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- 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.

- Good Weather and Donkey Wrecks
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 08:43:07 EDT
We have reached that time of year again, when the weather is just perfect every day and it's hard to find anything exciting to write about.  It is 81 degrees, breezy with nights cooler.  Very comfortable all around.
Lately I have had to forage into Road Town most days, which is traditionally hotter than anywhere else it seems, but even Road Town, in the middle of the day just seems very summery.
Last week, I had an appointment at 11am and it was a very important one, and while it is traditional to be late for all meetings and such, I wanted to be very prompt to show my seriousness (and that I could adapt to using a clock, something often neglected in the BVI).
Normally, it would take me about 30 minutes to do the drive to my appointment, but knowing how many things can happen in the 10 mile drive to town, such as;
-stopping to pick up a hitchhiker
-traffic jams (often caused by folks who stop in the middle of the lane to chit chat)
-car wrecks (drivers here are death defying maniacs, many drive either 9 miles per hour or 90 and not much in between)
-cow wrecks (cows roam freely along the roads, goats do too, but they tend to move out of the way where cows just stand there looking silly, knowing that if you hit one, you are likely to total your vehicle)
-mud slides, rock slides (it wasn't raining, but squalls can brew up in minutes)
So, in my nervousness, I left 80 minutes early for a 30 minute drive so I would be on time to my appointment, no matter what happened.
I stopped to pick up hitchhikers, some I already knew, I got to the edge of town, in time to make 2 quick stops and still have a few a miles to my appointment, but I decided to push onwards and just arrive early and wait.
Lo and behold, there is a traffic jam on the 4 lane carriageway.  I thought this odd, as we had just emerged from a 2 way and you would think now that we could spread out to 4 lanes, it might speed things up. First the right lane was closed so we all merged into the left lane, without too much cursing or finger pointing, then inexplicably we were forced to all merge back into the right lane, and THERE IT WAS.
A DONKEY WRECK.  A nervous lady and her donkey were standing uncertainly in the median, and a small wrecked car was blocking one lane, several other trucks were blocking another lane, as many folks stopped to witness and or  help the donkey, lady rider and the car wreck victim.  It was unclear what exactly had happened and both the lady and the donkey looked very unhappy to be in the center of the circus.
I managed to creep on by along with the other open mouthed gawkers, parked and made it my appointment with one minute to spare.
So beware of those donkey wrecks, they could slow you down today!
Now if you want to save a life, here is some interesting info:
This might be a lifesaver if we can remember the three questions!

I had never heard this advice before.
  Perhaps you hadn't either and would like to file it away in the back of your head.  Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. 
Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.

The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
  Now doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke asking three simple
* Ask the individual to smile.
* Ask him or her to raise both arms.
* Ask the person to speak a simple sentence.

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately
describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

After discovering that a group of nonmedical volunteers could identify
facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.


- Sunny Days and a plea for the needy
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 11:12:55 EDT
It's a busy year, now we have himmacane Matthew, but he is near the Mississippi River and not a threat to us.
There is a disturbance near Bermuda, but no threat to us either, at this time.
We did have some thunder a few days ago, it kind of put us on edge.
I see some weather coming off Africa I want to monitor, but it looks like a lucky year for us so far.
Grenada Islanders, still needs your help and support, if you are feeling kindly towards the disaster victims there, who are still having a terrible time 30 days after hurricane Ivan plowed through and ripped their island apart, leaving folks homeless, jobless and hopeless.
for ways you can help these unfortunate islanders.

- No hurricanes!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 09:56:11 EDT
    We have a low pressure trough producing cloudy skies and rumblings of distant thunder.  I was just hit with a cool blast of air, which usually means a squall is on the way.  As I type, it is beginning to drizzle but I can here more rain approaching.
    Nights are cool, days are mild, summer heat seems to have left us.
    No hurricanes at all!   How lovely.

- Postcard from afar
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 09:59:18 EDT
Tropical Storm Lisa is not a threat to us.  However we have two tropical waves well worth watching, as they could blow up into something, but we all hope and pray (and pray and pray...) it does not.  One is located in the South Central Caribbean Sea and the other is about 360 miles east of the Windward Islands.
We are still plagued by a haze, guess that Sahara dust is blowing in on us again. 
In the early days of Florida tourism, postcards were sold everywhere, showing a map of Florida and a "We are Here" written over the picture and a pointer on the postcard for whatever locale you bought the postcard in.   These have continued over the years, so perhaps you have seen one.
Recently, the postcard was updated to reflect the current times:

- Surf is up soon
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 07:07:05 EDT
Tortola awoke to a haze somewhat.  Temperatures ranged from 79-82, winds are light and seas are quiet.  Tropical Storm Lisa is far away, and not a threat to us at this time.
From the Mailbag:
I  live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Iīll go to BVI next november/december. I have a work to do, but I want to surf, because I know these islands have some good waves. So, I tried to find information in Internet, but didnīt work - poor information Can you help me?
Thank you for your email Alper.
I think the reason why there is no surf info on the net  is:
(1)  Surfers rarely have computers
(2)  Many computers are not connected to the Internet (VERY pricey here thanks to a ridiculous monopoly the government sanctions)
(3)  Many surfers are out surfing or looking for surf
The best way to get surf info around here is to find out if any of the surfers have jobs.  Some actually do.  Then you call them at work to find out if they are there.  If they aren't then you know the surf is up. If they are, then the surf is probably not up, or the surfer is very hungry, and therefore forced to work to earn money for surfing wax.
Quite honestly surfing is not good every day, but in the months you are coming, we often have Northerly swells and that is the keyword you are looking for. 
When those swells kick in, we get good surfing at Josiah's Bay and  Apple Bay.  If it is a big swell, then you also get good surfing at Cane Garden Bay and a few times I have even seen surfing at Smugglers Cove.
Your best bet for info and renting surf boards is:
Jeremy Wright at

