Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Friday, November 7, 2008
Hurricane Paloma is about to rock Grand Cayman with a direct hit. The weather is deteriorating already and the eye is supposed to pass very close by or directly over Grand Cayman tonight at about midnight. What’s the rub? ZAC WAS JUST THERE ON VACATION AND LEFT A DAY OR TWO AGO.
Friday, November 7, 2008 11:12:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Thursday, August 28, 2008

So this is it.

I'm booked on one of the "extra sections" that Cayman Airways is flying to Miami tonight at 7:40pm. I'll get to Miami close to 10:00 and then tomorrow morning I can start looking for a way to get to Vancouver that won't cost me an arm,leg, my xbox and my firstborn male child.

Worst case I park my luggage in the storage area and go sack out in a pew in the chapel up on the 4th floor by the post office. It's always dark, quiet and air conditioned in there.


It isn't exactly how I pictured leaving Cayman, especially after 10 years, but I really have no good reason to stick around. If I did, I'd have to sit here in the dark, sweating my sac off with no air conditioning and maybe even no water, if the power and water are off. It's also costing me more to do all this last-minute stuff, but whatever... better than sweating it.

Unless I feel the need to post from the departure lounge at the airport, this will be my last post from Grand Cayman as a resident and local living urban legend. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:18:04 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Cayman | Hurricane | Travel#

I woke up this morning at 6am. I don't know why... I never woke up this early when I was, you know, WORKING. I checked the NHC overnights before doing anything else and WHAT THE?!

Gustav went SOUTHWEST overnight and was 'rounding the SE corner of Jamaica and then... headed right for us. Christ on a pogo stick, there goes my flight for Saturday! I checked the CPA at Stormcarib (really the only reason to go there, all the self-professed experts who post in their not-so-humble-opinions get on my nerves faster than... well faster than a fucking hurricane can change it's course while you're sleeping!) and it's now forecast to pass within 9.0 miles of Grand Cayman on Saturday August 30th at 2:12amEDT (0112 local)

That's too close. Plus with the southern pass, we're going to get the brunt of the NW and NE quadrants as well as be susceptible to storm surge, which is really the killer in hurricanes. Fortunately it's only supposed to be a cat1 and become a cat2 once it passes us and heads into the Gulf of Mexico (and aiming for New Orleans). It strengthened pretty quick overnight, so it could be a cat 2 or even higher by the time it arrives early Saturday.

People are getting into busy mode, traffic is terrible especially the chokepoint between the airport and the rest of GT. Boards are up all over and the supermarkets are packed. I think as people woke up this morning and saw the change in track it spurred them out of "we should be ok" to "we need to make damned sure we're ready" so all the ants are hard at work, while the grasshoppers are laying on the beach.

Thursday, August 28, 2008 10:04:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update: I spoke too soon. Watches will go up on all three islands at 6pm local time today.

It sure seems the 5PM EDT update didn't do us any favors. Closest point of approach is now 73.8 miles on Friday at 5pm. Grand Cayman is well within the tropical storm force wind "cone of death" and brushing the hurricane force wind field based on the updated tracking map at the Naval Research Monterey map. That means we'll have sustained winds up to 74mph with higher gusts. Not bad, but not good, either. Gustav is forecast to be transitioning from a cat2  to a cat3 around that same time, so looks like a shitty Friday night in Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Saturday the airport should be back to normal, including my flight that's taking me from Grand Cayman to Houston... with Gustav heading from here into the Gulf of Mexico, I can see the flight being delayed, and then delaying me into Vancouver (again) because it has to go arouuund Gustav churning away in the gulf. I hope they don't just cancel it outright though, that would really suck (for me)

I sent home my second trunk this morning via FedEx. 68lbs at International Air Priority rate to zone D. ouch. Tomorrow I'll send the Drobo (minus the drives) and perhaps a suitcase, too. If I have to start jockeying around and changing flight plans on the fly, I don't want to get dinged for excess baggage at every stop.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 1:57:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#


I have four more sleeps to go, my flight is booked for Saturday, August 30th at 4:45 PM. Hurricane Gustav is now expected to pass nearby sometime between Friday 2am and Saturday 2an. One model has it going south of us, the other five are varied but with two passing between here and Little Cayman and two between Cayman Brac and Cuba.

The page that shows all the models shows the intensity forecast and takes it up above 105mph at 96 hours and the discussion page/forecast at the NHC's site says:


Wonderful. Extremely dangerous is about as high as you can get. I think I read somewhere one time that category 3 was "dangerous', category 4 was "extremely dangerous" and cat5 is "catastrophic" so if I'm right and it's expected to be a dangerous hurricane in the northwestern Caribbean sea on Friday, that means we're going to get a lot of weather.

Of course, tempering that doom and gloom is the fact that hurricanes are completely random. When Ivan brushed past in 2004 (the eye never crossed land in the Cayman Islands, but rather passed less than 20 mines southwest) it was officially a category 4 with official winds of 154mph. Those officials weren't here though and 154 was their best guess. There were gusts over 200mph. Storm surge completely inundated the island and most trees were completely stripped of branches and coconuts, along with a lot of roofs. Compared to Hurricane Dean last year which also wavered between a category 4 and 5 as it approached us directly, then turned more west and went south of us spared us a lot of damage. Once the craziness of the airport was dealt with I went home to wait it out and nothing happened. Nothing major, anyway.

Judging by the map at the NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division's map, as of the most current update, Grand Cayman is going to be spared the hurricane-force winds and almost all of the tropical storm force winds. That doesn't mean we won't have "large battering waves" or storm surge encroachment and massive amounts of rain, but it also means the sustained winds will be less than 35mph with higher gusts.

Nothing to do at this point but to go about normal life and continue packing. Fortunately my clothes are going in Space Bags which are heavy ziplocs with airlocks and my trunk is mostly waterproof but will definitely float. Once the alert gets issued, watches and warnings go up there will be more to do (shutters, provisions, etc) but for now, hurry up and wait.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 6:37:57 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Saturday, August 16, 2008

Out and about (oot and aboot.. I gotta practice my Canadian accent, I'll be back in the great white north in two weeks!) today you would be shocked to think that there was a Tropical Storm Watch in effect. I was sitting at Paperman's Coffee House at the Strand with Lee talking about it. One thought that occurred to me was if this storm is less than 36 hours away, and it was as bright and sunny and cloud-free, blue-skied as it was today... how much (or rather) how little time did people have to prepare back in the old days before radios, telephones, radar and satelite imagery?

Tonight at the 1900Z update, the Gov't of the Cayman Islands upgraded the threat to a Tropical Storm Warning for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, and kept Grand Cayman at a hurricane watch. That may or may not change overnight as the hurricane moves sort-of towards us.

In the forecast, it called for four to eight inches of rain over Hispaniola, Eastern and Central Cuba, Jamaica and the northern Cayman Islands with isolated areas of up to 15 inches. That's a lot of rain! Fortunately for the Cayman Islands, their topography is akin to a billiards table, but in Hispaniola, Jamaica and Cuba they have mountains, so that could lead to flash floods and mudslides (and not the cool creamy yummy kind that you can make with a Margaritaville Frozen Drink Maker... which I bought from SkyMall and is waiting to be picked up in Sumas WA when I get home! :) :) ). As of the last NHC update, they measured TS force winds extending out up to 105 miles from the center. That last update's forecast co-ordinates also calculate the closest point of approach to Grand Cayman of 179 miles, so while it will be breezy, we probably won't get 35mph+ Tropical Storm force winds.

