, even in the bathroom!  You will be happy to note that we can ship worldwide in most cases and gifts shipped to the recipient include a FREE gift card with your note on it. Now how cool is that?
2007 Nautical and Caribbean Calendars are now on Sale.  Some are limited print editions, so order early.  They also make terrific birthday and Christmas gifts and many are under $10. Free note cards and Gift wrapping  available too.  Happy shopping!

- Lovely Day for Limin'
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 17:53:48 EDT
Gorgeous weather in spite of the Sahara dust haze. The Carrot Bay Festival continues through the weekend with live entertainment and games.

- We Survived The Donkey Races!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 12:50:49 EDT
Sunny with bits of overcast. We have a thick haze form the Sahara dust and gentle trade winds. A great day to go to Carrot Bay for the live music, and sumptuous food tonight.
Links to Donkey Race Pictures coming soon!

- Donkey Races
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 10:06:03 EDT
A beautiful day for the Donkey Races and Carrot Bay Carnival to open.  Don't Stop the Carnival!  Skies are slightly overcast, temperature is 86 degrees, winds are slight.  Yesterday the Sir Francis Drake channel was choppy.
The tropical wave is moving south of us, and we should have drier weather (fingers crossed)  I sure hope so for the Carrot Bay Festival.
By the way, my little 1kw  generator finally arrived. I had to bribe a young sturdy teenager, who happened to be limin' about the neighborhood to carry it up the steep hill for me and deposit it at my door. No, I haven't tried it out yet, I bought the  gas can, but I forgot to buy the gas and oil. You can't expect me to remember everything can you?
I have already read the entire manual and it seems pretty straight forward, I am debating about ordering the shop manual for it, just in case. But I guess I should see how she purrs before I invest more money into this venture.  I did my own maintenance and repairs  on my outboard motor and it never saw a mechanic in the 10+ years I drove it around, so I am hoping I can keep this generator going for ten years or more if I treat it like a baby. Which by the way, I sold that outboard about 3-4 years ago, and the new owner recently reported it still starts on one pull and purrs like a kitten.
Of course, ever since I ordered this Kipor generator , we have not had a single power outage. So I figured me buying it, at least scared the electricity corporation into straightening up!
At least if we get the BIG ONE (aka hurricane or himmacane) I won't be alone for the storm, because all my friends without generators with be crammed into my place!
I must admit, when I was living aboard my boat and had to take refuge ashore from a storm, I always looked for a friend with a generator or a piano, it was miles more fun.
One year I took refuge at a friend's palatial home that came with a grand piano and a generator. We only used the generator intermittently to watch a movie and take a shower (water pump needed power).  When the generator was off, I lit a dozen candles and sat at the grand piano playing music all night because I couldn't sleep one bit, wandering what my uninsured boat was doing in the harbor all by her lonesome on six little anchors.   Most unfortunately my friends sold the house and piano, they wanted a divorce or some such nonsense. But it was the best time I ever had during a hurricane.
Well, I gotta run feed my donkey (Merman) and ride him over to  Carrot Bay. I figure we can get there in a couple of hours, give the donkey a rest, have lunch, make some side bets, then warm him up for the race and BANG off we go! See you there.

- And the Carnival Goes On
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 05:46:13 EDT
We have a tropical wave located about 425 miles east of the Windward islands, moving about 20 mph.  Another system about 800 miles southwest of the Azores is worth watching over the next few days to see what if anything becomes of that bowling ball.
This morning we have slight winds,  overcast skies, 81 degrees and noisy roosters.
The Public Holidays are over but the carnival is still going on. The highway continues to be littered with late night fender benders and more sightings  of the ghostly lady.  Guess she likes the carnival too!
Friday is the donkey races in Carrot Bay, my favorite event.
Did you hear about the donkey race announcer who was fired for his overzealous reporting? Here's what happened:
In the first race, a pastor had entered his donkey to race and it won so the announcer says "Looks like the Pastor's Ass is Out Front..."
This upset elders in the crowd, so they asked the Pastor not to race again. So the announcer says "Elders Scratch Pastor's Ass"
The elders didn't like this one bit so they told the pastor to just get rid of his donkey. He donates it to a Nun to take back to her convent so the race reporter announces "Nun has Best Ass".  She is so embarrassed she trades the donkey to a farmer for a $10 donation to the convent.  The avid sports announcers says "Nun Sells Ass for $10"
So incensed with this latest embarrassment, she refunds the farmers $10 and turns the donkey loose in the bush to live out his days wild and free.
The reporter, not one to miss  a beat says "Nun Announces Her Ass is now Wild and Free..."

- Bowling Balls Off Africa...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 20:31:19 EDT
Tonight is the fool moon party. A tropical disturbance should pass over the Lesser Antilles tonight bringing gusty winds and stormy weather.
This evening is rather cool, unusual for August and I have absolutely no complaints about the wonderful weather.
I've often referred to those bits of disturbed weather rolling off Africa as Bowling Balls aiming for us bowling pins, a.k.a. the islands.
Well by golly, somebody took me seriously and offered up a Tropical Storm Bowling Ball. No kidding!  It's for sale, just click here for details. Too funny!
Never thought I could be such an inspiration for an inventor.  For years now, we have been waiting for our bowling alley to open in Road Town and if it ever does, I am going to buy this ball and go have some fun with it!

- I Seen You Anyways...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 02:53:25 EDT
I wrote the weather yesterday, trouble was, I had technical difficulties and didn't get it posted. So it's at the end of this.  (Nothing like a weather report a day late, but we islanders tend to be late for every t'ing it seems)
We have a tropical depression brewing  about 1000 miles east of the Windward Islands, moving about 15 mph, which means it could get here in a few short days.  The forecasters seem to think it's a bit disorganized, but what the heck, so are we in the BVI.
It's 2am and all is well. Very breezy and bright what with the Full  Moon being today. If you are in to stargazing, check out this chart for the BVI of what you might see on a clear night like tonight. It's a pretty cool t'ing.
Of course if you drink some of dat  magic 'shroom tea dey be serving up at da Bomba Shack, for the Fool Moon Party, you gonna see all sorts of t'ings. Last month I missed the fool moon party and I meant to go, cause I like to dance on the beach there.  Next day, I saw my goofy friend who looked like he had lots of dat magic 'shroom tea, his eyes were still glazed over,  and he was extremely pleased with everything. He say to me "I seen you at da Bomba Shack last night!"  And I told him I wasn't even there. He said "Yeah, I know,you wasn't there,  but I drank some tea and I seen you anyways!"
If you are on a nearby island and thinking of coming over, here are the Ferry Schedules.    The surf gurus believe that Wednesday and Friday will be good surfing days for both beginners and novices on the North Shore, so come on over, have some magic 'shroom tea and bring your surf board and boogie!
Well, that's all for now, I am going to run my spell heckler past this and then  zip the end result  off to  the cyber world, for you, my gentle readers.
550am the winds picked up and the rains came down. A distant rumbling is mumbling, probably the noise of the sudden squall on the ocean. 553am I felt that cold rush of air that precedes a strong squall and now the rains and winds are picking up stronger. 556 and the squall is over and moving along to go pelt St John.
The Island just keeps getting greener!
A new disturbance is located about 1200 miles east of us with a well defined area of low pressure.
all clickable links are underlined

- Ooops!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 20:29:36 EDT
Dat silly mermaid forgot to put the link up, here it is:

- The Parade is coming!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 15:40:50 EDT
A peachy day for the carnival parade today!  A bit stormy late last night, but no worries.
Here are some GREAT pictures of Tropical Storm Chris rolling into the BVI last week, supplied by readers residing in the BVI. A big thank you to Ken and Lori for supplying these pictures. Click on thumbnails to see large versions.
The Fool Moon Party at Bomba's is Wednesday August 9th. Woo Hoo!
It's just a busy week of partying in the BVI.

