Hurricane Irma Chronicles: What About the Beach?

I am a beach bum. Most weekends you can find me lounging in a two piece on a beach or on a boat headed to a beach on a nearby cay. After Irma passed, I was really concerned about the impact on two of my favorite beaches, Long Bay Beach and of course Grace Bay Beach.

For those of you who know me, I have plans on scattering my ashes between these two beaches when I die. I love them, I know them. They bring me extraordinary joy and clarity. The beach is truly my happy place.

So last Saturday we (Tatiana, McKnia and I) took a ride out to see these beaches. From the time that we pulled up to the parking at Long Bay Beach (aka Shore Club Beach) we could smell distinctly the flesh of rotting fish. Immediately my heart sank, I know it would not look good. I was not prepared for what Irma had done to my beloved beach!

 

The water was definitely murky. You couldn’t even see the bottom. The normally calm ocean was still enraged and choppy and the beach itself was a mess. A ton of seaweed was dumped on the beach and dozens of fish were just rotting on the beach. We came across many of what Tatiana calls “Cow fish”. It seems as if a school or two of those got caught up in the storm and were washed ashore. There were also larger fish like barracudas, bone fish and even several eels and puffer fish.

 

There was already a tractor out there clearing the beach of the seaweed, however there was some rock showing beneath the seaweed so I know there has been some serious erosion. It really did break my heart to see my Long Bay beach in this state, but I know that in time the beach will come back.

On a much happier note, Grace Bay Beach was particularly glorious. The beach itself was clean and pristine as if it had gotten a good wash. There was virtually no debris on the beach, no dead fish or seaweed and the water was calm. The ocean itself was murky, you could not see the bottom, but the color and the optics were amazing. The reef that protect Grace Bay Beach really pulled double duty, because it remained virtually unscathed.


For all of you who are wondering how our beloved Grace Bay Beach fared, don’t worry. She is as beautiful as ever. 

 

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Hurricane Irma Chronicles: As You Were

In the eye of tragedy, one of the things that is recommended is a return to normalcy as soon as possible. The aftermath of a catastrophic storm it is no different, residents attempt to follow their previous routine as soon as they are able.

Some churches were open for worship and thanksgiving on Sunday morning. St. Monica’s Anglican Church suffered damage to its structure and mild flooding. However, the rector Father Tellison Glover held service, even though he himself, lost his home during the storm. Worshippers turned up in some cases with flip flops and athletic clothing, grateful that despite the forecast of devastation, the Beautiful by Nature Turks and Caicos Islands were largely spared the worst.

A parishioner gives thanks to God for sparing her life after Category 5 Hurricane Irma
St. Monica’s Church following Hurricane Irma
Father Tellison Glover delivers a sermon at St. Monica’s Anglican Church

Stores begin to open, in this case Graceway IGA lead the charge, as they opened up just two days after the store giving free coffee and a place to charge electronics to patrons. Even with limited hours of operation the return to the routine is always welcome.

Starting Monday, people started returning to work. Clean up crews were on the street clearing debris. Fortis TCI cleared downed power lines and felled poles. They have even been restoring power to some communities. Provo Water Company has also began restoring water to residents full time and not only for 3 hours a day.

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Fortis TCI clearing downed power lines and poles and restoring power

For all of my people who have lost your homes and are awaiting word on the status of your jobs, my thoughts and prayers are with you always. As a hurricane veteran, the rebuilding process is difficult, but it is not impossible. Soon things will be back to normal and we will be able to move on from this horrible time.

Growing Up Ajay

Today, I got my tire plugged after I noticed that it had gone down a bit for the second time this week. Now, for me, this was a big deal. I had never had to do anything like this before. It was one of the first times as an adult, that I had ever had to diagnose and treat a car problem, all on my own. I got married young, so I pretty much went from the care of my parents and older siblings to that of a husband with very little time alone in between.

This little act, to me, was a sign that I was going to be just fine. That life was going to go on and I was not going to crumble under its pressure. I can be free and independent and adult. I can do things like pay bills, work, check tire pressure all on my own.

Keep your head up girl. This former housewife is gonna be just alright!

To Let Go…

I was reading a message board and came across this poem. Right now I know that this is what I need to do. I just hope and pray that I can find the strength to do what I know needs to be done.

TO “LET GO” TAKES LOVE

by author unknown

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off,
it is the realisation I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness,
which means that the outcome is not in my hands.

To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another,
it is to make the most of myself.

To “let go” is not to care for,
but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

To “let go” is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle, arranging the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies,

To “let go” is not to be protective,
but to permit another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny,
but to accept.

To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take every day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To “let go” is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To “let go” is to fear less and love more.