On (which they finally got around to updating today... is it just me or is it just bad form and laziness when you post on the site that the next update will be at 7am, but then don't actually change anything until after noon?) they're saying:

Additionally the Cayman area can strong north to northeast winds of 15 to 20 knots tonight, 20 to 25 knots tomorrow, leading to very rough seas with wave heights of 6 to 8 feet, especially near the Sister Islands.

Aside from the missing word there between can and strong (which I assume should be 'expect') it says we're going to get N-NE winds 20-25 knots tomorrow. What does that mean? It means that on my second-to-last weekend in the Cayman Islands, I'm not going to get to go diving. Again. Last week got washed out due to a hangover (not mine, my buddy's) and this week due to Fay.

I guess this just means I'll have to call in sick one morning and go for a dive once the weather clears :D

Saturday, August 16, 2008 5:31:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Sunday, September 2, 2007

This morning while I was at Vespa Church at Paperman's Coffee House at the Strand, the Cayman Islands NHC issued a tropical storm watch for Grand Cayman. That means we could get TS conditions within 36 hours. We're on standby at work, waiting to see what happens over the next 12-24 hours to see what develops. As it stands, we're going to be far enough away to avoid pretty much everything except shitty weather for a few days and maybe some high seas and waves for a day or so. More to come...

Sent from my BlackBerryR wireless device from Cable & Wireless bMobile

Sunday, September 2, 2007 11:34:57 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Monday, August 20, 2007
Update: The Cayman NHC issued the all-clear at 1630 local time, today 20/08/2007 Curfew was lifted a few minutes ago at 1400 local. We tempted fate (and a $2000 fine and/or 2 years in prison) to make a run down to the Yacht Club to check on Gordy's boat. It was all good. I had my camera in the underwater case so we shot some pictures and some video of the big waves starting to come in on the west side.
Monday, August 20, 2007 11:11:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#
We're pretty much out of the shit, now. Closest Point of Approach was about 9am this morning give or take. It's still windy out there, maybe 20-25mph and some higher gusts. Our carpark is dry. There were some squalls earlier around 5am but not right now. We have a couple trees down out back.

About five minutes ago I heard noise outside and looked and saw a big front-end-loader turning around in our driveway, and he drove off somewhere following a big pickup truck.

As the winds shift now to the south, the waves will pick up and start affecting the south coast. High tide was earlier today about the same time as the CPA. Forecast storm surge for cayman now is only 1-3 feet on an ebbing tide but 16-20 ft waves.

I just saw some people walking down our street. Curfew is still in effect though. They turned around and came back, maybe there's a police checkpoint at the corner of Hell and Town Hall Roads. I'm getting hungry now so I think Im going to go make some lunch and see what's on the boob tube with John. Later on I may venture out down to the 4-way stop and see what the sea is doing.

I think I'm going to permanently mount my weather station stuff when this all dies down, with the anemometer on the cable tv mast on the roof. I'll call the page "How's the weather in Hell?" :)

Monday, August 20, 2007 8:03:58 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#

it's 7am, the closest point of approach isn't for another two hours, but I don't think it's going to get much worse than this. I woke up at 5 to thunder, lightning and pounding rain, but now it's mostly just windy. I would venture a guess (without getting out of bed and going outside) to be 40-50mph winds.

I took a 10 second video clip just for you, Derek, but it's pretty lame, so I didn't upload it anywhere :) the trees are doing aerobics, but they're green leafy trees, not palm trees.

I've opened the blinds now, so I'm laying in bed watching the tops of the trees bob around. It should continue to get worse until about 9am and then start slacking off til about 5 or 6 tonight. As it swings past us and the winds shift around to the south, the waves will start to pound the south coast and the southern-facing West Bay peninsula which is where I live, but I'm inland.

If you want to look on Google Earth, the coordinates of the trees I'm looking at is in the kmz file attached below. From there you can poke around the rest of Cayman seeing where things are in relation to where I am.

The Trees.kmz (.64 KB)
Monday, August 20, 2007 4:23:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's midnight now. Water is off, power is on. I went outside to take a whizz (no flushing toilets, it's good to be a member of NO MA'AM sometimes.) and check on the conditions a little while ago and get this: the sky is clear and there are lots of stars out. Every now and then you could see a lightning flash wayyyyyyy far away but so far away that you can only make out what general direction it's coming from.

It's windy outside, but not terrible or anything, yet. Trees are moving, bushes are rustling and my anemometer is spinning around much like I'm sure John's bed is now after he drank a whole bottle of red wine on his own and then decided it would be a good idea to open the new bottle of Jack Daniels :)

I'm exhausted from all the work over the past few days, so I'm going to sign off here for the night and get some sleep. If the shit hits the fan in the middle of the night, I'll post it here when I get a chance, but I have a feeling the next post is going to be something like "it's 11:00am, I just woke up and according to the storm track, it's as close as it's going to get. I'll be back in awhile after I go cook some breakfast" or something like that.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 9:03:33 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#

It's dark out, and the lights are on still, so the only thing you'd see in the window pane is the reflection of "300", The Transformers, Oceans 13, or whatever else John picked up at the little pirate movie shop down at the corner.

I did set up the Weather Jeep earlier, but I had it mounted 90 degrees off, and because it's in the courtyard of our apartment complex, it mostly spun in circles, but the speed reading was about right. Pressure, temperature and humidity were more or less accurate as well. The batteries are probably low in it and the wireless signal was a bit weak, but it works. I plugged it in to my desktop computer (it's old and only has a serial connection, rather than USB) and wondered if the software would with Windows Vista, and it did, sort of.

The interface software worked, but the jpg creation/web wasn't talking to the interface software. I dowloaded the upgrades and then NOTHIN worked! :) I played with it for a few hours and then said fuck it. :) I have the receiver/display unit, so I'll post data based on that, it just won't be automated. had a press release saying that Cayman Water Company was waiting until the 4:00 NHC meeting to decide what they were doing. After that they decided to cut the water off at 9:00. I had already taken a nice long hot shower and then filled the tub. Nothing about CUC proactively turning off the power though.

Right now they're expecting 60-70mph sustained winds, and 1-2 inches of rain between 2am tonight and 5pm tomorrow. By then the winds should drop below the 35mph tropical storm threshold. I think what's going to happen is I'm going to wake up tomorrow, after sleeping in, look out the window and say "Shit I missed it!"

Sunday, August 19, 2007 6:15:12 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#

From the NHC:


From Stormcarib's "How Close Can It Get?" applet:

Results for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (19.28N, 81.35W):
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 18.4N, 81.6W or about 63.7 miles (102.4 km) from your location. The estimated time of when the center of the storm will be at that location is in about 25.3 hours (Monday, August 20 at 12:18PM EDT).