- We Be Close In
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2006 10:06:13 EDT
Today is just a wonderful day in paradise, the kind you dream about, the kind we very often have in this lovely tropical madness, we call da islands. Check the satellite, we got another mess off the Cape Verde islands rolling our way, but no worries, be happy.
We had quite the storm last night, it was short lived but furious. Rain coming in at all angles it seemed.
I dreamed I was back on my boat and the coach roof was too high for me to reach and close the hatches.  The boat was actually much larger than mine and very modern.  I hope this is a vision of t'ings to come...
In reality, rain was blowing across my bed and by the time I reluctantly left my too tall yacht, to vaguely think about  getting up to close the shutters, the storm suddenly stopped and I drifted back off to dreamland, and re-entered my yacht, where it was still raining, but someone had closed the hatches.
Don't Stop The Carnival, we still have another week to go!  Yippee!  People dancin' and jammin', rockin' to the Calypso beat.  Many businesses are closed and will remain closed for 3-7-10-28 days, all in honor of carnival.  Some places will simply keep very erratic hours, which they very often fail to post on the door. Some places have funny hand written signs hastily taped up. What a life, what a delight. See you at da village, mon!
One sign at a business I won't name, was scrawled left to right in a very downward slope of erratically sized letters (even though this store happens to sell rulers & pencils amongst many other useful items)
Happy Carnval
We be close in Saturday
We reopen Friday
maybe Thursday
Yes, Carnival was spelled wrong as was closing, and the way the maybe Thursday was tacked on at the bottom, made me giggle out loud.
After Hurricane Luis, about 10 or so years ago, I was in line at a government agency in St John, my business had been destroyed.  St John is notorious for heavy drinkers and the handwritten sign at the entrance to the agency read:
No Alkeyholl drinks inside
Of course, I am guilty, of starting that awful rumor later that day. I went to my secret ice supplier only to find a long line of others who were inquiring of same. The place was claiming to be out of ice, but I knew if I could get to the owner, alone, I could get secret ice. We had a long standing relationship, and we took care of each other in feast and famine. With secret ice, I could trade for a free dinner, life was tough then. So as I stood in line, I loudly said "Oh, you must have heard about the FREE Rum they are giving away at the Red Cross tent."
It emptied out the place as folks ran two blocks to go stand in the Red Cross line. I got my free secret ice, disguised in a blue jean backpack and hurriedly raced out to my friend's boat in the harbor who had mountains of food stashed away and every night they made wonderful meals. 
"Need some ice?" I inquired, knowing full well they loved their evening cocktails and ice was impossible to find, unless like me, you were very lucky to be a mermaid and have a secret source. The reply came back "Sure, would you like to have some dinner?"  And for awhile, penniless and broke, this was how I survived until I got t'ings back together.
The next morning, in town, various folks were grumbling about the lack of Rum at the Red Cross tent. Others said they simply ran out. Another said they closed at curfew before they could get to the head of the line. Someone claimed their friend got some and they drank it together. Ah, the coconut telegraph works so well, and a little too well oiled at times.
By the way, if you haven't read "Don't Stop the Carnival" then you must, it's a hilarious book and must-read if you like to smile and laugh. I have read this book maybe three or four times, since it first came out, the story is well worth being told and retold.

- Mostly Ghostly
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2006 12:29:06 EDT
Chris has weakened to a tropical depression and the NHC has issued their last advisory on him.  Safe again!  Yahoo!
Scattered rains are dotting the morning. Skies are overcast, temperatures are moderate and winds are mild.
Carnival is in full swing.  Mashed up cars seem to litter the highway everyday.  The ghost lady has been seen again.
I saw her once, before I knew she was a ghost. I was out working very late, and it was past midnight. I was traveling west past the Pockwood Pond Electricity plant, there is a long lonely stretch of road with just cliffs on one side and ocean on the other.
Suddenly a woman appeared in front of my jeep and I slammed on brakes so I wouldn't hit her. There were no other cars around and I stopped to offer her a ride. I figured maybe her boyfriend threw her out in the middle of nowhere, knowing there were no houses around and no street lights.
I waited and all was quiet. So I got out of my jeep and looked around. I hollered "Do you want a ride?" to the dark night. I was answered by silence. I flipped my lights on bright, looked up and down the road and up and down the cliffs. I looked out in the water which was eerily still.  There was no woman in sight!
I hollered a few more times, then I drove off.
A few days later, I mentioned it to a few folks and boy did I get an earful.  Folks began telling me about this ghost and how she appears after midnight on that lonely stretch of road and how everyone slams on brakes to miss hitting her.
One man said he totaled his car there because he didn't stop for her, just kept on driving. He was speeding down the road, when he glanced in his rear view mirror and there she was, sitting in his backseat. He said it scared him so bad, he hit the seawall going way too fast and destroyed his car.
So, if you are out after midnight and see the ghost, stop and offer her a ride, cause if you don't she climbs in your backseat and then you are going to need fresh undies... if not a new car.
all clickable links are underlined

- Blue Skies
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 06:40:19 EDT
All is beautiful and wet, but blue skies are peeking through.
Workers are showing up with carnival hangovers, if they show up at all. Some businesses will have carnival parties today, and send their employees home and happy knowing that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are ALL public holidays.
Imagine living in a place where they give you three days of holidays  in honor of partying!
Ya gotta love it here!

- 220pm
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 14:32:43 EDT
Overcast skies, intermittent rains.  Mud slide and rocks fell on waterfront highway near the cliffs, west of Pockwood Pond Power Station, but Public Works was working hard to clean up the mess. Well sort of, I came by at break time and everyone was leaning up against the guard rails.  But most of the mess was gone by then.