- Does it really pay to clean up your home?
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 07:59:07 EDT
    The day awoke to gray gloomy skies, unusual for Tortola, but the past year has brought strange weather to the island.  Today it feels nice and cool even though there is virtually no wind.
    My thermometer, which seems perpetually stuck at 84  degrees, now reads 82 and I find that hard to believe as I feel a bit chilly.  But then again, I've been in the island for about 17 years, and I guess my blood has thinned out.  I hunker down under afghans, comforters and blankets if the temp plummets below 80.  Go ahead and laugh, but it's true!
    Tropical Storm Lisa, doesn't appear to be a threat to us at all, but we still watch her guardedly, in case she decides to do any loopy loops and aim for us.
    Mini Matthew seems to be in the making off the coast of Africa, but so far is just considered disturbed weather.
    I spent the day cleaning my home, a mere path through the clutter would no longer do, it was time to vacuum, dust, mop and put away everything strewn about.  I put some eggs on the stove to boil, I was dreaming of a nice egg salad sandwich on my break.  I sat down, a bit weary and promptly dozed off to a deep slumber.
    Imagine my horror to wake up to burning eggs and a strange popping noise.  The eggs had boiled dry, then heated up so hot that they were literally exploding and sending greenish-yellow eggs yolks flying around my kitchen which stuck to the ceiling, walls, floor and cabinets.
    I never meant to take a nap, all I had done was sit down and apparently fallen asleep.  Now this horror!  Before I tackled the kitchen clean up (for the 2nd time that day) I stumbled sleepily to the bathroom and let out a little scream which may have startled certain parts of the island. 
    There was blood all over my freshly cleaned bathroom and pieces of a dead snake were hid under my bath mat.  I suppose since I have some furry creatures AKA cats, that one of them had left me this prize to deal with. Now the bathroom would need a 2nd cleaning and disinfecting.
    I sat down on the porch, I was contemplating tossing a coin to see whether I would redo the bath or kitchen first when a very upset cat came wandering up to me, he was soaked to the bone and covered in icky black goo.  He had apparently found a vat of used oil and/or  diesel and fallen in.
    Knowing how much he likes to laze around the furniture, I scooped him up for a bath in Joy soap and he fought me all the way, no matter how gentle and sweet I tried to be. He finally escaped my ministrations, before we were done and out the cat door he went, leaving trail of bubbles behind.
    Hours later he came home for a snack and though he was dry by now, he looked awful and still stunk. The dried soap had left his fur poking out at odd angles, and a big black smudge was still around his neck. I quietly locked the cat door and closed off the other rooms, and snuck up on him and treated him to another bath which he fought and complained about mightily, no matter which technique I used, from gently rubbing him with a washcloth, to immersing him neck deep,  in a sink of warm sudsy water.
    While he scrambled and wiggled, I managed to give him a good rinse then wrap him in a towel and talk sweetly to him while I tried to dry him off. He was not the least bit impressed and gave me dirty looks. I unlocked the cat door, and out he went to hide from me once again, this time leaving a trail of wet puddles.
    I mopped up the bathroom mess, and began tackling the kitchen.  If anyone has a remedy for removing egg yolks from the ceiling, let me know.
FREE to good home, loving cat that hates me...

- A fire destroyed the Bat Cave and Spaghetti Junction + 6 boats
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 16:24:57 EDT
A fire destroyed the Bat Cave and Spaghetti Junction on Wickhams Cay Saturday morning. The blaze, which apparently started in the restaurant, also damaged six boats, including Aquaventure's dive boat and a large catamaran which then sank near the Village Cay fuel dock. Eight firefighters were treated and released from Peebles Hospital with smoke-related injuries. The bar and restaurant were closed for the season. (Photo: Todd VanSickle)
Talk about a hot kitchen and a hot place! 

- Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 14:03:46 EDT
Tortola weather today is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. 
I learned that word at 5 years old and by 7 I could actually spell it correctly.

Dictionary Definition

1. Absolutely stunningly fantastic.
Etymology: 1964: first coined in a song title in the Walt Disney film Mary Poppins, although a music company and two songwriters instigated a lawsuit, which they lost, claiming to have used the word as early as 1949.
If your funny bone needs a pickup, check out these Hurricane Cartoons and Jokes at

- Blue Skies Are Here Again
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 11:09:30 EDT
Tropical Storm Lisa is still out there at 18.4 N and 46.0 W, which is about due east of Tortola.  She is moving toward the North near 8mph (GOOD!)
Tortola has little wind today, nice and sunny, almost clear blue sky, had a sprinkle of rain, enough to settle the dust from the Sahara
My neighbor just got two new dogs.
One is named Rolex and the other Timex.
Because they are watch dogs!

- Are we Safe or Not?
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 07:02:00 EDT
Ivan has dissipated
Hurricane Jeanne is 55 miles east of Great Abaco, Bahamas, Cat 2 but could become Category 3
Tropical Storm Lisa upgraded again, 1410 miles west of Cape Verde Islands
Lat 15.2 N Long 45.2 W
moving NW 9 mph
max winds 40 mph

The eye of the storm Lisa is about 1299 miles (2090 km) from Tortola. If the system keeps moving at its current speed of 9 mph and directly towards us, it will take around 144.3 hours (6.0 days) to reach. Given the current windfield (60 miles from the center), tropical storm winds will be felt in 137.6 hours (5.7 days).
That is all assuming it is come right at us.  Islanders firmly believe that this year we are impervious to hurricanes.  Let's hope this stands true.
Tortola has blue skies, 84 degrees and no winds today, so it is kind of sticky.

- All Safe for Now
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 14:19:20 EDT
Tortola:  warm and sunny, great day for the beach!
Hurricane Jeanne:  continues towards Bahamas
Tropical Depression Lisa:  downgraded and at 14.1 N 43.3 W
Tropical Depression Ivan:  downgraded and over SE Texas
Hurricane Karl:  44.4 N 40.2 W (west of Azores)
 Now, for today's homework:
How close is it?
How close can it get?
BVI Flag

- Autumn Equinox 2004
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 10:34:54 EDT
    Today is Autumn Equinox.  In the BVI, a change in seasons is hardly noted, though many are counting down the days until the so called hurricane season is over.
    HURRICANE JEANNE-dirfting southward @ 3mph, located 26.6 North and 68.6 West, winds are 90mph.
    HIMMACANE KARL-heading North @17 mph, located 25.7 North and 49.5 West, winds are 115 mph.
    TROPICAL STORM LISA-moving West Northwest @ 7 mph, located 14.5 North and 41.2 West, winds are 65phm
    AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER centered about 775 miles west southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Conditions appear favorable to form a tropical cyclone.
    Tortola is located @ 18.23 North and 64.42 West and meandering backwards.....
    I love Tortola, but some days you don't know whether to  laugh or cry or move far far away, preferably into the 21st century.
Map of British Virgin Islands

- TORTOLA 18 26 N lattitude 064 37 W longitude
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 07:25:36 EDT
Very light winds, so light I thik heavy breathing produces more air movement.  Temperatures are a bit cooler, with summer's heat easing away.
BAHAMAS. Max Winds 90mph.
Cool Lat long calculator so you can find out how far the storm is from you...

- Lucky 13 on the way!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 21:28:32 EDT

- hurricane is easier to type than Tropical Depression but...
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2004 07:38:06 EDT
Karl is officially a hurricane now, gee that's comforting (NOT!)
Tortola awoke to steady rains this morning that finally let up about 2 hours after sunrise.  Sky is still grayish blue.

- ...and next in our bowling league lineup is Karl...
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 06:29:03 EDT
They are coming like bowling balls off the coast of Africa. 
Will they get a strike or merely a gutter ball?
This morning in Tortola, it is dry so far, but the sky is thick and overcast with breezy winds.
Karl is at 11.4 N and 33.9 W, moving at 14 mph and winds are 40mph
News of Old Biz on Tortola
Tortola is building a bowling alley.  At least there has been "coming soon" ads for a long time now.  Kind of like Kellys Tool Rental in West End.  The sign has been up for so long, that it is completely faded, and now we still don't have those rental tools.  What a shame, with all these hurricanes aiming our way every week, it seems, I am sure many would like to consider storm shutters.