I guess that's like being strapped down to a table while someone holds a circular saw 1/4" away from your face... you're going to feel it, but you're not going to get hurt by it. Or so the thought goes. A lot of people are perkier today thinking that we might be spared completely, but the tropical storm force winds extend out 205 miles, so that's a storm diameter of 410 miles. At 18mph, that means from the time we start feeling the effect to the time that it clears up again is 22 hours at up to almost hurricane strength winds, with of course higher gusts. Storm surge is also a concern, the last update says seven to nine feet so if we're right at the edge of the hurricane wind field, we should have minimal surge, but still pretty massive wave action.

Of course, it could wobble close enough to throw the entire previous parargraph to the wind (haa, I'm funny, I know) and bring that buzzsaw ashore here in Grand Cayman.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 8:29:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Saturday, August 18, 2007

What is it about hurricanes that makes me quote Jack Burton so much?

Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Cayman Islands which means we can start feeling hurricane-force winds within 24 hours.

Game on.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 7:00:12 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#

We're still under a watch, it'll be updated to a warning overnight because it's expected to hit early Monday morning. There's not much to post, there's only so much weather channel and NHC NOAA web pages you can read. They're all the same. Impending doom. I was looking for a picture of the clock in the Harry Potter books that points to MORTAL PERIL but I'm so friggin tired I just can't be arsed at the moment.

I went by the airport today... holy sheetrock! Probably not the best week to stop sniffing glue if you're an ATC operator. There was a steady stream of planes, jets, private jets and corporate jets coming and going and going and coming all day long. There was a press release this morning announcing six more flights from Little Cayman to Cayman Brac and later I read a press release saying that the Governor had ordered the complete evacuation of Little Cayman by tomorrow noon.

Last night there was a press release from Cayman Airways listing six extra flights to Miami today, from 0100 last night all the way through to 0150 tonight, three to Fort Lauderdale, one more to Kingston (why you'd want to head IN to the storm, I don't know), an extra jet to/from Cayman Brac and six flights from Little Cayman.

At the bottom of the press release was flights under "Sunday 19th" but really that's still tonight for the poor people who are at work checking people in for the flights instead of at home preparing for the shitstorm. 0100, 0950 to Miami, 0700 to Tampa and 1230 to New York.

The Gov has enacted the Emergency Powers Law, so starting tomorrow evening there's a curfew and "I can reassure the community that the RCIPS is fully mobilised and there will be a strong police presence in all the districts during and after the storm. Should they be needed additional law enforcement reinforcements from outside Cayman are on standby."

I stopped by The Strand this morning to grab a coffee at Paperman's on my way in to work (and I'm still there 13 hours later and counting) and the dentist's office a few doors down had a sheet of paper on the door that said "Attention looters: there are no drugs or cash on these premises, thanks" hehe! I took a picture of it with my phone, but I don't think it turned out too well.

Update Holy shinto! Another press release from Cayman Airways with more flights! 2230 tonight, 0110, 0450 and 1150 to Miami. I don't think I've ever seen this many extra flights from Cayman Airways in any of the previous hurricane evacs I've seen since I moved down here. Maybe AFTER Ivan, taking people out and bringing supplies in, but wow.. that's like, an extra 450 people.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 6:53:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#

I've added my cell phone number to my contact info on my Facebook Profile. Those of you who really know me well know what a shock that is, as I'm usually very private about telephone numbers.

When cell networks are swamped it sometimes takes 20-30 tries to get a call through, and even then voice quality suffers.

What can you do about that? Use SMS.

SMS doesn't put nearly the load on the cell switches and system that voice calls do and they are queued for delivery, so it will keep trying on your behalf so you don't have to.

I thank you in advance everyone who says be safe, good luck and those sorts of sentiments, however PLEASE do not inundate my SMS inbox with those types of messages. Write them here on my wall or leave a comment on one of the posts over at and I'll get them when I get back online.

SMS is going to be my primary mode of communications for the next few days, and if you're trying to reach other people in the Cayman Islands, I urge you to use SMS rather than voice.

If you're like me and a cheap bastard, go to and use their web interface. It's free and doesn't cost you a thing, however it will come from +555 so make sure you leave room to sign your name

Emails sent to will also be forwarded via SMS to the  number where XXXYYYY is, so keep it under 160 characters or it will get truncated.

Be safe and we'll talk to you next week

Main email: mark at
ICQ: 1656823
MSN: kmancowboy at
Y!: docjelly or markfaccin
GoogleTalk: mfaccin
AIM: Docjelly73
BB Messenger PIN: 20623D4C

Saturday, August 18, 2007 5:07:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Friday, August 17, 2007

In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
     "Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"
     "I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."
     "Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "We have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.
     When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger - while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.

Friday, August 17, 2007 1:38:57 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
How's that for efficient? I just got a phone call from the Canadian Consulate asking me if I was staying or going, and if I was staying if I was going to a shelter or if I had provisions. the Government of Canada is sending 'a big plane' I assume an Air Canada A321 or a 767 to Kingston, Jamaica tomorrow to evac Canadians. They hadn't laid on a flight for Grand Cayman yet, but if they did, did I want a seat on it? She also verified my physical address and phone numbers for comms afterward. I guess everyone learned from all the mistakes that were made last time. I told her I was staying put in West Bay with our provisions and fortifications and my own personal Special Forces squad! :D

Last time I hit refresh on they've changed from a possible threat to an official alert, so game on.

Friday, August 17, 2007 7:47:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nothing much to report yet. Gov't hasn't even issued an alert yet, which means 72 hours stand-to, then a tropical storm watch, which means TS conditions COULD be felt within 36 hours (or maybe 48, but I'm pretty sure it's 36) and then a TS warning which means TS conditions WILL be felt within 24 hours. Sometimes they double them up and issue a tropical storm warning AND a hurricane watch at the same time. Hurricane warning is like when the sirens go off in the midwest. A twister has been spotted, take cover NOW. Hurricane warning means you have 24 hours or less until the effects are felt, but that also means you'll be in the middle of Tropical Storm-force conditions.

Plans have been set in motion both at home and at work. I'm anticipating a lot of hours this weekend, whether I'm at work or not! I don't want to sound too cavalier, but I don't think we're going to do too badly with this storm. Hopefully those don't become 'famous last words' because there's the potential for this to truly be a shitstorm of magnificent proportions. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is the mode of operation this weekend.

Tomorrow, or maybe even early this morning the gov't will issue the alert, and then start to progress through the watches and warnings based upon the actual track of the storm. I'll update the little flag up in the corner as they're released.

On a completely different note, the sky was brilliantly lit up by stars tonight. There's still a lot of light pollution just from the fact that people live here, but you could clearly see the Milky Way tonight. The nights AFTER Ivan, before a lot of people started firing up generators and turning lights back on was by far the prettiest nights for stargazing I've *EVER* seen, period.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 9:38:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
OK so I'm paraphrasing, if not downright stealing that from a song. It's not quite true, either. Looks like Tropical Storm Dean is heading our way, as a hurricane by the time it gets here.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 8:06:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

"Stan's Uncle Jimbo and his war buddy Ned take Stan, Kenny, Kyle, and Cartman on a hunting trip in the mountains. When they arrive in the wilderness (just outside of South Park), Jimbo gives each of the boys a gun (Kyle, Stan, and Kenny get shotguns while Cartman receives an assault rifle), a can of beer, and a pack of cigarettes, and the hunting festivities begin.