- The Big Tease!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 10:05:57 EDT
The rains have stopped, but everything is soaking wet and still dripping. My yard is a lake. All I need is the ducks.
Tropical Storm Chris is  Located  near  20.5N , 66.8W and moving at 12 mph with winds of 40mph.  Yesterday, on TV, the meteorologists were jumping up and down and predicting this would turn into a hurricane, they looked like they were ready to bust out of their suits, they were so excited, to be in the lime light.  Now they are back peddling and looking rather defeated and deflated.
We get pretty stiff breezes in the winter  of 30-35 knots with higher gusts, but  we call that the Christmas Winds!
Well, to entertain yourself, check out what's new in the BVI.  or the webcams which give you live pictures of what's happening.
all clickable links are underlined

- 1:30 am, Windy and Rainy in Wet End, Tortola
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 02:00:46 EDT
Tropical Storm Chris seems to be building right around us. Currently he is 95 miles North of St Thomas and producing heavy rainfall over the islands. He has slowed to a crawl at 8 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are at 60mph and extend outwards up to 80 miles.
That means we are only about 15 or so miles from the edge of the worst of the storm. A little wobbling could make our conditions worst. Reportedly, over 600 tourists have fled the eastern Puerto Rican Islands of Culebra and Vieques. (See map) I don't know of anyone here who has fled due to the storm, but I have run into some very unhappy boaters. 
Flooding and flood related problems are expected, as we are just saturated with plenty of rain.  I can hear the winds picking up, as if a heavy squall is about to hit us.
This satellite picture shows the tail forming, characteristic of most hurricanes.
all clickable links are underlined

- And the Rains Came Down
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 19:28:31 EDT
7:30pm and we just had a power glitch!  I better hurry up and email this!
Rains are pouring down and the island is bound to have flooding problems if this keeps up.  Winds pick up and resettle, thunder mumbles a threat now and then.
We are still under a tropical storm warning. As of 5pm, tropical storm Chris was 115 miles north northwest of St Thomas.
My neighbor's driveway isn't a river yet, but I remember back two years ago or so when we had the floods, the driveway was a raging river over 6 inches deep with rocks tumbling by.
I took pictures today of the strange skies, but my camera apparently suffered from operator failure.    *sigh*   I guess I should read the manual...
all clickable links are underlined

- Rainy Day
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 13:11:13 EDT
It's been pouring down rain off and on since 10am.  Clouds are hovering very low over the area, almost giving us a fog-like quality. 
As of 12pm, the center of Chris was near Latitude 19.2 North...Longitude 63.4 West
The BVI is roughly at 18º 30 North 64º 30´ West
My trusty rusty island jeep was cantankerous. I jumped in it, to go to town to work a few hours and the windshield wipers moved exactly one inch and groaned to a stop.  Hopped out in the rain, turned them back on and gave them a manual push, as if to say "Look here, this is how you do this..." 
Amazingly the windshield wipers begrudgingly kicked in and slowly, VERY slowly, moved back and fourth. I had to drive to town at a sedate speed so I could see. This was pretty easy as some tourists pulled out in front of me, then proceeded to creep down the road, as if terrified to be driving on the left side of the road. I think they were hoping I would pass them, but what with the rain, my bald tires and the slow wipers, I stayed right behind them and let them do their sight seeing at 29 mph.

- Tropical Storm Chris is teasing us
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 09:15:50 EDT
8:45am and we are getting some gusty winds in West End. Sky is overcast.  Tropical Storm Chris looks a bit frightening. The forecasters say it may go north of us, but I think we will still get some squally weather.
Rainfall of 3-5 inches in predicted. YIKES!  In the past we have had more damages from flooding than from wind storms.
Also, I don't al;ways trust the storm forecasters 100%, they have been wrong before, and at the worst times.  So in other words, I don't think we are home free yet!
If you are bored, check out the new Caribbean webcams added to the BVI listings.
Miss Mermaid is feeling a bit under the weather.  She woke up at 4am, still sitting upright in her way too comfy chair. When she stood up, a big pile of M & M candies went flying across the floor, apparently emptied out from her lap. Ooops!  A look around the place, indicates that the kitties had a party while she slept. Inexplicably, cat food was everywhere, as if some very naughty kitties had been playing indoor  hockey with the food again.  A very guilty looking cat wanted to go out the door, when she opened it, a BIG black dog was laying on the rug outside. Considering Miss Mermaid doesn't own a dog, this was curious indeed. The big dog looked up and thumped his tail a few times, declining to move.  Miss Mermaid shut the door and went  to bed, stumbling through M & M's and cat food along the way, mumbling unprintable words.
all clickable links are underlined

- hmmm...
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 03:16:26 EDT
320am and all is quiet, the calm before the storm...

- Yikes!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2006 12:01:13 EDT
Some folks are scurrying around getting ready for TS Chris.  Years back we had a storm form in Virgin Gorda and pass over us with hurricane winds with virtually no notice.
Other folks, are ignoring the Tropical Storm Chris threat and going about t'ings as normally.
What I don't like is that the storm has slowed down to movement at only 10 mph, as when a storm slows, it often builds up.
My generator is not here yet, mail service said to check back at 2:30pm.
all links are underlined

- Toprical Storm Chris
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2006 06:20:20 EDT
At 5am, a tropical storm watch was issued for the Virgin Islands. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36 hours.
Currently TS Chris is about 185 miles east of Antigua with winds of 40mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is expected, so it's time to batten down the hatches and get ready for a trial hurricane run.
I have been looking at various satellite models, and I sure don't like the looks of Chris.
I must call my mail server and see if my baby generator has arrived yet. I did buy a case of tuna last week, for future reference and a few cans of soup that looked like they might taste good hot or cold. I've been slowly amassing a collection of citronella candles in glass globes, they give off light,keep away the bugs and provide a nice scent. So I think the kitties and I are good for a few days in a storm. We are still waiting on the propane truck to top us off so we can cook. *sigh*
Life before microwaves must have been real tough. *tee hee hee*
More later, gotta get to the liquor store and stock up, just in case...