- Jeanne is dumping rain, rain, rain on us
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 07:57:05 EDT
Tortola may have those rare waterfalls again today.
It really poured down hard last night.
Temperatures plummeted to the 70's, I had to add another comforter to my bed, I was so c-c-c-c-c-old.
Daybreak brought us severe overcast skies with that constant dripping sound.
Had to break out heavy long pants, long shirt, socks, things I haven't worn since the the floods of last year.
Is this another flood?  Time will tell, I will check around Tortola and see what conditions are like across the island.
West End is pretty darn wet and I suspect the road to town may have rock and mud slides, but here again, I will check with those brazen enough to drive through the rock falling zone on the South shore road.
A few years back, I was driving to Road Town when a boulder came crashing down from the cliffs to the road behind me.  It startled me, had I been driving a tad slower, it would have crushed my car.  Since then, I am a tad nervous driving in that area, it's so hard to keep my eyes on the road, when I am trying to crane my neck to see what's poised at the edge of the cliffs above, ready to strike...

- flying coconuts (cannonballs!)
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 15:06:00 EDT
OK, the forecasters call  it a tropical storm, but we are watching for a hurricane!
It seems the weather forecasters are pretty enamored with Ivan, and little news since 11am, on Jeanne.
I am all set, my animals are all tucked inside.
The winds are incredibly gusty, but the sun is playing peak a boo.  Not as much rain yet as predicted, but we are still guarded. 
One of the coconuts flew lose and hit the roof next door, making a horrendous sound.
I bet the neighbors had to change their underwears.
WOW!  Just as I typed that a 2nd coconut flew off and hit their roof.
I hope they have a nice supply of clean undies, they are going to need them!
The afghan comforts the kitty.

- Tropical Storm Jeanne
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 14:49:12 EDT

- 7am TS Jeanne
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 07:04:26 EDT
Conditions worsening.
Storm is over 100 miles across without a defined center. 
Still very dark outside, even though we are past sunrise.
Winds are gusty and howling.  I have not seen a single car on the road yet.
I rounded up my pets and brought them in this morning.  One is wrapped up in an afghan.  Another one, quite bored, saw the table cloth with the fringe blowing enticingly.  He attacked the table cloth and you can guess what happened next...
Table cloth and all contents on the table just crashed to the floor on top of a very startled cat.
We have no water but w have electricity, DSL and phone.  Our utilities are not expected to last.  We had power outages yesterday when winds were 10 knots!
I do not know why our water is off.  I will go investigate.

- Jeanne is here
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 06:32:23 EDT
It is 630am on Wednesday.  The sun is up, but you sure wouldn't know it.  Very dark, thick clouds, almost fog like.  Winds are gusty and you can here it howling.
My thermometer says its 81 degrees, but I think it is stuck.  I am cold!  Rains are heavy but intermittent.
Every time I read the weather forecast, the estimated rain fall has been raised.  It is now 8-12 inches expected!
In front of my place are dozens of palm trees.  One si very tall, and heavily laden with coconuts.  The tree bends and sways.  I will try to get pictures, but it is so dark!

- TS Jeanne
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 17:52:13 EDT
Dark and blustery, winds howling already, little rain, but the thought of flooding has folks in a panic.

- Tropical Depression 11 heads for Leewards
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 21:54:19 EDT
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the BVI.
I have been watching and waiting, the bones feel it. The animals have been acting oddly and I listen to the animals.  It's amazing what they tell you, if only you take time to listen.  Now, the weather service has confirmed it.  The animals were right.  Something is out there. 
The government of Antigua issued the tropical storm warning for the BVI.  Well, thank goodness, cause if we waited for our own government in the BVI to issue a warning, it would be too late. 
It's the rainfall that worries me, I have seen what flooding can do to the BVI.  We had "the flood"  last fall, which was incredible and did a good amount of damage here, especially to our roads, much of it has not been repaired 11 months later. We have many holidays here, long vacations and government work is seen as an easy ticket to early retirement.  Road work can wait.  And wait. 
The local  grocery stores are secretly murmuring about temporary food shortages here.  Miami is a major transshipment point for many foods that eventually reach the islands.  Florida can't decide whether to stay at home or evacuate every week.   Maybe it's their way of cutting down on the swarms of folks that move into Florida each and every week, taking up residence. Freighters are on different schedules, much to the chagrin of their wealthy owners. Diverting course costs money and this in turn drives the cost of food up even higher.
Grenada is still plagued with the numerous problems that come with a major disaster.  I read where one official there said they didn't want tents, they wanted prefab housing delivered.  Prefab housing isn't much sturdier than a tent in a storm
Ask the 60,000 folks sleeping under the stars, without roof, without electricity, without food, with snakes coming out of the ground, (flooding and lack of foliage drove them out?) and gunshots interrupting the night, if they would prefer sleeping out  in  the rain, waiting for prefab housing that may never arrive, or sleeping in a tent that could be mailed off to them immediately.
Mother Earth is overpopulated, and Nature is taking a swing back at us.

- Overcast, with peak a boo Sun
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 08:08:39 EDT
The weather is back to the usual, only a little more overcast than normal.  It's Sunday morning and rather quiet. 
Tortolians are feeling happy that the hurricanes have missed us.  There is dismay in the air to learn of the tragedies in Grenada, and even worse to hear that folks there have been looting rather than banding together as a community to cleanup and rebuild.
It is reported that as many as 60,000 may be homeless.  One appeal for help asks for prefab housing rather than tents, saying tents are unsuitable.  But  I think if you ask someone on a warm tropical island who may be sleeping in the rain, if a tent is unsuitable and they may decide it isn't.
I am reminded of a book I once read, many years ago, I wish I could remember the title, but the guy had traveled to an obscure place in Colombia, looking for a hotel and he was sent to a bar.  The owner there, showed him the backdoor which opened out to a shady yard.  The proprietor strung up a hammock and a large birdcage in the trees.  The hapless traveler was offered the hammock to live in and the covered bird cage (complete with pad lock) to keep his possessions in.  I think in the book, he lived like that for about 9 months, using the bar's restroom for occasional luxury comforts. At the time, I thought it was a neat way to live, with almost total freedom.
After one hurricane years ago, I found myself living briefly in a hammock on somebody's porch, and I used to say, "all I need now is a bird cage..."
Ironically, grocery stores in Tortola are feeling the brunt of hurricane Ivan, as evidently shipments to the islands are heavily disrupted by Florida's shipping ports.  Apparently Miami and shores are such a huge transshipment point for cargo and goods, that without it in operation, shipments are delayed every where. 
While there has been no formal announcements, employees of certain grocery stores have informed me that supplies are dwindling for certain items, and could be become quite scarce.
Life is just tough all over, but still, we feel very lucky and charmed to be alive, with housing and food.