It soon becomes apparent that Jimbo and Ned's idea of hunting is to slaughter every living thing in sight via military weaponry. They get around the regulations by yelling "It's coming right for us!" in order to exploit the loophole that they can kill any animal in self-defense. Stan proves to not have the proper temperament to enjoy hunting (or at least Jimbo and Ned's idea of hunting), and finds himself unable to shoot a living target when provided the opportunity. While hunting the boys realize that one of the nearby mountains is rumbling, a fact Ned and Jimbo ignore until it is too late." from Wikipedia

This is EXACTLY the picture I was looking for to go along with the "it's coming right for us!" exclamation. Two days ago, TD#4 was renamed Tropical Storm Dean. That was when the phone started ringing. As of this morning it's "dipped" south a bit and is now forecast to come into the Caribbean Basin. We don't like dipping. That's what Ivan did to go around Jamaica in '04 and smack us upside the head.

Since this is the first threat (real or otherwise) of the year that's even remotely going to affect us, people are a bit jumpy and starting to breath down our necks to put our hurricane/disaster recovery plan into standby. The phrase 'two monkeys fucking a football' comes to mind.. a whole lot of action and not a lot of results. Of course I could be wrong, it HAS happened once or twice in the past 34 years so we're going to use this as a dry-run to test out some of the new things we've added this year and practice the things we've been doing for the last few years.

As usual, I'll be posting up progress and notes and things here, as I do. I've actually got around to adding all the bookmarks for weather sites that I reference on and added the RSS feed to my OPML list over on the bottom right. If you subscribe to the list, you'll get new sites as I remember them and add them. The tag on is hurricane weather and maps.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 7:07:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Links#
Thursday, November 30, 2006

It will be December 1st, 2006.

Big deal? Maybe. It means that the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season is officially over! Now I can force myself to eat all the crap canned stuff that I have squirreled away that I wouldn't normally eat unless I HAD to. Sure it's probably good for another year, but in the aftermath of a hurricane when there's no power and no water is NOT the time to eat a can of bad chili, if you know what I'm talking about (and I think you do!)

Of course, Mother Nature doesn't really pay too much attention to our calendars, but for all intensive purposes (ha! I know what it should be, for all intents and purposes, but "all intensive purposes" is one of my all-time pet peeves and if Google indexes this and people hit up on it maybe they'll friggin learn something) this hurricane season is over.

Let's recap... We had one Hurricane Alert this year, and that was Hurricane Ernesto. Fortunately, he took a "right turn, Clyde" and went up the far side of Jamaica instead (watch the animated gif here) and got knocked the fuggout! There were a few other named storms this year, all the way through to Isaac ("Heyyyyy what's happenin?") A far cry from last year's Tropical Storm Zeta!

Before you know it, it'll be June 1st, 2007 and we'll be stocking the storm box again for another year

Thursday, November 30, 2006 8:19:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Sunday, August 27, 2006

Yesterday afternoon I was at work for a meeting of the hurricane commitee and at the end of it, just as it was wrapping up, someone went and checked NOAA for the update and it showed that Ernesto was going to jog north instead. That put us on the very southern edge of the projected path (the Cone Of Death as I've been calling it the last few years) and even pulled away from the Sister Islands (Cayman Brac & Little Cayman). It stayed about that way until this morning.

I slept in this morning, and just got up about a half hour ago and checked this morning's updates and theynow show Ernesto hooking way north, cutting across Cuba, skirting Key West and then hooking around to the NE and heading ashore near Tampa Bay. Of course, that's the 5-day forecast, and the further away you get from NOW, the larger the room for error is. In any case, Grand Cayman is out of the projected path and Cayman Brac is barely within the 3-day cone of death. There should be an update posted by NOAA right about now, so I'll check that when I'm done here.

The webcam is offline now, but the last image uploaded to the web server was from 9:55am this morning showing another beautiful sunny day with blue skies. I guess all the clouds and weather ar getting sucked towards Ernesto, leaving nothing but a breeze and good weather for us.


Sunday, August 27, 2006 7:06:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Saturday, August 26, 2006

I've got my webcam up and pointing out the window. It's not the best view right now, I need to fid something taller to put it on so the bars of the balcoy aren't obscuring the camera, and it's a bit washed out as the sun is going down, facing the camera, AND there's some window tint on the door that it's behind.

It refreshes every minute or so, but to refresh your view, you have to hit refresh (F5). If you want to link directly to it, it's

Update: Since Ernesto doesn't realistically pose a threat to us anymore, im taking the webcam offline. If he should radically change course and come this way again, I'll put it back up.


Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:48:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Pictures#
Last night at 8pm the Cayman NHC issued an Alert, which means we could be feeling effects within 48 hours (as opposed to  watch for 36 hours and a warning for 24 hours). Each successive update to the track by NOAA's NHC in Miami it's moved a little north. Right now it looks like Little Cayman is going to get spanked. We'll still feel the Tropical Storm force winds here, starting sunday night/monday morning around 2am.

Today though, the sun is out, it's warm, breezy, blue and clear. We may even be able to pull off a Beach Day tomorrow, too!

A few of us are going out for a dive at the Turtle Farm later on this morning, and then I have a few duties at work to take care of. Other than that, there's really not much to do but carry on. What's the point of sitting around the house waiting six hours at a time for the next NHC update? Tonight I think we're gonna head to Copper Falls for a steak, as they're probably going to be closed early tomorrow night to allow their staff to go home early and "batten down" and "take refuge".

Im not expecting much to happen with this storm, maybe the power will go out for a few hours, Monday will be a "snow day" for most people and then Tuesday the sun will come back out and everyone will go back to work.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 7:40:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Friday, August 25, 2006

After about noon today, activity picked up around the island. I popped in to Foster's by the airport and there was just a mess. Cars, people, everywhere. I thought for sure it would be until tonight or tomorrow that everything started getting really busy and shelves started getting empty. People were buying all kinds of things... As far as we knew this morning, we would start getting Tropical Storm force winds sometime in the early AM hours of Monday, and maybe hurricane force winds Monday late morning and then they should start to disspate after 1pm or so. Four hours of potential hurricane-force winds. Compared to the 36+ hours that we got uor collective asses kicked by Ivan two years ago, it's "Just a walk in the park, Cougar."

That said, I'm expecting the opwer to go out at some point Sunday night and be out for maybe twelve hours at the longest. Not a big deal, especially since I plan to be asleep for most of it (Monday's more than likely going to be a "snow day") I picked up a few things today, some water, a box of granola bars, that sort of thing. I'll probably head out to the warehouse tonight and rescue my hurricane supply locker. Not so much that I'll need all the stuff in there (solar shower, a week's supply of gelled cooknig fuel, water purification and such) but if we do get hit harder than we're expecting, I don't want someone else to 'recover' it before I can get out there.

As of the 4pm update, they've actually moved the track more to the north and now she's forecast to pass between here and Cayman Brac on Monday instead of passing directly over us. Next update will be around 10pm tonight, so as long as I'm not flat on my beak drunk, I'll post up something then.