- Between Tropical Waves
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 10:21:10 EDT
Bright and sunny, the tail of the tropical wave has finally passed us but we have a new wave 390 miles east southeast of us. Waves were forecast to be high enough for surfing yesterday, but they weren't.
Yesterday I saw the Tortola waterfall and it was gorgeous. It rarely operates, but I guess we had enough rain that it finally kicked in.
All utilities are working except we haven't had propane for 3 days. Probably my fault, since I bought food. Not sure if the island is out, or if it is just our neighborhood.
Several bars and restaurants have closed down for carnival and vacation. 
I am working fast to catch up on repairs before my company arrives.  Since they have never been to the Caribbean before, they might have some real culture shock, at the way t'ings be.
I realized my list of how to live here was far too long, and maybe it was time to try to get some things fixed rather than try to explain things like, the bathroom light doesn't work, so we light a candle and put it in there.
The sink works, but it fills up the cabinet with water and if you cut it on more than a trickle, it will hose you down at waist level. The bedroom electrical switch doesn't work, but if you jump up and down on the bed and finally jump high enough while doing a back flip, you can reach the pull cord to turn the fan on, repeat to pull cord for the lights.
The hot water tap in the shower is broke, so it only comes on full blast, when you turn the emergency shut-off valve on. Then you can compensate by turning on the cold, which is also broke, but does work somewhat, some days.
However, due to the solar heater on the roof, the water is too hot from 10-7pm each day, and there isn't enough cold to tone it down because you can't reduce the amount of hot water coming in.  So between 10 and 7 shower super quickly, so as not to get scalded, but otherwise, if you plan to shower more than 20 seconds do so before 10am or after 7pm.
The kitchen counters always look dirty, unless you have an hour and various chemicals to clean it with, then it only looks mildly dirty. It's really clean, just never looks that way. The beast that apparently rented this place before me, used the kitchen counter tops to sharpen their knives with and often set super hot things on it to burn it with as well as drop heavy tools to leave big gouges in it. Otherwise it looks fine.
 Life in the islands seems like one big repair after another. Finally got the  lights working in my bathroom, and lordy, was it ever dirty. I thought it looked so clean, but I had cleaned it by candle and flashlight. I guess things look better in the dark.
Got the new sink faucet installed in the bathroom, so that cabinet underneath no longer floods out. Fixed the wiring in the bedroom, so you don't have to do back flips on the bed to reach the high ceilings. Resurfaced the kitchen counters, so that they now wipe clean, look clean and stay clean.
Only thing left is to fix is the shower, but heck, we ran out of parts and money as it is not going to be an easy job. Engineers that design plumbing parts, change them every 3 months, and only make each style in very small limited quantities. So that if your faucet is over a few months old, you will NEVER and I mean NEVER find any replacements parts to fit it, that don't require a jackhammer to dig out the old ones and start anew. Needless to say, I am not happy with this, but we have been trying to chase down parts for the shower for over a year now, and everyone says, you just gotta wake up and jackhammer  the old stuff out and start over. YIKES!
Gotta run now, and grab my shower before it gets too hot...

- Rain, Drain, Pain
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 05:04:48 EDT
5am and we have steady rains from the tail of the tropical wave. While it continues to move away from us, the tail end seems to keep getting longer and lingering over us.
Last night was the 2nd night of carnival village and the final night at Jolly Roger where we were planning to go drink the bar dry at his annual party. Every time we thought about stepping out to do one or the other or both, the heavens would open up and drench the area.
Finally we settled on movies at home with popcorn as a consolation prize. I'm afraid the carnival had to go on, without us, and drinking the bar dry in drizzly weather in an open air place while wrapped in foul weather gear and cowering under an umbrella, somehow lost its appeal. Ditto for the carnival. I am sure, though, that since Tortola houses some world famous partiers, that both parties did well without our presence.
410am I woke up to the grumbling of more thunder rumbling, rolling out a wet carpet for more rains to drain from the sky.  It feels quite cool and I am surprised my thermometer is at 81 degrees, it sure feels chilly to me.  
Perhaps this wasn't the best weekend to relocate  my kitchen to the balcony, but such is life. My handyman friend was coming over for the weekend and we had high hopes of repairing the electrical, plumbing and painting problems around my place.
We are resurfacing the kitchen counter tops with a special paint, so everything has to go off the counters and somewhere else. Furthermore, splashing from the kitchen sink would not be allowed, hence a temporary sink, consisting of wash pan, garden hose and dish drain rack was set up on the balcony.
With all the rains pouring fourth, I hardly need the garden hose for  my dishes, I can just lean out over the balcony and wash and rinse.  The microwave has been relocated to a bar stool in the living room and the crock pot sits on the coffee table simmering a nice vegetarian chili that has sustained us quite well as this is good weather for hot spicy chili.
Initially I was slow cooking pinto dried  beans to eventually make refried beans for bean burritos.  As the weather deteriorated, we decided chili would be easier and hearty. So we tossed in a cup of soya mince, (resembles ground beef but without the fat and calories) plus lots of cumin, chili powder, parsley, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Once the soya mince had cooked (about 10 minutes) the pot resembled beef chili, only without the fat.  We then tossed in liberal amounts of  jalapenos and loads of  hearty salsa and let that stew about 30 more minutes. This was ladled out into a bowl and garnished with a generous slice of cheddar which melted.
Yummm. It was so delicious, we had to go back for seconds.

- Sloppy Wet Moppy Mess
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 16:21:22 EDT
Long about 11ish the big old bathtub in the sky started draining, and raining. The tropical wave is HUGE, even though we are in the right upper quadrant, we haven't escaped the mess.
At 345 the thunder grumbled and rumbled, mumbling threats while more water poured down.  The sky is so dark, you would think the sun set moments ago, yet it is only 3:49pm.
Last night carnival village opened and today, on the way to town, we encountered two, two car wrecks abandoned.  I kicked myslef in the tail for not having my camera with me. We all know how you like to look at a good mash em up.
It appears, from the wrecks, that no one was seriously injured except the two vehicles.
Two small cars, appeared to have been racing to see who would hit the telephone pole first and they mashed into each other and the pole. Both cars were still parked there, with no occupants around.
The next wreck had a huge dump truck, parked on its side in a ditch, facing a utility pole with another car mashed up on the other side of the pole. It appeared as if both vehicles were racing for the same pole, from opposite directions and both managed to hit it.
I would like to ask all four drivers, just how fast was that pole going, when it collided into them...

- T'anks for T'inking of me
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 09:19:41 EDT
King of an ugly day today. So far the thick Sahara dust has kept this tropical wave passing south of us quite dry. Not sure if this will last or if we are in for more squally weather.  Skies are gray, very uncharacteristic for this normally beautiful area.
Another tropical wave is headed our way, those balling bowls (bowling balls?) keep rolling off the African coast and we the wee islands, are the pins, praying we don't get a strike.
I have a mail service that brings my mail and packages over from St Thomas to Tortola, for a fee of course.  I called them 4 times Friday but the generator has still not arrived. I hope I didn't call too much...
This morning we have no street  water running, but everything else is working. My good friend showed up and fixed the bathroom lights, which have been dark for about 4 months. I was VERY excited to have the lights working again, except when he turned them on this morning, to proudly show off his handy work, it showed just how DIRTY my bathroom was.
Cleaning in the dark or by flashlight and candle, apparently makes it look a lot cleaner than it really is. So now I got my work cut out for me, except the plumbing is still mash up. I think my bathroom was in a train wreck, when I wasn't looking.
All the parts are seized up under the sink, nothing is going right and after cursing intermittently for about an hour, my friend said "Call a REAL plumber, cause I can't fix this #$%^&!!!"
I waited until 9am to call a plumber and got a very sleepy man.  Oh dear. Does one say "Excuse me" and just hang up, or does one plow through with a plumbing request and pray the sleepy man will not be too mad.
I plowed through with "A friend of mine told me you da best plumber on da island and my sink done mash up and my friend here been cursing it for an hour and he tell me to call you, cause we need a real plumber to fix d'is mash up t'ing."   The sleepy man said he would take my number and call me back when he was awake. I began to give him my number and he said "Wait!  I looking for paper."  A few minutes go by and a sleepy voice says "I found paper, now wait!  I gots to find my pencil."  I hear shuffling and mumbling and finally the sleepy voice says "OK, give me your number, I call you when I wake up, t'anks for t'inking of me."