- (no subject)
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 16:45:02 EDT
Warm and sunny, weather is great on Tortola today.
If you are looking for info on the BOATS in Grenada, see

- Prayers and Video
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 11:31:40 EDT
Video of Grenada Damages
We pray for our neighbors.  We are so lucky and yet so sad.

- # 10
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 07:36:44 EDT


Current Position
35.8°N 34.1°W

- Thick Cloud Cover
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 16:12:08 EDT
Tortola at 4pm is looking kind of darkish.  A thick cloud cover but no rain.  It looks to be the very outer bands of hurricane Ivan.  Humidity is thick, I run around getting things done and I am just dripping from only moderate exertion!
86 degrees with 69% humidity

- Weather Today and Disaster Relief for Those In Need
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 13:39:06 EDT
Tortola has bright skies though a tad overcast, somewhat breezy but kind of hot.
We are so sorry to learn from our Grenadian friends, all the devastation across their beautiful island as well as elsewhere, from this year's storm season. Our prayers and thoughts wish you all in need, a speedy recovery.
Please, if you want to help make a difference, make a donation to the Red Cross at
You can donate online, by phone or by mail. 
The Red Cross is nearly always the first to arrive on the scene of disaster, with ready aid. 
Many, many moons ago, I was affected by horrendous disaster and very reluctantly went to the Red Cross and stood there in line, with many others, with my head hung low, I was so embarrassed, to be asking for help.
I was very proud and independent. Something had gone very wrong.    It took me days to work up the courage to go stand in that line. I was at the end of my rope. 
I thought, as the line inched forward,  this has to be the lowest point in my life.  When it was my turn to sit down at the table, across from one of the numerous Red Cross workers, I opened my mouth and before I could say a word, I inexplicably burst into tears, compounding my embarrassment.
That day, the Red Cross gave me a stack of tissues and a  jump start with their ready aid.  It proved to be a  turning point, I was able to get my act together shortly thereafter. 
I don't know how I would have managed without their initial helping hand.
You just NEVER KNOW when YOU might NEED the RED CROSS...
So please consider a donation today, to help disaster victims, help themselves, to a fresh start. 

- Hurricane Ivan
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 15:37:50 EDT

- Warm and Sunny
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 11:17:54 EDT
With our friends to the south being battered by 115mph winds and flash floods, I am embaressed to report our wonderful weather here, but that's life.

- more Hurricane relief is on the way...
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 09:33:11 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Back in September, 2003, when Isabel was a threat, an honest meteorologist hedges in his report:



That is the most HONEST report I have ever seen!  Tee hee hee!

There was a communist named Rudolph. One day he looked out the window and said, "It looks like a storm is coming." "No it isn't," said his wife. "Besides, how would you know?" "Because," he responded, "Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear."

The U.S. has only three hurricane warning centers - Coral Gables, FL, Guam, and Honolulu, HI (recently completed). All three have faced Category 4 hurricanes in the past month. Which only goes to show: If you build it, they will come!

Yesterday, I was walking in town and folks kept telling me my purse was open but I didn't bother to shut it, after repeated alerts.  As I explained to the last to tell me "Yes, but I am expecting some change in the weather today..."

On the last hurricane to hit Tortola, years ago, we had a herd of  cows blown away in the storm...talk about an udder disaster!

And now we have the Murricane Moo scale:
Category 1- Cows are spun around parallel to the wind flow and become mildly annoyed
Category 2- Cows are tipped over and can't get up
Category 3- Cows begin rolling with the wind
Category 4- Cows tumble and bounce and often become airborne
Category 5- Free tenderized steaks and ground beef!
Just before Hurricane Frances, the last plane to land, came through some heavy turbulent weather and bounced down the runway.  The pilot was so proud (after all any landing you can walk away from is a safe landing!)  that he stood at the gate, shaking hands with his disembarking passengers and bidding them farewell.
Lastly, a little old lady came hobbling off the plane and as she shook hands with the pilot she says "So, did we just land or were we shot down?"
The tropical storm was swirling around outside as the mother gently tucked her young son into bed. 
In a trembling voice he asks "Mommy, can you sleep with me tonight, please?"
"No, honey"  she replies, "I have to sleep with daddy in his room tonight."
The little boy looks at her with big open eyes and mutters in a small shaky voice "That big sissy!"
Our local weatherman was in a terrible accident and broke both his arms and legs, but that didn't stop him from calling in about his four casts....
Here in the BVI, we still have remote uninhabited islands.  A film crew got permission to use a remote deserted island for a movie sequel to Gilligan's Island.  The government required them to hire one local islander as part of the deal.  But I don't need an islander implored the director but the government insisted he hire one islander and that his job would be to forecast the weather. Reluctantly, the director agreed.
On day one, the islander sets up his hammock between palm trees and sleeps all day and fishes all night. Whenever the director would wake up the islander to get a weather report, the islander would say "warm and sunny"  and go back to sleep.  This continued for a week.  Then one day the islander climbs out of his hammock, goes up to the director and says "rain tomorrow"  then goes back to his hammock, strings up a tarp and goes back to sleep.  Sure enough, it rains the next day. 
Several more days goes by, with  the islander predicting the usual "warm and sunny weather" whenever he is awoken.  Then one day the islander  climbs out of his hammock and tells the director that a storm will hit tomorrow.  Sure enough, the storm hit the next day and the film crew had to hide all the equipment  under tied down tarps.
A few more days go by with warm and sunny weather and the director no longer bothers to wake up the islander, as he figures he will say "warm and sunny"  so he lets him sleep. However, a few weeks later,  the sky becomes very dark, the winds pick up and  the director sends his assistant to wake up the islander and ask him what the weather is doing.
The islander rubs his sleepy eyes and points to his shirt pocket and says "Don't know, batteries dead in walkman..."

- 8am report finally arrived on 40 minutes late
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 08:40:03 EDT
THE 8 AM AST POSITION...11.1 N... 52.6 W. 

- Hurricane Jokes? my mailbag brings in all sorts of stuff!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 08:38:16 EDT
My mail bag brings all sorts of interesting comments, questions and jokes!  Here is the latest sampling:
Q. What did the hurricane say to the palm tree?

A. Hold on to your nuts because this is no ordinary blow job!
Q: Why are hurricanes normally named after women?

A: When they come they're wild and wet, but when they go they take your house and car with them.