Friday, August 25, 2006 1:43:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 19.5N, 81.2W or about 14.7 miles (23.7 km) from your location. The estimated time of when the center of the storm will be at that location is in about 81.3 hours (Monday, August 28 at 2:18PM EDT)
Friday, August 25, 2006 5:08:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
It's August 2nd already and we're only up to the C. This time, C is not for Cookie, but C is for Chris, as in Tropical Storm Chris. He/She (who's that? it's Pat!) is currently northeast of Puerto Rico and the forecast track is through the Bahamas and on towards Florida, or maybe curl back into the Atlantic. Who knows. I hope these guys don't know. The two most recent computer models that were run show Chris taking a more southerly track under Hispaniola and then under Cuba right into our backyard.

At this point, it's more like "hey look at that!" more than anything else, but like always, I'll be closely monitoring anything that has a name. Supplies are staying in the warehouse unless it actually does come this way.

As usual, here's a list of links to help keep up with weather this hurricane season (click on US>Tropical)

I may just set up a bookmark for all this and then I'll post up an RSS feed to all the hurricane resources. If I get inclined to do so, I'll post it up here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:45:03 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Saturday, June 10, 2006

It rained hard again last night. I rolled out of the sack at 8:00 this morning when Seb called me to remind me that the England/Paraguay game was on and he was over at Legendz waiting for me. I threw on some clothes and a rain jacket and staggered over there to watch the game and have some breakfast. Seb saved me a seat right in front of the projector screen. Eleni and her friend who's visiting was there, as was her co-worker Jim and his wife Julie. Mmm Mmm pancakes... but that's another post.

I checked the weather before I left and there she was: Tropical Depression #1. She could strengthen and become Arlene some time tonight or tomorrow as she heads for Florida.

On the way over, I saw that there were some palm fronds/branches down on the road, a couple Foster's Food Fair shopping carts had blown over/around and the an information booth/umbrella was laying on it's side in the middle of the parking lot in the Cayman Falls shopping center. It was breezy, but it wasn't raining.

During the game, it rained like a sonofagun, but of course we didn't know because we were inside in front of a 100 inch screen. When the game was over, I walked home and it was lightly raining but shortly after that the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. I had sent an IM to someone saying "well so much for the Ark, the sun's come out" and before he could respond, I heard rain start drumming on the roof.

According to this morning's NOAA Atlantic Weather Outlook, Grand Cayman received 22 inches of rain in the previous 24 hours. TWENTY TWO INCHES. That's nearly two feet! in 24 hours! That's almost as much action as Jack Bauer sees in a day!

This afternoon I took the Jeep out and ran around and did errands, picked up drycleaning etc and stopped by AL Thompsons (Home Depot-type) and picked up some hardware so I can finally get around to mounting my weather station. As of now, temp, humidity and rainfall sensors are set up on the balcony and transmitting to the base station here which is plugged into my desktop computer. Over the next few days I'll get it set up so that it's dumping it's data to the interwebs and I'll post up some data/URLs to check it out.

Tonight the moon is out, clouds are skittering across the sky and there was some distant lightning flashing from the south. Im sure it'll change in the next five minutes though :)

Saturday, June 10, 2006 9:17:10 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Saturday, June 3, 2006

It's June 3rd. THREE DAYS since the start of Hurricane Season '06. No, wait... less than 72 hours... They're already up to Tropical Depression #2 in the Eastern Pacific. TD#2 is just off the coast of Mexico, south of Acapulco and heading north. Fortunately, the NHC doesn't think there's going to be much, if any chance of it developing into anything. ANd what's with the name anyway? Tropical Depression? WTF? It sounds like something you get when you've lived here too long (cough)

This past week has brought some rain here, finally. If I had a garden, I'd be happy for the rain, but I dont. I have a scooter. Rain sucks. I've had to upgrade my rain protection that I carry around with me after getting caught in a deluge on Wednesday. Then I had to bag-up before riding home on Thursday and then again on Friday, too.

I slept in this morning. Bliss... I layed in bed with a cup of tea and watched a few episodes of Good Eats, and then two episodes of The Sopranos. I finally rolled out of the sack around 12:45pm, only because Seb called and I met up with everyone for lunch at PD's. Mmmmm pulled pork sandwich. Anyway, a thunderstorm rolled in while I was watching TV, so I shut everything down, rolled over and spent about 30 minutes just watching the rain come down. Awesome... Tomorrow will be another sleep-in day and then maybe some breakfast. I think we make break the chain tomorrow due to the weather. Every Sunday for the last three months or so we've filled the cooler with cold beer and sat on the beach and chilled out. Tomorrow's forecast is calling for 27kt winds! Woo! should be fun to watch, but remember that 35kt sustained winds are Tropical Storm force.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 2:16:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Thursday, June 1, 2006

Today is the first day of the rest of your life! OK, maybe not the rest of your life, but at least the first day of Hurricane Season 2006. NOAA is predicting a busier than usual season this year. Great.

For those of you who want to get your RSS freak on, NOAA's NHC has some RSS feeds that will tell you when any new bulletins are posted, as well as storm-specific feeds once a storm has been established.

You're supposed to have your preparations ready by today, but even with the heightened awareness of hurricane season, and the fact that TS Arlene came through this area in June of last year, I haven't really dont much this year. I picked up some water that was on sale this week, and this weekend I'll go out to the storage unit and inventory all the supplies and make a list of what I still need for this year and slowly start topping things up as I go. That way it's not all on one pay cycle and I don't have to go last-second shopping with the other 40,000 people and fight over the last cans of crap that are left.

What I haven't figured out yet is where to stash my Vespa, but I'll figure something out before the first alert, if we even have any this year (Shyeah! right!)

Thursday, June 1, 2006 8:32:15 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Yesterday, NOAA issued a test alert of their system, and a news agency in New Orleans (can't blame em for being gunshy) missed the "this is a test" part of the message and published it.
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 11:04:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Sunday, November 13, 2005
For the love of Pete, will this hurricane season ever end???
Sunday, November 13, 2005 9:25:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [11] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What a nice surprise this morning to see that the deep blue sea has returned, instead of being all white and frothy. There are still some rollers coming in, but they're breaking offshore and you can actually see mooring balls now. Further down the beach closer to George Town there's some breakers still but she's really calmed down now in the last 12 or so hours. Another day or so and Seven Mile Beach will be back in shape and calm, warm and crystal clear for snorkelling. Without the waves, the beach boats will be able to come in and pick up divers and things will get back to normal after a few “snow days“ of no diving.

The big story now are the grocery stores. It's been too rough for any container ships to dock in George Town, so they're starting to run low on perishables and some of the shelves are looking rather empty. I wish I had time to stop this morning and take a picture of the produce section of Foster's at the Strand, it looks more like a produce display rack showroom! They have little signs on all the racks and shelves saying that some items are running low because they haven't been able to resupply because of the weather, but that starting Tuesday they'll be airlifting in some perishables (bread and milk most likely). That's gotta be hella expensive for the grocers to do that, but to their credit, everytime it's happened before where we can't get ships in because of weather, all the prices have stayed the same.

On another note, this is a good thing to keep in the back of your head. When trying to reach someone in a disaster area, or after a hurricane, earthquake, Backstreet Boys CD signing appearance or whatnot, use SMS. SMS hasn't really caught on as much in North America as it has in Europe or Asia so you may not even know what it is. SMS is like email, you can send Short Messages (the SM of SMS) from handset to handset. It's a lot less 'strain' on a cellular switch than a voice call is, so chances are it will go through quicker than if you tried to call and call and call and call. Most providers have a web interface to send SMS messages through as well, such as this one from Cable & Wireless (Cayman).