- Freaky Friday
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 10:06:59 EDT
Bright and sunny, nice and green.  All utilities are functioning at the moment but don't let them know, or they might mash some t'ing up and I be real sorry then!
My crystal ball is predicting more gusty rains and intermittent rains for the weekend.  Figures, I have a friend coming over to help paint, while we will be indoors, still, painting in wet weather is not always recommended. Also, I need to repair my rusty  trusty jeep which is raining on my feet *sigh*.
To all of you who bought BVI Books and Maps, I wish to THANK YOU ALL, proceeds from the sales helped me save up for that little baby generator that is in the mail to me!  THANKS!!!
You can also check on our local weather live,  by checking out these webcams in the VI and BVI.

- Breezy and Blustery, Sleezy and Cussardly
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 22:12:10 EDT
Tonight it is breezy and cool. Anyone with air conditioning, must have it on to warm up, cause I am seriously thinking of putting something warm on my tail. Brrrrrrr!
By the way, I have current, water, cable, internet and phone tonight ALL AT ONCE.  Nothing is mash up!  Yippee!  This is very rare on this island! I feel extremely spoiled and privileged.  I can hardly decide what to do first. But on my shopping list is a can for gasoline for that new generator I am anxiously awaiting. I even shopped at Qwomars in Road Town,  for possible covers and containers to keep my new little generator cozy, clean and out of the elements between uses.  I didn't buy anything since I left the measurements at home. I hit
Qwomars on a good day cause they had  just got in a shipment of plastic containers in every shape and size.  One was so big, that all my belongings would have fit in it with room to spare. Mermaids don't own much.
My last little "shared" generator that I had use of half the year, was kept covered by an upside down jumbo bucket left over from my hand laundry washing days. I used to have a nice little red gas jug, but I loaned it out, and around here, once you loan something out,  you rarely ever  see it again. 
Note to self:  look around  home to make sure there is nothing "borrowed" that I forgot to return.
You can bet I am going to take VERY GOOD care of that little generator. I've been saving up a LONG time to get this.  It's supposed to be quiet too, so I am excited about that. OK, enough of my drooling and wishful thinking. (But here's a pic of the little beauty, I am expecting!) It's supposed to ship yesterday or today, and I am ashamed to say, I am praying it makes it here in one piece and purrs like a happy cat next time da current done mash up and I got things to do.
Looks like this weekend is going to be a wet one, but we hope not what with carnival ready to crank up.  I remember years ago, on a clear night, back when the carnival village was free, and hordes of people stood along the sides of the road, trying to catch rides into town.  I think about 90% of the population was in the carnival village when the heavens opened up and in minutes the place was just flooded while folks ran and screamed, cramming their way into the back door of the cooking booths, elbow to jowl while it rained so hard, you couldn't see across the carnival village. Some folks had brought umbrellas, others that were carrying take away  food boxes were holding them over their head.  Many hapless folks that were too far away from the booths when it happened and had to endure the rains without shelter.
A friend of mine, another female boatie,  who could be a cut up and a klutz at times,  saw me and began running towards me in the rain, but she slipped and fell during this deluge and landed on all fours. I ran over to help her up and she looked up at me while still down and said "Wanna dog paddle with me  to the chicken  shack?" 
I remember what a hard time later, we had catching a ride back to our harbor that night, what with our dripping wet clothes. Taxis would shake their head NO at us.   Finally we caught a ride in the back of a pickup truck with a driver that immediately floored the accelerator and drove like we were late for The Second Coming   We were white knuckled attached to the sides of the truck, giving each other that "Are we gonna get killed?" look when she whispers "I think I left my stomach a mile back..."
By golly, we were nearly dry by the time we got home and ever so grateful to still be alive.
Anyhow, I digress, back to the weather:
One  sailor in Sopers Hole, West End, Tortola reported gusts of 50-55 knots last night.  I met him at the dump.  Yes, I know meeting new friends at the dump sounds strange. But here on Tortola, you must carry your garbage to a public dump or dumpster or public can. I like to carry mine out everyday, what with this tropical climate, I don't like to leave mine languishing at home much.
Anyhow, there being some public  cans half way between me and the dinghy dock, I met a new boat owner this afternoon over garbage. He hobbled over, as if he had leg trouble and  tossed a small soft smelly bag of garbage in the can,  mine made a horrible crash and clang, but at least mine was odorless. He said "Good Afternoon" and I said the same.
I smiled and said "Are you on a boat in the harbor?"
He replied "Does it show that much?  I just bought a boat, stayed aboard for the third  time last night.  I think I aged ten years overnight."
Knowing how the cats and I cowered under the covers while that mini hurricane swirled and twirled around us in the middle of the night, I gave him my best innocent look and casually said "Get much wind in the harbor last night?"
"Holy #$%!  Did I get much wind?"
He gestured toward the garbage can where he had just tossed his odoriferous bag, "I woke up to that *&^%$%^&, leaped out of my bunk, slammed all the hatches shut, fell down because the boat was heeling, yes heeiling!  In the harbor!  On a mooring! No sails up and the wind so strong that I am heeling over! I throw on some shorts and climb my way out to the cockpit.
"I'm out in that *&^%^&* tossing anchors out port and starboard while this driving cold rain is freezing my at #$!!%!  off!  I sure didn't want that mooring to break loose and send me out to sea in THAT $%^&*&^%$!!!
All the while he is pointing at the smelly small bag of refuse he had just tossed in the can.
"Crawl!  I had to crawl my way back to the cockpit, clinging onto everything to keep from being tossed overboard and my window-meter  (I think he meant wind speed meter) but I chuckled when he said "window-meter") was hovering around 25-30 and all of a sudden, it shot up to 55 and the boat lurched aft really hard, started heeling over again and  a  loud bolt of thunder shot out! I thought we had broke loose and I was going to sea at 3am, in 55   knots of wind!
" THAT'S when I  at #$%^&*(%   in my shorts!
This was punctuated by him shaking his finger at the garbage for emphasis, and a wild eyed stare as he looked at me intently, as if  just noticing for the first time I was a mermaid who was now  laughing so hard, I almost #$%^&*%$ in mine too...