Hurricane Survival Quiz

  1. How are hurricane's names selected?
    a. Named after Congressmen who are full of hot air
    b. Names of spouses are submitted by divorced people
    c. Page 824 in Miami's phone book
    d. Hurricanes don't care what you call them

  2. What do they call the most severe hurricane?
    a. Category 5
    b. Red Alert
    c. Costly

  3. If a hurricane Guido, with wind speeds of 104 MPH leaves the Northwest African coast on Wednesday at 7:04 AM and is traveling West at 16 MPH and hurricane Isabel, with wind speeds of 93 MPH leaves Key West at 24 MPH on Thursday at 11:32 AM; when would they meet?
    a. Tuesday at 3:18 PM, but their luggage would be in Paris
    b. Never, Isabel doesn't want to have anything to do with a blowhard like Guido
    c. Never, Guido said that there's no place for Isabel to stop and ask directions; she'll probably end up in Rio
    d. Trick question - hurricanes don't depart from Key West

  4. You're flying in a small, single engine plane. You look up and see a hurricane directly ahead. What's the first thing you think?
    a. It's got the right of way! It's got the right of way!
    b. This is the last time I fly no-frills.
    c. I can't believe she's going to get EVERYTHING now!
    d. I gotta change my shorts!

  5. A hurricane is dangerous if...
    a. You get in it's way
    b. It's had a REALLY bad day
    c. You try to stop it to ask directions
    d. You do not yield right of way

  6. How do forecasters know a hurricane is coming?
    a. Hurricanes ALWAYS leave a forwarding address
    b. They have REALLY good binoculars
    c. Hurricanes LOVE the beach
    d. They send out a bunch of small boats and plot the sinkings

  7. How can you protect your house in the event of a hurricane?
    a. Sell it - QUICK
    b. Bury it and dig it up later
    c. Cover it with leaves and pretend it's a big bush
    d. Duct tape

  8. What is the first thing you should do if a hurricane is confirmed to be heading in your direction?
    a. Check your supplies for the big hurricane party
    b. Air drop a roadmap into the eye, of another area
    c. Put out all your trash for immediate air disposal
    d. Begin drawing plans for the new house you will soon be building

  9. What should you NOT do if a hurricane is coming?
    a. Begin those remodeling plans you've been putting off
    b. Put the cat or dog out (unless on a LONG leash)
    c. Cancel your homeowner's insurance
    d. Go on a picnic, to the beach

  10. When is it a good time to evacuate your home?
    a. When the water level reaches the roof
    b. When your in-ground swimming pool becomes airborne
    c. Shortly after your roof is declared a UFO
    d. When people ask how you constructed a home without outer walls

  11. Where should you evacuate?
    a. A nearby lowland to wait out the floods
    b. A tall location, like on top of a radio tower or Florida's mountains
    c. Anywhere that has a happy hour and free munchies
    d. Out to sea on a small craft

  12. Why should you not stay close to the beach
    a. All the best spots are probably taken
    b. Track in too much sand
    c. Cooler keeps blownin' away
    d. Hard to stay put under the 50' waves

  13. If the eye of the hurricane passes overhead, you should not...
    a. Stare; it's impolite
    b. Make direct eye contact
    c. Offer it some Visine
    d. Ask if it's seen Dorothy and Toto

  14. What happens after the eye passes?
    a. Stay very still; maybe it didn't see you
    b. It can't see you any more
    c. You can expect the nose, followed by the mouth, etc.
    d. It winks and waves good-bye

  15. What should you do first after a hurricane passes?
    a. Locate your computer
    b. Determine if your computer is operational
    c. Contact your insurance agent about replacing your computer
    d. See if your spouse, kids and pets are around; get back to your computer

  16. Who should you turn to if you need help after a hurricane?
    a. Local government (also blown away)
    b. State government (can't afford to help)
    c. Federal government (doesn't care)
    d. Foreign governments (the Japanese are looking for investments)

  17. What services should you expect to be without, after a hurricane?
    a. Electricity (no cold beer)
    b. Telephone (no modem)
    c. Your computer!! (Eeeeeaaaaahhh!)
    d. Call girls/guys (prey the rebuilding begins soon)

  18. What happens a year after you're hit by a hurricane?
    a. Still looking for pieces of your house
    b. Still looking for pieces of your computer
    c. Still looking for pieces of yourself
    d. The government sees you've started rebuilding; concludes you need no emergency help

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


- the 530am report arrives at 829am
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 08:29:34 EDT
OK, just got the 5:30am report at 829am!  Go figure!



- 8am reports are late on IVAN
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 08:24:28 EDT
It's 823am and I am waiting on the 8am report on Ivan.  (Did the hurricane hunter get lost, AGAIN?)
I read reports from islands south of us, and they are reporting Ivan as a category 4 hurricane, yet my 5am report shows it as a category 3. 
I think there is great confusion over mph (miles per hour) and kts (knots). 
For instance, 115 knots would be a category 4, but 115 mph would be a category 3.
Basically, we can handle a category 1 or 2 (we have before with minimal damages)  but once it hits 3, it get scarey and cat 4 is very bad and cat 5 is a time when we no longer have any aetheists holding out!
Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid

- Ivan the Terrible is the bright red blob above South America
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 20:03:59 EDT
Tropical Atlantic Satellite

Warm and Sunny Regards,
Dear Miss Mermaid


- more from the mailbag
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 12:45:21 EDT
Dear Miss Mermaid,
Which islands are in the Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles? 
Which islands are in the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands?
Inquiring Mind

The West Indies are composed of the islands of the Caribbean Sea and  can be 
divided into the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. 

The Greater Antilles are the four largest islands in the northwestern  
portion of the Caribbean Sea and include Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti and the  
Republic), Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. 

The Lesser Antilles include the smaller islands of the Caribbean - the  
Virgin Islands and the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands.

The Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands are part of the Lesser  Antilles 
of the Caribbean Sea.

The Windward Islands are southeastern islands of the Caribbean and  include 
Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and Grenada. They're  
called the Windward Islands because they're exposed to the wind ("windward") of 
the northeast trade winds (northeasterlies).
The Leeward Islands include the Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe,  
Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla. They're called 
Leeward Islands because they're away from the wind ("lee").

- Re: Frances or Francis
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 12:40:23 EDT
Dear Miss Mermaid:  If hurricanes are named after men
why is Frances spelled with an "e" (female
spelling)instead of the male version using an "i"
(i.e. Francis)???

