The day today is a tale of rain! Hurricane Ernesto – as it became a hurricane this morning – outer bands spread far and wide and last night we had thunderstorm that sent chills down the spine of even the toughest islander (unless you were a child and then you were more likely to be asleep through it). Since then, all it has done was rain!
The storm is over 150 miles away from us, expected to hit land at about midnight tonight the eye being placed above well above the boarder of Mexico, Belize in Mahuhual. The North East quadrant of all hurricanes and this one is no different, will always be where the strongest winds are located. We are South of these winds and currently we believe will not even be experiencing Tropical Storm winds – thankfully! Ernesto has not moved much from its predicted path over the past four days and, although anything is very much possible with regard to mother nature, we are expecting little to no change (crossed fingers!!).
In preparation all boats have been placed in their owners particular safe harbor – Raggamuffin’s sailboats are all tucked into a lagoon on the North side of Caye Caulker along with many of Frenchie’s boats too. This lagoon is surrounded by mangroves that will bend with the ever changing wind direction that the storm will produce and yet their roots are immovable and therefore one of the most original ways of securing a boat. This was all undertaken yesterday afternoon and so for this morning, very little hurricane preparation is required to be done.
For the rest of the island – small motor boats have been hauled out of the water (to protect the boat from flooding and sinking in the constant rain expected which would damage the engines). There has been no official hotel evacuation and therefore those who want to remain on the island have done so – some hotels have however been boarded up but truthfully very few.
No alc0hol is permitted to be sold in the shops or in bars etc and therefore they are mainly closed but all establishments will be closed by tonight. As of yet no curfew has been imposed but it is very much a possibility and we believe that Belize Electricity Limited plan to keep the power on until there is any sort of failure.
All in all, we are just waiting for Ernesto to clear us – as for the Raggamuffin crew, nobody has left the island and if necessary everybody will go to Charlie and Jimmy’s house to sleep out the storm together!! However, we are almost sure that there is no real threat but we are taking the necessary precautions that if there is a change in the direction or strength, we are very much prepared!