- tropical wave passing over us
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 15:10:01 EDT
Lawdy Mercy. Count cha lucky stars that I am even able to pirate a computer and a connection to even send this out to you.
Last night the thunder rumbled, grumbled and mumbled for hours.  Periodically the rains would pour down or slop sideways.  At one point the winds were howling and  the rain was coming at us horizontal.
I was cowering under the covers in a corner bed that has windows on the east and north sides. At one point it was blowing through the east window and out the north window so fast, that nary a drop was hitting me, that is,  until I sat up and got a face full of flying rain.
Through the howling I could hear kitties crying pitifully at the door and they came in all dripping, slipping and generally plip-plopping across the floor. By now I was wide awake, and wet with three wet kitties trying to curl up with me, so we turned the TV on and of course, cable was mash up.
I hid back under the covers and we all went to sleep to the crashing and thrashing of lightning and thunder.
Around 5am I woke back up because the current done mash up.  *sigh*  So GLAD I have the little generator on order, I just hope it gets here one day.
By 9am, still no current.  I used my laptop computer and tried to access the cellular internet connection and it was mash up too.
Dang, might as well live in a campground somewhere, cause here I am living with no current, no internet, and no cable. 
I checked and we had running water, so I grabbed a shower, before that mash up too.
Finally the current come back on and before I could say  lickety-split, there was a HUGE LOUD KER-BOOM BANG!
I peeled myself and the cats, off the ceiling, closed my eyes and slowly counted backwards, trying to slow down my racing heart. And of course POOF, da current done mash up again.
I picked up the phone, which surprisingly worked, and called dat BVI Electricity Corporation. While the phone was ringing on the other end, I made a pot of coffee, did the dishes, fed the kitties, swept the floor and still dat phone just ringing and ringing.
Finally a sleepy voice answers the phone, and I ask him if he is the big bad Electriciy Corporation and he lets out a long sigh and I tell him we just had a big explosion and give him my location. He groans.
I groaned
He sighed.
I sighed.
He thanked me.
I thanked him.
He hung up.
I hung up.
A few hours go by and I decide to go to town.  What a mistake that was. Got caught in a traffic jam at the roundabout at 1030 and it took me 45 minutes to go the next mile.
I had my camera out and I was ready to take picture of some awful wreck, and mashed up cars, but there was none.
It was the police, who about a mile away, were stopping EVERYONE, checking to make sure we had registered cars and proper driving licenses. 
As I write this from jail....................
Just kidding!  I was cool, so they let the mermaid slip on through.

- getting wet and loving it
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 15:24:38 EDT
130pm the skies have darkened and the heavens opened up and poured fourth solid rains for a good two minutes.  This scenario was repeated about 30 minutes later.  I guess the tropical wave is approaching and dumping in small loads.
Speaking of small loads, Miss Mermaid has caved in and ordered one of d'em d'ere fancy gen-rators, it's small but it should power me up long enough to send you weather reports wether we have da current mash up or not.  It should also, at 1kw, be enough to run me fan to keep me mermaid tail cool.  Dat is IF I can afford da gas to run d'is ma-ching!
One t'ing we notice when da current done mash up again (and we'e already had three outages today!) is dat da current mash up at da same time da dang winds die.  Maybe d'ey got hidden wind gen-rators in d'ese mountains and when da wind die, da current mash up.

- Dust and Rain on the way
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 06:29:09 EDT
Beautiful days with gorgeous sunsets as more Sahara dust is dumped on us. The tropical wave may pass over it starting tomorrow with some rains.
If page doesn't load correctly, then you need the Free Acrobat reader, then it will display properly.
I'm ready for da carnival to come to town mon!  And my favorite t'ing will be to go see dem donkey races in Carrot Bay. 

- Simply Marvelous
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 09:50:50 EDT
Bright and glorious day!  Beautiful blue skies.  85 degrees with slight trade winds today.
A tropical wave is located about 800 miles east of the Windward islands, my crystal balls says it will bring minimal rains this weekend.
Just so you know August 7th, 8th and 9th will be Public Holidays in the BVI, don't stop the carnival!

- Spectacular Sunsets forecast this week
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 09:26:13 EDT
Just another beautiful day in paradise. I would rather go to the beach today, but I am forced in to town to make a living for part of the day anyhow.
Both waves are surrounded by Sahara Dust, the one closest to us, should pass over today with little impact, the next one is forecast to hit this weekend and make a mess of things (but we hope not!).
The Sahara dust blows over every year, mostly in the summer, treating us to spectacular sunsets not seen in the winter months. The dust consists of millions upon millions bits of teeny tiny dust. About 90% of it, is eventually deposited into my home where only a cyclonic vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can pick up the teensy bits.
I know because I have tried sweeping and it seems I pick up ten pounds of dust. The floors still feel dirty, so I tried vacuuming with the cyclonic vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter and dang if I don't seem to pick up five more pounds of the stuff, much of it caught by the incredible filter.
One day after the Sahara has dumped an unusual amount of dust here, the cat who had been sleeping all day under the tree out back, came home and I accidentally startled him. His fur flew out and stood on edge (they do this to make themselves appear bigger and fiercer than the ten pounds of fluff  they really are) and suddenly this cloud of dust emitted from his fur.
It looked like a frightened ghost of a cat standing there, his fur stuck out at every possible angle and this halo of dust surrounding him. I couldn't stop laughing, wishing I could have caught that image on video or had the talent to make a cartoon image of him.
Realizing, there was nothing to fear, he let his fur settle down, then quietly sneezed twice and walked off, leaving this trail of dust behind.
The other day I was having a discussion in a bar with an old timer, a man so old, he can't remember how old he is, a rather colorful character. he has been fired from the same job more times than he can count because each new manager comes along and wonders why this near centarian is still on payroll, so they fire him.
Then they realize he knows secrets about their business and suddenly they start having all sorts of problems with t'ings.  Meanwhile, the remaining employees are saying you gotta call the old man back to work, only he knows how to make these t'ings right again.
Either he gets called back to work or he trots down to labor (actually he hitchhikes) and says he needs his job back and there was no need to fire him, just cause nobody knows how old he is, but he can and still does work and Labor calls the offending manager and next thing you know, the old man is back at work.
He is going to work until the day he dies and if and when he does, I am sure the island will have to shut down for a day, because everyone will be at his service.
Anyhow, he said that this year, people in the islands were praying mighty hard and that it was pushing all these storms far north, and that while we hated to move our potential disaster unto someone else, it must be because we just pray harder down here than they do up there.
Made sense to me! So say your prayers and every little t'ing gonna be all right.
Emancipation / August Festival   

      The annual August and pre-August festivities kick-off in late June and include queen shows, horse and boat races, car shows, j’ouverts, parades and nightly entertainment at the Festival Village. The main events occur on August Monday (the first Monday in August) through August Wednesday, which are public holidays. The two official Festival Villages are located in Road Town and East End however the village of Carrot Bay hosts the Carrot Bay Cultural Fiesta which extends the festivities through the weekend following the August holidays.