Dear Suzanne,
    Hurricanes used to always be named after women only.  Then along came equal rights movements and men demanded equal time.  So now hurricanes are  named after men and women using English, French and Spanish names.
    Once a hurricane has had a disastrous impact, the name is retired for at least 10 years, if not longer.  Currently hurricane names are listed for 6 years.  The next new list is due out in 2010 by the World Meteorological Organization.
    For several hundred years many hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the particular saint's day on which the hurricane occurred. 
    For example, there was "Hurricane Santa Ana" which struck Puerto Rico with exceptional violence on July 26, 1825, and "San Felipe" (the first) and "San Felipe" (the second) which hit Puerto Rico on September 13 in both 1876 and 1928.    
     An early example of the use of a woman's name for a storm was in the novel "Storm" by George R . Stewart, published by Random House in 1941, and since filmed by Walt Disney.
    During World War II this practice became widespread in weather map discussions among forecasters, especially Air Force and Navy meteorologists who plotted the movements of storms over the wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean.     
    In 1953, the United States abandoned as confusing a two-year old plan to name storms by a phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie) when a new, international phonetic alphabet was introduced. However, instead of using the new alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc.) the National Weather Service picked up on the habit of Naval meteorologists of naming the storms after women.     
    Ships were always referred to as female, and were often given women's names. The storms' temperament certainly seemed female enough, shifting directions at a whim on a moment's notice.
    The practice of naming hurricanes solely after women came to an end in 1978 when men's and women's names were included in the Eastern North Pacific storm lists. In 1979, male and female names were included in lists for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. (Thanks in part to the equal rights movement!)
    Frankly, I think they just name them after verbs and adjectives such as:
Awesome hurricane
Beastly himmacane
Catastrophic hurricane
Disastrous himmacane
Evil hurricane
Ferocious himmacane
Godzilla hurricane
Humongous himmacane
Impetuous hurricane
Jackass himmacane
Kaput hurricane
Ludicrous himmacane
Malevolent hurricane
Noxious himmacane
Ornery hurricane
Pesky himmacane
Quirky hurricane
Ruinous himmacane
Stormy hurricane
Thunderous himmacane
Unruly hurricane
Vagabond himmacane
Wild hurricane
Xanthippe himmacane
Yakuza hurricane
Zealous himmacane
Retired Atlantic Ocean Hurricane names from 1950-1992  and the regions they affected:

Agnes (1972§*): Florida, Northeast U.S.
Alicia (1983*): North Texas
Allen (1980*): Antilles, Mexico, South Texas
Andrew (1992*): Bahamas, South Florida, Louisiana
Anita (1977): Mexico
Audrey (1957§*): Louisiana, North Texas
Betsy (1965§*): Bahamas, Southeast Florida, Southeast Louisiana
Beulah (1967*): Antilles, Mexico, South Texas
Bob (1991*): North Carolina & Northeast U.S.
Camille (1969§*): Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
Carla (1961§*): Texas
Carmen (1974): Mexico, Central Louisiana
Carol (1954§*): Northeast U.S.
Celia (1970*): South Texas
Cleo (1964*): Lesser Antilles, Haiti, Cuba, Southeast Florida
Connie (1955§): North Carolina
David (1979): Lesser Antilles, Hispaņola, Florida and Eastern U.S.
Diana (1990): Mexico
Diane (1955§*): Mid-Atlantic U.S. & Northeast U.S.
Donna (1960§*): Bahamas, Florida and Eastern U.S.
Dora (1964*): Northeast Florida
Elena (1985*): Mississippi, Alabama, Western Florida
Eloise (1975*): Antilles, Northwest Florida, Alabama
Flora (1963): Haiti, Cuba
Frederic (1979*): Alabama and Mississippi
Gilbert (1988): Lesser Antilles, Jamaica, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Gloria (1985*): North Carolina, Northeast U.S.
Hattie (1961): Belize, Guatemala
Hazel (1954§*): Antilles, North and South Carolina
Hilda (1964§*): Louisiana
Hugo (1989*): Antilles, South Carolina
Ione (1955*): North Carolina
Inez (1966): Lesser Antilles, Hispanola, Cuba, Florida Keys, Mexico
Janet (1955): Lesser Antilles, Belize, Mexico
Joan (1988): Curacao, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua (Crossed into the Pacific and became Miriam)
Klaus (1990): Martinique
Mitch (1998): Central America, Nicaragua, Honduras

§Within the list of top 37 deadliest U.S. hurricanes
* Within the list of the top 31 costliest U.S. hurricanes (in 1990 dollars)
(Measurements only available through 1992 for storms that affected the U.S.)


- Ivan is a hurricane now
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 09:57:42 EDT
If Ivan stays on course and speed, then we are looking at him arriving Tuesday afternoon.
I hope we are dead wrong!
Today we have nice blue skies with a few cottonball clouds and light winds.
North Shore Tortola

- To answer the many emails about this
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 09:53:05 EDT

Hurricane Intensity Scale

Hurricanes are rated in intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. This scale rates hurricanes by their wind speed, barometric pressure, storm surge height, and damage potential.

Category Wind Speed Barometric Pressure Storm Surge Damage Potential
74 - 95 mph
65 - 82 kts
28.94" or more
980.02 mb or more
4.0' - 5.0'
1.2 m - 1.5 m
Minimal damage to vegetation
96 - 110 mph
83 - 95 kts
28.50" - 28.93"
965.12 mb - 979.68 mb
6.0' - 8.0'
1.8 m - 2.4 m
Moderate damage to houses
111 - 130 mph
96 - 113 kts
27.91" - 28.49"
945.14 mb - 964.78 mb
9.0' - 12.0'
2.7 m - 3.7 m
Extensive damage to small buildings
(Very strong)
131 - 155 mph
114 - 135 kts
27.17" - 27.90"
920.08 mb - 944.80 mb
13.0' - 18.0'
3.9 m - 5.5 m
Extreme structural damage
Greater than 155 mph
Greater than 135 kts
Less than 27.17"
Less than 920.08 mb
Greater than 18.0'
Greater than 5.5m
Catastrophic building failures possible

- Cloudy and Cool, watching Ivan waunder
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 11:50:23 EDT
Temperature is cool, sky is overcast with patches of bright blue.  Light winds and peak a boo sun shine dot the morning.
82 degrees but it feels much cooler to me!  (Of course I sleep under afghan and comforter at 72 degrees or below!)

- Frances and Ivan
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 07:17:11 EDT
Western Hemisphere Global Satellite

- Frances tiptoed past us
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 07:07:52 EDT
All we got was some rains and winds and not much else from Frances.  It was eerie knowing that it was so close to us and could wobble down on us at any time.  Many folks had the day off work Tuesday in case the storm did hit hard.
Wednesday, it rained some more and we looked at the satellite and it was the eastern tail of Frances dropping rain on us.
Thursday, the sky was that wonderful azure blue with occasional clouds going by.
Friday has dawned a bit overcast.
TD #9 is now IVAN and we will monitor him daily to see what he is up to.
My prayers and heart go out to those still in the path of Frances.  Good luck!

- Lost in the storm!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 12:40:40 EDT
The heavens have opened up.  God is draining his bathtub!

It is POURING down rain!

Very gray, cannot see more than 100 feet!

I got to go clean the balcony off.

It is thundering mightily.

My company (against my wishes)  left about 20 minutes ago for a walk.  Now they are still gone and it is a deluge with the winds picking up!

Now they know why I am such a wuss and refuse to go out and "look around" the island!

They wanted to go joy riding and watching the surfers and me, the old stick in the mud, said NO WAY!

It is nice and dry here, and I don't plan to be half way across the island when the rains pour down and the rock and mud slides cut off the roads.  Nope.  Not me.

Now, do I go out in the storm to look for my friend or do I pray she makes it back alive on her own?

This is a tad scary!