My friend Shannon lives in Ft Lauderdale and told me beforehand that they didn't have a generator this time. Rather than waste my time trying to get through to her yesterday and if I did, chewing up her battery and if not, chewing up her battery while she checks her voicemail, I sent her an SMS message. That message popped up next time she turned her phone on, and she replied and told me she was ok without having to sacrifice any precious talk-time on her cell's battery. Now that I know she's OK, I won't sit here and nervously hit “Send/Receive“ every two minutes looking for an email saying she's OK. The other thing you can do is make sure you have a solar cell phone charger handy for times when there's no power, especially if you live somewhere where it's usually pretty sunny (so that kinda rules out Canada, but hey, very few natural disasters in God's Country, right Gramma?)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 5:55:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Sunday, October 23, 2005

Along with the website outage I had yesterday due to hardware at the server end in Vancouver, we've been having problems with internet connectivity period down here. Wednesday night (when Wilma was making her closest brush to Cayman) Nat called me and was having trouble with DNS resolution (that's what happens when you type in and the network says “oh yeah,, here it's 216.whatever.whatever.whatever” and connects you to it). Since then, the internet has been up and down and up and down. When it's up, it's slow. When it's down, it's down.

People have been calling me non-stop for the last few days asking if I could come “fix” their internet connection and I've had to try and explain that it wasn't anything that I could fix, that it was a problem with Cable & Wireless. “But I have a cable modem from WestTel!” Yeah well, then I have to explain that Cable & Wireless owns the fiber that goes off the island, so any other ISPs that pop up still have to lease circuits fro C&W, so in effect they still have a monopoly, even though it was “dissolved” very publicly over the last couple years.

I started to wonder if something happened to the submarine fiber optic cable, since it got washed ashore during Hurricane Ivan last year. I didn't know where the other end of it went until today. There are three links: one from here to Cayman Brac, one from Cayman Brac to Jamaica (and from there I don't know where it goes) and then the other side of the link goes from Grand Cayman to.... Cancun! Yeah, Cancun. So that link has been knocked offline and the entire IP infrastructure for the Cayman Islands is now travelling over the backup link from here to Jamaica. So while we DO have connectivity, the speed of it is waaaaaay down. No real sense of when it can be repaired, either. Im guessing they havent even got anyone on-site that can assess the damage, nevermind when it can get fixed and put back online.

Bunch of arse.

Sunday, October 23, 2005 9:16:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Tech#
Thursday, October 20, 2005
And some BIG-ASS WAVES! Keep in mind that the closest point of approach of Wilma was about 150 miles south-west of us.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 5:18:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures#
Pic(s) of flooding in Newlands. Newlands is on the other side of George Town from where I live, along the south coast of the island.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:58:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures#
90 minute commute through damaged streets.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 6:32:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I put my webcam up if you wanna see what it looks like out my window.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 8:41:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures | Tech | WWW#
I just went across the street to the shoreline (or near it anyway) and took a few photos.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 7:01:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures#

I slept through the night, and actually even slept in a little, too. I got up, looked out the window, there's no flooding here in West Bay so that's good, and I sat down here to check out the NHC website. OMG. Wilma's the biggest, baddest mofo on record. 175mph sustained winds and central pressure is down to 882mb.

I just heard on the radio that there was a little flooding in Bodden Town and East End, and there are a bunch of cancelled flights today, but gov't has advised that businesses may be able to re-open later today, but schools will remain closed today.

Im gonna put my canary yellow slicker on and go across the street and see what the waves are doing. and yes im taking my camera :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 6:03:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Of course I don't have my camera today. As I left Cafe Del Sol this morning on my way to work, I saw some cool looking clouds. Huge, tall puffy blackish clouds, and there was so much rain dumping out of them that the sunrise(well ok early morning light) looked brownish to the east and southeast. Looks like an outer band of Wilma is about to unload some rain on us this morning. She's forecast to pass well southwest of us now, but with this girl, anything is possible. Wind is coming from the East and Southeast just enough to make the palm fronds move a little and flags to flutter. Not more than 10-15mph at this point. For now it's business as usual, but at the same time I'm making mental preparations to put our plan into action should it arise, and I'm taking a few precautions, just little things like making sure my desk is in order in case I need to quickly put stuff up on top of it without crushing my sunglasses or spilling anything.

A few weeks back, someone sent me a bunch of pictures that purported to be hurricane katrina approaching Mississippi. They were bogus. Someone else sent me the same batch of pictures a few weeks before that saying they were pics of the Altona tornado. They DO look like tornado/wall clouds but I have no idea where they were taken or when. You can't “see” a hurricane coming at you like that. The eyewalls are way in the middle of the storm, and by the time you'd be close enough to “see” the eyewall, you'd have blinding rain and punishing wind. You may be able to see an outer rain-band, like I did this morning, but that's just clouds from horizon to horizon.

More info when I find stuff relevant to share.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 5:35:53 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Monday, October 17, 2005

She's wandering around aimlessly, like an ex-girlfriend at the mall with the former boyfriend's credit card. SHe just doesnt know where she wants to go, just that she's taking her sweet-ass time with it. Nothing really happening here today, no shuttering or closures that I've seen. The storm is actually moving SOUTH which is really odd.

The Cayman National Hurricane Committee has their own website now, it's and can be reached directly via that address, or probably a link from as well.

Monday, October 17, 2005 9:41:47 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Links#
Sunday, October 16, 2005

What a weekend. I got to the Vancouver airport just after 7:00am saturday morning, hoping to get on the 8:20 flight to Toronto. Full. 9:00. Full 10:00. Full and longer standby list. 11:00.. full. Noon? Full. 12:30? 2 spaces. I finally got to Toronto at 8:30, and Tina wasn't expecting me til 11ish. That was a bit of a a communications breakdown on my part, I said “see you in 8 hours” but really it was only 6 hours, plus the flight east is shorter. She also took the 8 hours from her time, 3:00 when I meant 8 hours Pacific time, or 8:00ish.

It was her birthday so I took her out for dinner (and also as a thank you for driving my ass around Toronto) and we went to Ruth's Chris Steak House. Wow. Holy wow. Quite expensive, but OMG was it ever good. From the BBQ Shrimp appy to the NY Strip (I forgot to ask how big it was but it was at least 14oz, if not more) with garlic smashed potatoes and sauteed mushrooms. Food coma quickly set in (and the bottle of wine helped with that) and before I knew it, it was 8am and I had to hurry-up and get to the airport for my Toronto-Cayman flight. Mercifully there were 22 seats available and only 6 on the standby list, so I got on. Otherwise I would have been Hosed with a capital H.

I get through, Jeep was a little rough starting up and one tire with a slow leak was a bit flat so I stopped and pumped it up, and made my way home. I pull into the parking lot and notice that our steps are blue.. it looked like kids had colored it with blue chalk and then the rain semi-washed it away. I also noticed a hot water tank sitting out front. Odd. Then I noticed the piece of cloth that I cover up Tweeter's cage with is sitting on it, so it's ours. Never mind unload the jeep, what the hell happened? I open the door and the first thing I notice is that all our grout is blue, too. Then I see the blue rug in the lounge isnt quite so blue anymore. Then I see my Xbox sitting on the coffee table, the surround speakers unlugged and on the stairs, and pretty much the whole apartment in shambles. I also noticed just then that there's a blue line all the way around the apartment. A high water mark of dyed water. The kitchen looked like a tornado went through it as well, but that was to be expected. I don't know if anything got ruined yet, I don't know if the landlords know about it yet, but what I do know is that there's a big empty space in the closet where the hot water tank is supposed to be so that means no hot water to do any laundry or washing up or showering.