  •       August Monday Rise and Shine Tramp and Parade in Road Town
  •       August Tuesday Aquatic Sports at Road Harbour and Horse Races at the Little ‘A’ Race Track, Sea Cow’s Bay
  •       August Wednesday, ‘Last Lap’ J’ouvert in East End / Long Look
Check out the latest and greatest in the islands. See What's New in the BVI.
all links are underlined

- Carnival Mystery
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2006 07:12:41 EDT
Saturday we had a blustery squall from 603am to 622am.
Sunday, its 637 and a little bit of rains just passed through, but not with the winds and driving rains of yesterday.  Odd that the timing would be so close yet 24 hours apart.
Sun is coming out and today is expected to be gorgeous.
From the mailbag, I have had several requests for info on the 52nd Emancipation Festival starting next week.  I have looked high and low and contacted the tourist board several times asking for a schedule and so far I have heard nothing but silence.
Rumor is "Don't Stop the Carnival!"  but the exact schedule remains a mystery. Many have said the schedule will be about the same as last year. 
The government just doesn't see the internet as a priority for distributing information. Even the BVI Tourism site only gives a one sentence description for Festival.
If I can beg, borrow or steal a copy of this year's schedule, I will surely let you know!
Overheard at the laundry mat recently, a couple was having a disagreement. The wife was laying down the rules as she sorted out clothes  from three enormous bags, sorting them  into two hefty piles.
"From now on" she lectured her husband, "You will wash your clothes, and I will wash mine, and then you will do all the sheets and I will do all the towels.  I can't work all week and spend my Saturdays doing my laundry and YOURS!"  Then she picked up her pile and headed several rows over to some empty machines.
"Fine!" said her husband as he stood over his  pile looking bewildered. The last thing to land on top  was his favorite T-shirt in solid black.  He picked it up and yelled "So, what setting to I put the washer on?'
His wife yelled back, "Well what does the shirt say?"
Her husband looks it over and says "University of Florida.  What's that got to do with the washing machine setting?"
Later in the afternoon I was having lemonade on the patio of a friend's house. Her husband emerged from the house, a beer in one hand, clad only in tattered shorts a few sizes too small, with a medium sized beer belly draped over the waistband.  We could hear a ball game playing on the TV in the background.
His wife says "I thought you were going to work in the garden today and get rid of the weeds and the tamarinds."
He replied, "Aw man, it's so hot out there!  What do you think the neighbors would say if I worked out there naked?"
She replied, "Probably that I married you for  your money..."

- Bright and Sunny, no storms yet
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 10:12:52 EDT
Tropical Storm Beryl barreled through Nantucket early Friday, leaving behind barrels of rain. At last!  A storm name we can have fun with!
At 609am the winds howled and a squall marched across West End Tortola with driving rains until 622am when it abruptly stopped and the sun came out.
Wednesday a friend of mine got stuck in traffic and said he was watching a naked man dangle from overhead electrical wires. At the time I wondered what he had been smoking...  but here is the newspaper article.

- Beryl looms up North while we laze about in the Caribbean
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 10:03:43 EDT
The BVI is unaffected.  It is 82 degrees with light breezy tradewinds and bright sunshine.  Only 64 days until Autumn. (I am sure you were real interested in that piece of info...)
This Saturday is the big party at White Bay Sandcastle on the 22nd. They were voted best waterfront bar by All At Sea Newspaper
Amazon  now offers a  GRAB-and-GO 4 PERSON 3-DAY Emergency Kit Amazing what some nifty inventors and bright folks come up with!

- Tropical Storm Beryl
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 06:44:01 EDT
As of 530am, Tropical Storm Beryl is 110 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and not a threat to the BVI. If you live in North Carolina, hop on a plane and come on down!  Air fares are dropping.
Long, low rumbling thunder like God is clearing his throat to make an important announcement...
More long low deep throated rumblings.
Rumblings continue.
No rain yet, only light winds, roosters are real noisy today.

Well, Kenny the rooster costs a lot of money, but the farmer decides he'd
be worth it. So, he buys Kenny.

The farmer takes Kenny home and sets him down in the barnyard, first,
giving the rooster a pep talk.

I want you to pace yourself now. You've got a lot of chickens to service
here, and you cost me a lot of money. Consequently, I'll need you to do a
good job. So, take your time and have some fun," the farmer said, with a

Kenny seemed to understand, so the farmer pointed toward the Hen house and Kenny took off like a shot. WHAM!- Kenny nails every hen in the hen house- three or four times, and the farmer is really shocked. After that the
farmer hears a commotion in the duck pen, sure enough, Kenny is in there.
Later, the farmer sees Kenny after a flock of geese, down by the lake. Once
again - WHAM! He gets all the geese.

By sunset he sees Kenny out in the fields chasing quail and pheasants. The farmer is distraught and worried that his expensive rooster won't even last 24 hours. Sure enough, the farmer goes to bed and wakes up the next day, to find Kenny on his back, stone cold in the middle of the yard. vultures are circling overhead.

The farmer, saddened by the loss of such a colorful and expensive animal,
shakes his head and says, "Oh, Kenny, I told you to pace yourself. I tried
to get you to slow down, now look what you've done to yourself."
Kenny opens one eye, nods toward the vultures circling in the sky and says, "Shhh, they're getting closer".

- No Storms on the Horizon!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 08:20:11 EDT
The tropical wave that is supposed to hit us today, seems to be playing hide and seek. It is eerily calm here today.  Surfers might be able to take to the waves tomorrow if the forecasters have it right.
Another tropical wave is just south of Cape Verde islands, we will watch it to see what if anything develops.
Lots of interesting news in the BVI today.   A few resorts are in a bit of trouble with the government. Tsk Tsk Tsk!
On a very sad note:
Incredibly, a second tsunami has hit Indonesia, triggered by an underwater earthquake. Hundreds of people were killed and hundreds more are missing.

- Hiss and Tail
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 07:20:57 EDT
No wind in sight as of 7am but we have clear blue skies and 81 degrees.  We might have that tropical wave pass over us tomorrow.
On a hot day, my cats laze around and eat mice cream cones.
One cat mated with a baby chick, had three male kittens and now we have peeping toms
One grew up and moved to Alaska to live in an igloo and be an eskimew
Another was so timid, he ran from trees because he was afraid of the bark
And the third one went to the Flea Circus and stole the show!
Another playful cat swallowed a ball of wool and had mittens
The local newspaper started a cat gossip column,  called Hiss and Tail
Good Mousekeeping Magazine, has syndicated the column now
One  cat managed to lose his tail in a car accident, so we sent him to the retail store.
Our smartest cat wrote his own autobiography and called it Hiss Story
His brother, not to be outdone, drank 10 bowls of water and set a new lap record
Another cat longs to be a singer cause he says he is quite mewsical and his favorite movie is "The Sound Of Mewsic"
To keep order around the here, the cats use  Claw Enforcement
They caught a bad kitty and wrote up a report about the purr-patrator
The case was thrown out of court because the witness committed purr-jury.
At Christmas the kitties all go to the beach so they can see Sandy Claws
One year Sandy Claws gave tom cat a car to drive.  It was a Catillac.
Poker has been banned in the jungle now, because of all the cheatahs
My cat  makes my coffee each day in his new purr-colator
When he went shopping, it came in  assorted colors, so he picked Purr-ple
And you thought cats has no purr-pose
I have to go now, my cat is getting very grouchy, I think he is in a bad mewd.
When he feels better, I hope he will Hiss and Make up.