I am sure, where ever she is, she is cursing now, cause I wouldn't go out with her, nope, I wanted to stay inside, nice and dry!

- Updates on Frances
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 11:27:12 EDT
Frances where art thou?

It is 1045am and breezy with about 30 knots of wind.  There is an oppressive sticky humidity that seems odd, given the winds.

Winds are from the West and the protected harbor has a slight chop.

My neighbors carefully swept up all the leaves and small debris, but left out huge things, like scattered car, boat, house, and truck parts and a few tarped tents leftover from a bygone party.   Coconuts dot the yard and I think about cannonballs as that is what a coconut is like in a hurricane.  I look at my car and wonder if I should move it to safer ground, but hopefully we won't have any uprooted trees to deal with.

Many folks stayed home from work, though a few ventured out.

A friend of mine working at one of the large grocery stores, said yesterday afternoon she went in the main store and it looked like a tornado had hit the aisles and the lines to checkout snaked around the store clogging the skinny aisles and confounding the shoppers who were still packing away carts.  My friend got home with an extra bag of groceries, the bag boy had tossed 5 loaves of bread into a bag and into her cart by mistake and she isn't that much of a bread eater but she had bought a loaf just in case, so now she and her husband have 6 loaves of bread and that would be fine if you have a freezer to store it in, IF you have electricity.

Amazingly, after yesterday frequent lengthy outages, we do have power today, but we can't get on the Internet.  I am writing this report offline and have no idea when it may get online.

It is tempting to go out and look around, but then rains and rock slides, and I could be stuck somewhere else rather than in my nice dry hurricane resistant apartment.

We have done 2 loads of laundry, and have hung it out to dry, to mock the hurricane.  The stiff breezes are making fast work of the drying process!

Guess we will clean house next, to make room for all the potted plants that are currently swaying about on the balcony.

- where is Frances?
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 06:31:03 EDT

According to this picture, Frances' outer bands are right on top of us, but we just have breezy winds at about 30-40 knots at 630am in West End.

- where is Frances hiding?
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 06:25:35 EDT
It is over or is this it or are we waiting to feel it?

Winds are breezy and a tad gusty, but nothing unusual.

If it weren't for knowing there is a big scary hurricane out there somewhere, then we would probably just go about our normal lives today.

I imagine folks may take a free day off work or they may just continue onwards to work, because this storm situation is downright eerie!

Perhaps it is possible that a storm so huge and so close by would only affect us marginally, or maybe the reports of where the storm is, are wrong AGAIN.

Hard to say WHAT is going on here.

- Frances
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 00:14:38 EDT
Well, 12 minutes after midnight, the winds started kicking up. 

At midnight, all was calm, but now, I hear the winds coming.

- Midnight in the Garden of Full Moon
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 00:00:20 EDT
Light winds, very hot and humid, not a drop of rain!

Did the meteorologists get this wrong AGAIN?

- (no subject)
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 19:59:19 EDT

- Frightening Frances and the Full Moon
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 18:59:40 EDT
Yesterday folks could hardly be bothered to think about the hurricane.  Sopers Hole had over 100 boats at the marinas and on moorings.

At 6pm today, less than a dozen boats remained. 

The ferry dock was empty, the ferries tucked away.

We have had horrible power outages all day!  The power company wants to destroy all our perishable foods before the storm even hits!

Hopefully the hurricane will skirt us.  We pray.

The winds pick up, and you can hear a gasp in the air.  Is this it?

To the north east, the clouds seem to approach upon us, then the sun sets and in minutes we are plunged into darkness, until the full moon comes up.

- Frightening Frances
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 11:09:47 EDT

The BVI is that tiny dot to the right of Puerto Rico and to the left of the eye.

- Fickle Frances
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 06:34:58 EDT
       This morning I woke up to a light rain and somehow missed the weather channel's report on Frances.
       I frantically tried to dial out on the Internet and spent a frustrating 10 minutes trying to get into cyber world.  I took a bathroom break and discovered our water is cut off.  We are hooked into the "city" water which means we get water just fine until a storm scare then POOF it disappears.  I was pleased we had electricity.
       Looks like the BVI is officially on Hurricane Watch.  Frances has turned to the West and seems to be headed right over to us.  Then I tell myself NO, this can't be!
       Last night was the Fool moon party at Bomba shack, even though many calendars show today (Monday) as the full moon, Bomba seems to have his own schedule.
       It was mostly a localized party and I was surprised to see many of my neighbors out and about, enjoying the pre-hurricane party.
       Earlier I had been at the grocery store and asked the cashier if many folks were stocking up for the hurricane and she said, when the store opened they had a run on goods, but then as the day wore on, folks just seemed to be doing the usual Sunday shopping.
Bomba has his own unique decorating style as shown in the picture below:


- Ferocious Frances
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 10:36:25 EDT
Gorgeous Day here on Tortola. 

Definitely the calm before the storm or definitely not?

I plan to take a ride around with my visiting company and take lots of pictures.

Following is one of the sunset, from Friday, showing the suspended Sahara Dust.

Fable and Clueless (our ONLY phone and Internet provider!) continues to give us terrible Internet coverage!  I agree with the reporter on Anguilla who suggested they had poured molasses over all the web sites, forcing one to reload several times to make them work!

Somehow t'ings just don't always work right in the Caribbean.  We rarely have all our utilities on a good day, so you can imagine what a bad day is like!

A man in a long rain coat, stood in line at the airport.  Finally he reaches the security guard and she says "Ticket, please!"

The man opens his rain coat and he is stark naked! 

The security guarad  takes a look at him and says "I told you to show me your ticket, NOT your stub!"

- Hurricane Frances
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:28:12 EDT
Hurricane Frances is up to a category 4 hurricane!  It has turned a bit more to the West, which means it is looking us over for possible landing.

Locally, winds seemed to be sucked out of the islands, as Saturday, the ocean was eerily flat and windless around here.

Many islanders are in denial, saying, no way will it come here and some say they don't feel it in their bones yet!

Others are shopping and getting ready, though I did not hear the familiar sound of drills, saws and nails as folks prepare to put up storm shutters. 

My stomach, though, feels this storm.  I woke up at 3am and went to look at the latest position of Frances, and my stomach seemed to make a loud thud (it doesn't like hurricanes!)

I think we will surely get some sort of storm activity here, as Frances would have to turn more Northerly to avoid us completely. 

- Hurricane Frances and TD# 7
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 08:40:22 -0400


- Frances
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 07:27:30 -0400
Saturday morning on Tortola and we don't have power (electricity, current) 

No winds and the utility compnay just can't keep us plugged in!

I am using a laptop to write and coughing because my neighbor has a smelly 
noisy generator.

I was out and about yesterday to feel the pulse on the island for hurricane 
Frances.  Many islanders had no idea Frances even existed or posed a threat.

Some boaters were frantically getting things prepared, others were laid back, 
sure it will miss us.

What worries me, is that everyone refers to the proposed storm track, which is 
the eye.  Now if this storm is 170 miles across and Tortola is 2 by 24 miles...