Oh yeah, the other thing that made me realize I shouldn't have gotten on a plane this morning: “Welcome aboard flight 972 service from Toronto to Grand Cayman, Our flying time today will be about 3hrs 40mins at al altitude of 33,000 feet. Weather in Cayman is cloudy and 30c with the winds out of the south at 15knots” (Uhh, what? winds out of the south?) “There's a tropical depression about 200 miles southeast of Grand Cayman, but that shouldn't affect our flight today...” sure as Christ made little apples, I walk out of the airport and they've got Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch flags posted. I get home and pull up the National Hurricane Center website and check the graphics for Tropical Depression TWENTY-FOUR.

Not a happy camper.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 11:20:09 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Travel#
Friday, September 9, 2005
Well, almost.
Friday, September 9, 2005 4:47:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Links#
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Local TV & Gov't documentary about last year's Hurricane Ivan and it's effects in the Cayman Islands.
Thursday, September 8, 2005 4:04:38 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Cayman | Hurricane | Tech | Wireless#
Monday, July 18, 2005

Today was a normal work day, the only thing that was missing was normal traffic, but I'm the last person you'll hear complaining about that. The boards are still up on the windows, I guess we'll start taking them down after work tonight, if we can borrow those ladders again. If not, we'll take down the lower-floor boards and store them for next time and get the upper-floor ones when we can.

We put all our systems back up and online yesterday afternoon, and this morning have had to deal with sporadic network outages here and there, mostly due to end-users plugging their own computers back in and failing to remember to plug their network cable back in. No big whoop.

I got an email from my bud Ed who I used to work with at the dive shop in Texas, he was in Cozumel this weekend for a little diving. I was a bit concerned about him, but he emailed me last night from San Antonio and he got out of Cancun on one of the last flights yesterday before they shut down the airport.

Check out this 5-day history of wind, sea height and air pressure from one of the NDBC buoys located near 20N 85W.

Emily's back over water now in the Gulf of Mexico as a cat2 and may strengthen again to a cat3 before hitting Mexico or Texas later on tomorrow. It's amazing the amount of news that's coming out of Cancun and Cozumel, photos and articles. One thing I read on the Yahoo/Reuters report that totally gobsmacked me was a quote from a couple tourists from Quebec who refused to take shelter and wanted to stay out on the beach “because they've never seen a hurricane before”. What a couple of morons. First of all, there's nothing to see, as it went ashore after dark, and secondly, you can't keep your eyes open in 135mph wind, never mind the sand that's blowing at 135mph. People like that you hope get washed out to sea before they can reproduce and bring more stupid people into a world that's already full of them.

Monday, July 18, 2005 7:26:49 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Sunday, July 17, 2005

2005-07-16 HurricaneEmily 019
Originally uploaded by DocJelly.
OK, so after I went back to sleep (again) I got up around 10am and checked the websites. Gov't issued an all-clear and lifted the curfew at 9am this morning, and the airport will be open as of noon, I think.
I posted pics to Flickr from across the street at "the beach" (even though it's rock and no sand) so you can see the difference between now and last evening.
I also took some video clips that I'll post up here in a little bit.
Sunday, July 17, 2005 8:04:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#

been “sleeping” since midnight or so... rain is whistline around the plywood and can hear “sheets” of rain marching along the tin roof, but have heard harder rain before. Actually, TS Arlene (or what became TS Arlene a couple days later) sounded harder. Just woke up to take a whizz, heading back to sleep in a min. Power's still up, so looks like we're gonna make it through with minimal damage. Waves should be pounding us by now, but its still too dark to see and too windy to open the door. when I get up later on I'll go check across the street and take a few pics.

update 8:34AM: this latest squall JUST subsided. the only word to describe that much rain is 'Biblical'. Took some pics and video, later i'll venture across the street and see what the sea looks like
Sunday, July 17, 2005 1:59:18 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Saturday, July 16, 2005

RCIP has institutued a 11pm to 11am curfew tonight. Wind is getting nasty out there, Emily took a little jog north and now her CPA is 83 miles. We'll be just brushing the edge of the hurricane force winds in a few hours.

I was outside a few minutes ago, and called my parents and told em we're all ok here.

Im gonna try and get some shuteye now, so this'll be the last post until I have to get up to shut down the network gear attached to the UPS.

I've been listening to Radio Cayman online at and you can too if you want to. They just announced that they got some calls from West Bay that the wind has really picked up and all I can say is “uhh, yeah.” :)

No rain yet, either, but that'll change soon enough.

Until tomorrow (or sooner) :)

Saturday, July 16, 2005 8:03:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#

My webcam is on and pointing out the window, 2nd floor facing NE. If you click on it and see ladders or a face, that means the final boards are going up and that'll be the end of the weather cam :)

the more people on it, the less frequently it updates, so if it's slow to update, that just means there are a lot of people viewing it :)

Saturday, July 16, 2005 1:54:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Hurricane#

45 minutes ago, NOAA released the 2pm(EDT) update and they raised the official advisory to 155mph. One MPH higher and it's a Category 5 hurricane. Apparently this it the most powerful hurricane ever in July... We're going to start shutting things down here in about 15 mins. Should be done here by about 4 and home by 5ish to break down my computers and put em away, then sit tight and see what happens.

More info to come as needed.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 10:47:57 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

So I slept in this morning, figuring I'll be up late tonight and I don't want to be groggy or anything. Emily has strengthened to a Cat4 hurricane and is packing winds as high as 145mph (official forecast) but according to the flight engineer on the hurricane hunter this morning, it SHOULD be higher than that, but the dropsondes they dropped don't support his hypothesis, so NOAA is sticking with 145mph and higher gusts.

Im off to work in a few minutes, we have to shut down all the systems and cover up all the computers, then get the data backup tapes on one plane and the hard drives on another. Cayman airways is spreading out the planes, 2 to Miami, 1 to Tampa, 1 to Houston and 1 to Chicago, so our data should be safe SOMEWHERE.  Though this storm isn't forecast to head to Miami or the Gulf Coast, our policy has always been to get the two separated as much as we can, “just in case”

Our home preps are almost done, there's just a couple windows left to board up. Unfortunately one of them is right next to where I'm sitting typing this, so I'm a bit apprehensive that they haven't done this one yet.

Im going to hitchhike in to work and back, because I got the sweetest parking spot for my jeep and I don't want to chance giving it up. It's between the other apt building and the trash dumpster, which is a concrete block wall. She's facing south and protected east and west, so that should keep the brunt of the wind off of any parts that are soft top and instead the forecast ESE winds will hit it obliquely on the windshield. I also put a 2x6 across the roll bars above the front seats so that the five to ten inches of rain we're expecting won't collect up and stretch the top right there and maybe contribute to roof failure. I found a piece of plywood that fits across the roll bars at the back, too to support the back flap of the roof. Now that it's all done and “put to bed” I'll probably disconnect the battery tonight (just in case, before it gets dark out) and I dont want to move it from it's spot now. :)

We're expecting the conditions to get crappy around 4pm leading up to an eye passage (97 miles south) around 2am this morning. All bets are off though, the way this storm has been wobbling and can't make up her mind (typical...)