- anything can happen!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 10:19:58 EDT
Today the skies are blue but the forecasters are predicting an influx of Sahara Dust here. One thing that is causing more and more Sahara Dust to enter the atmosphere, is SUV's.  I 've never been fond of those gas guzzling built-on-a-truck-bed vehicles, but they sure seem to be  the must-have rage worldwide.
Anyhow, folks are taking their SUV's and joy riding  around the Sahara which is disturbing the clinginess of the sand, so it picks up and is swirled into the air and brought over here to be dumped on us. I am convinced that 90% of it is dumped in my home, because I love fresh air and my shutter type windows are always cranked open and my sliding glass door is rarely ever shut (except the time I locked myself out on the balcony, with no escape).
Parts of the US often get Sahara Dust too, but it's not as noticeable or not reported much there.
Here because we have beautiful views of the horizon, I guess it's easier for us to see the thick haze.  I sure see it, no matter how much I dust my home, it just keeps getting dustier.
Tuesday we might have another tropical wave hitting us with squally weather again.
On a super sad note, my dear friend Reggie Georges passed away recently, while visiting in Philadelphia.  I was devastated to learn this news. I used to go hear Reggie play live music twice a week, and I believe he was playing nearly every night, somewhere on the islands.
Reggie was a very talented steel pan player and singer.  He had several albums to his credit. This past year he  played at many local restaurants and thrilled crowds with his incredible magic on the steel pans.
He made the cover of the phone book in 1998 and the cover of the Welcome Magazine in May/June 2004.  He had numerous little known accomplishments behind him. I thought he would live forever and be a music legend in the islands, if not the world.
I have all his albums and he shall be truly missed, he has already left a big hole in one mermaid's heart.  Peace be with you Reggie, we miss you!
Carnival Question from the Mailbag:
During Festival time will the grocery stores be open?  And how about restaurants? 
The grocery stores will definitely be open, they have to restock the vendor booths at the festival. Some restaurants will remain open, others will be closed due to staff working the carnival or staff vacations.  There will be plenty of food at the carnival itself as loads of food booths will be set up mostly serving traditional foods.
If you want to eat out, call ahead to the restaurant. Indeed, I have many restaurants programmed on my cell phone, so if I am out and about and thinking of going somewhere else, I can call ahead to see if they are open of call ahead for take-away. Restaurants do tend to keep erratic hours from July through September, then they pretty much return to normal hours. But this is Tortola, ANYTHING can happen!

- Dodgeball
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 15:16:13 EDT
We have a wave going by south of us, without much interference. However another wave is expected to come right over us next Tuesday or Wednesday.
Today it is warm and breezy.
With new technology, you can now  Grow food on your kitchen counter .  Simply amazing!  Hats off to the wiz kid that came up with this idea!

- typical day in paradise
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 13:52:05 EDT
A great day in paradise. Light winds wafting by, temperature in the low 80's, not much humidity.

- No problem mon, I be under the shade tree at da beach, limin' in da hammock
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 13:43:45 EDT
We have very dark skies and intermittent rains from the weak tropical wave passing around us.
Yesterday I went to town to pick up the part I needed to repair the Internet connection. I arrived for the 3:15 appointment I had with the technician. (It was my 3rd appointment and still had not met the elusive man).  By 4:15 he had not arrived, so I scribbled a note and left it on his desk. No problem mon.
Walked to Bobby's and was ecstatic to find plain yogurt. This was the 6th store I had checked in 3 days, looking for plain old yogurt.  I am trying to make my own homemade yogurt and I needed some plain yogurt as a jump starter.  No problem mon.
Drove out to West End to grab a very very late lunch at Jolly Roger and just as my food arrives the technician calls and asks me if I am still in town.  We will try to meet again today. No problem mon. 
I turned the water on in my bathroom to brush my teeth before heading out to town mid morning today. The faucet broke and hosed me down in my mermaid fancy threads, flooded out the bathroom cabinet and soaked the rug.  I changed my clothes, readjusted the rug for maximum absorbency, opened up the cabinet to let it air dry, then left for town.  No problem mon.
Called the landlord to suggest that the plumber I needed might also need a flashlight to work by since the electrician had not shown up for last month's repair when the light switches in the bath and bedroom went POOF and died. No problem mon.
My Internet connection is still mash up, so I am having to pirate someone else's computer to send this to you. No problem mon.
I drove to town today and took pics of the dark ugly sky, but can't post them, as I don't have the camera cord thingy with me. No problem mon.
It started raining and I turned my windshield wipers on and it groaned, moved exactly three inches and promptly died.  I drove the rest of the way to town, in the rain,  at 10 miles per hour, because I couldn't see. No problem mon.
And you wonder why I prefer to spend my days frolicking around the beach in my favorite  hammock , I sure can't get anything else done around here!

- da internet done mash up, but I pirate a puter elsewhere to send dis to ya!
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 12:46:49 EDT
Another gorgeous day in paradise. There is a tropical wave about 220 miles east of us packing a few thunder storms, moving at 15-20 mph, so we might get that mess later on. The Sir Francis Drake channel is pretty choppy today, so it's a wet sail to weather for the boaters.
Today's satellite shows a big mess rolling off Africa. We are praying it doesn't amount to much. I am not ready for the storms. Still no generator, cats are eating all their hurricane food early, I need 9 volt batteries and every store seems out. I do have lots of citronella candles. I found a secret stash at a store, I wiped them out a few weeks ago. They finally replenished, so I buy a few every time I am near there to keep adding to my stash.
Even if we don't get storms, the citronella candles keep the mosquitoes away and it's fun to light a bunch up on my balcony for dining at night.
We have a  cruise ship in port today, surprised to see one in mid July, but the Caribbean is beautiful year round.  Those cruise ships can out run a storm anyhow, if they know about in time to reposition.
If you were having trouble with the web cams yesterday, they seem to be fixed and working today.

- Da Internet Done Mash Up Again
  • From: DearMissMermaid at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 13:32:46 EDT
Well, this morning we had electricity but no Internet.  I am borrowing a computer downtown that seems to have Internet intermittently.
Today is bright and sunny with dark clouds wafting by, but no rains yet. We have a tropical wave 675 east of the Windward Islands moving at 15 miles per hour.
If you aren't here and wish you were here, then check out these Virgin Island webcams. Nine new locations were added recently, including a beach cam, so get your handkerchief handy, to wipe that drool off your computer screen and enjoy our peace in paradise.

Even older reports from the BVI have been moved to another page.

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