The eye must go pretty far North not to affect us at all.  I hear that the 
surfers are planning a party at Capoons Bay on Monday and Tuesday, as they 
figure the swells ought to be up, what with the full moon on Monday and the 
hurricane getting closer by then.

I get a tad irritated, that some forecaster in Miami, stands there telling us 
what this storm will do as if it is the gospel truth!  They have been wrong 
many, many times.  So I don't put a whole lot of faith into their predictions.

I do not like the looks of Frances, and of course hope it will stay very far 
North of us.  At this point, anything could happen.  It's a big tightly formed 
storm, very well defined, so Frances does mean business.

Thursday, I went swimming and was amazed at how warm the ocean was, not good as 
warm water attracts the hurricane!  However on Friday, the water was a bit 
cooler and that was refreshing.

I suppose if Frances becomes a real threat, we will have the usual last minute 
madness, as everyone crams into stores and stocks up.

I am saddened that our power company just can't seem to keep the current going, 
and right now at 725am, the winds are going at ZERO.

I think Frances has sucked all the air out of here!

- Come on down and enjoy the great weather!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 21:18:56 EDT
Earl is gone but Danielle is dancing!

Life is grand in the BVI.

Weather is gorgeous with occasional scattered showers of little significance, just enough to keep us pretty and green!

- Eal and Danielle
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 10:55:40 EDT
Tropical Storm  Earl with 45 mile per hour winds, is just south east of us, and we may begin to feel it sometime Monday.  Today it is breezy and sunny though partially overcast.
Hurricane Danielle with 85mph winds, is far east of us, but looks pretty well organized, so we've got some preparations to make.  Some boaters are already storing their boats and others are not doing a thing.
Little mermaid/60.2KB

- Bonnie and Clyde
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 21:35:13 EDT
Title: AOL Email
Well, neither hurricane Bonnie nor himmacane Charley are a threat to the gorgeous British Virgin Islands.
Overcast and warm today on Tortola. No rain all day.
It's a shame that those folk who name these hurricanes, don't have a sense of humor. 
Wouldn't Bonnie and Clyde been more fun?  And why is Bonnie spelled with an I-E and Charley with a Y?  Anne Bonny the pirate, spelled with a Y. Why Charley? How about Clyde with a possible S?  Then we could have Clydes, Dayle, Etc.  as in the Clydesdale horses that used to fuel freight transport. Then since I can't think of what Dayle and E could go with, how about just, Etc.?
After four hurricanes, don't you just feel like saying Hurricane, Etc.?
This year, in 2004, our first named storm was Alex, then Bonnie, then Charley (next is Danielle and Earl).  
Now with a bit of humor, I propose we name the storms   Anne, Bonny, Clyde(s), Dale, Etc.
Then we could start with the F and a new venue.

- Mr T.D. # 3
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 18:59:42 EDT
Tropical Storm Bonnie is in the Gulf of Mexico, not a threat to the BVI.
However, Tropical Depression Three looks ominous!
It's that RED and ORANGE mess near South America.  I hope this picture uploads for you to see!
Tropical Atlantic Satellite

- Mega Wave?
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 13:19:04 EDT
There is a tropical storm brewing, not numbered or named yet, south of us.  I don't like the looks of it, but then I always say that!
In the BVI today it is quite breezy and overcast, we had some dotted showers that were very brief, more of a tease.  The islands sure have been GREEN the past year!
Now, I see there is MORE for us to worry about, but heck, its the islands, so why worry?
Millions in U.S. Face Mega-Wave from Island Collapse

By Jeremy Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - The bad news is tens of millions of people along the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada may drown if the slow slippage of a volcano off north Africa becomes a cataclysmic collapse.


But the good news is the world is not likely to be destroyed by an asteroid any time soon.

Scientist Bill McGuire told a news conference on natural disasters on Monday that some time in the next few thousand years the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma will collapse, sending walls of water 100 meters high racing across the Atlantic.

A chunk of the volcano the size of a small island began to slide into the ocean in 1949. There is almost no monitoring of the volcano, giving virtually no chance of any advance warning of another eruption which could trigger the catastrophe.

"The U.S. government must be aware of the threat. I am sure they are not taking it seriously," McGuire of the Benfield Grieg Hazard Research Center told reporters. "They certainly should be worried, as should the island states of the Caribbean."

He said the giant tidal wave or Tsunami triggered by such a collapse would hit the other islands of the Spanish-owned Canaries within an hour and reach the north African coast within two hours.

Between seven and 10 hours later, waves still several tens of meters tall and traveling at the speed of a jet plane would be swamping the Caribbean and crashing into the eastern seaboards of South and North America.

McGuire urged the governments of Spain and the United States to fund monitoring of the volcanically active La Palma -- a project he said could be achieved relatively cheaply.

He said the slow collapse -- started by an eruption in 1949 -- would almost certainly be turned catastrophic by another eruption of the volcano which erupts every 25 to 200 years.

The last eruption was in 1971, and prior to 1949, the previous eruption was in 1712.

"A future president of the United States must make a call on what to do when La Palma collapses," he said.

On a brighter note, scientist Benny Peiser of John Moores University in Liverpool told the same news conference that the threat of a cataclysmic strike on the earth by a large asteroid was fading rapidly as money was pumped into finding them.

Within 10 to 30 years, all the near-earth asteroids will have been charted. Scientists believe they can find a way to steer an asteroid out of the way of the earth, as long as they have enough warning it is coming.

That leaves the field clear for Hollywood to move on to volcanic eruptions and tsunami for the next generation of apocalyptic movies.

- TD # 2
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 18:05:44 EDT
88 degrees, bright and sunny, steady trade winds for good sailing.
Tropical depression #2  looks a bit scary as it is near the islands. 
Himmacane Alex is not a threat to the Virgin Islands, though it seem to be bouncing around the Eastern Seaboard at this time.

  Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't
mttaer  in   waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht
the  frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
   The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit
  Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by
istlef, but  the  wrod as a wlohe.
                               Amzanig huh

- Reports before May 2004
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 12:52:25 EDT
Previous Tortola Reports, prior to May 2004

- Postcard from Tortola: Weather is Wonderful, Wish you were Her!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 12:49:21 EDT
Well, it is hard to write about the weather when it is just gorgeous every day!
Nice trade winds keep any humidity at bay.
The beaches are uncrowded but busy. 
The harbors are not as full of boats, but plenty of sailors are  around.
Come on down and vacation in paradise!  Visit http://ReservationsBVI.com
Today's Funny:
A newspaper carried an ad for a typist to work on a book on weather forecasting. An applicant gave her typing speed as "approximately 55 wpm. with occasional gusts of 60 to 65 wpm." She got the job.
Today's Picture:

- Greetings!
  • From: DearMissMermaid AT aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 18:24:48 EDT
Tortola is gorgeous and only 84 degrees with trade winds.

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