I'll post more later, and tonight after the weather starts to crap out.

NOAA National Hurricane Center
Cayman Islands Government
Naval Atlantic Meteorology and Oceanography Center
Crown Weather Service
*Storm Carib (Closest Point of Approach Application)
Weather Underground (computer models)

*Note: take things you read on Storm Carib with a grain of salt. The “reports” they tend to get from “the islands” tend to be a bit sensationalistic and repeat a lot of rumor and hearsay. They did provide a valuable service, in the form of message boards and a missing persons list last year, but the people who contribute to the site I wouldn't put 100% faith in for an accurate picture.

Update: 12:24 apaprently I screwed up on the links. they're all fixed now except BuoyWeather, as I dont have that URL with me here at work.
Saturday, July 16, 2005 7:48:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Hurricane | Links#
Friday, July 15, 2005

Someone sent me a link this afternoon that's kinda cool. Buoy Weather has computer models of the seas around given points. This one is a virtual buoy bobbing around in the ocean where Grand Cayman actually is.

Check out 7am on the 17th! Wave peaks (swells) of 38 feet! that's HUGE! Coming out of the East and then East South East means we're gonna be mostly protected here in West Bay, but South Sound is gonna take another pummelling...

We're gonna head down to Canton and have a last good meal for the condemned :D


Friday, July 15, 2005 5:15:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

The upstairs window is the only one that's not boarded up now... the good news with that is that maybe tomorrow morning I'll actually get a good few hours of sleep because its not blindingly bright in the room.

Emily's having some “growing pains” and has lost some intensity. Well done.

More after we're done preparing the apt.


Friday, July 15, 2005 2:01:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
good news, we just heard Emily is moving due west again. traffic is a nightmare in town. we were just at AL Thompsons getting plywood and they had tons of it (literally) were just outside Fosters airport store. theyre packed and people are starting to dbl and triple park anxwhere theres room. Seb & Junior are on their way into town to meet up and get the plywood from me and fill up my propane tank. today is actually slack at work, but tomorrow well be busv shutting down systems and packing away data. more to come when i get back toa computer and dont have to type on a phone keypad
Friday, July 15, 2005 10:47:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Thursday, July 14, 2005

I just flew in from Miami, and boy are my arms tired!

As of 11pm tonight, the gov't issued a watch, meaning we can expect hurricane conditions within 36 hours. I think al Alert is 72 hours, a watch is 36 and a warning is 24. Based on the most recent update, Emily is projected to strengthen possibly to a category 4, and also pass to the southwest of Grand Cayman by 42.4 miles early Sunday morning.

That's almost the same as Ivan last year, although Ivan was 20 miles closer on it's closest brush. Still, too close for comfort. Can't think, been travelling since 630am this morning and tomorrow sounds like it's going to be a busy day at work, so Im off to count sheep and I'll post my thoughts (and adventures in Dade County) tomorrow.


Thursday, July 14, 2005 8:34:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Have you ever seen (or maybe had it happen to you at some point) what happens when someone's body is moving faster than their legs and feet can keep up with? It's happened to me a couple times when I was a kid, usually when I was running down a hill, or hopped off a bicycle that was moving faster than I thought it was. Kind of like how a wave crests and breaks, when the top half of your body is moving faster than your bottom, you tend to fall over onto yourself. It's pretty dang funny when it's not you. I think I've seen this in various “America's Funniest Home Videos” clips and various viral videos that have been emailed around in the past.

OK, I'm getting off topic, but now that I've stopped giggling about it, I'll get down to what I was alluding to in the previous paragraph: Tropical Storm Emily. She's been moving west at close to 20mph, which is pretty fast for a storm. The good part is that fast storms dont strengthen like slower ones do. I guess it's harder to scoop up warm air and water the faster you're going. Emily hasn't strengthened like the forecasters thought she would, and the effect of that is that the Hurricane Warnings for the windward islands have been downgraded to Tropical Storm warnings.

She's still forecast to become a hurricane, but not until after she gets into the warm Caribbean and away from any landmasses and/or mountains. May or may not be good for us, it's still too early to tell. The five-day forecast track is still set to pass to the south of us and make a beeline for Mexico, passing south of Cozumel as well. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens in the next day or two, and then Friday weigh the reports and forecasts and see what's gonna happen this weekend.

The Taste of Cayman has been postponed (again) this time indefinately due to Emily, but they're going to do the drawing for the prizes next Wednesday anyway.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 12:14:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ok so as of the 11pm (EDT) update, TS Emily is moving just SOUTH of West? WTF?? the good news is that any and every deviation from the 5pm track is better for us, but a southern brush by a hurricane would be worse for us than a northern brush, as the northern quadrants of the storm are always worse than the southern, and that's where the nasty storm surge is, too.

Tomorrow and Wednesday should bring a clearer picture as to where it's heading to.

For now, here's a “new” site (new to me at least) that is basically a clearing house of all kinds of weather updates and links. and click on Tropical.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 7:28:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Tropical Storm Emily is following almost the same path as Hurricane Dennis just did.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005 7:57:16 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Friday, July 8, 2005
Kind of a misnomer, how can I make any observations when I'm asleep??
Friday, July 8, 2005 5:18:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Thursday, July 7, 2005
barring any erratic course changes, CI Gov't will issue an all-clear at 7am.
Thursday, July 7, 2005 7:17:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

Seems that we've managed to dodge a bullet. Overnight Dennis was tracking mostly west, which was not good for us, but now is tracking a lot more northwest. It's just off the coast of Jamaica now and looks like it's going to skirt along the south coast of Cuba (with a 12 to 14 foot storm surge!) and Cayman is now just on the periphery of the three day potential track path and Grand Cayman is all the way out of it.

Still, we're probably going to have some storm-force winds and a lot of rain. Power may or may not go out, but in any case, we've been busy little ants and are all good to go. Only thing on the “to get” list is ice, and I'll do that later on today. Little Grasshoppers (like Little Bucket) who don't have cars and send me IM's saying “crap I have to go get supplies today” get no sympathy. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2005 8:36:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, July 6, 2005

From GIS Press Release as of 6pm July 07:

Slowing down slightly on its path towards the Cayman Islands, Hurricane Dennis will bring heavy rainfall to all three islands and residents are urged to prepare for flooding as approximately 8 inches or more are expected to fall in the 24 hour period starting around 7 am on Thursday.

Still projected to travel just north of the Cayman Islands, Hurricane Dennis is now about 544 miles SE of Cayman Brac. Tropical storm force winds will most likely start to affect Cayman Brac around 8:00 pm Thursday, 8 July, and Grand Cayman by 3:00 am Friday, 9 July. If current projections hold, Cayman Brac should feel the strongest winds of 68 mph on early Friday morning around 3:00 am as the storm passes a predicted 42 miles north east of the island. Grand Cayman can expect maximum winds of around 41 mph before daybreak on Friday. All three islands should be out of all dangerous winds associated with Dennis by 2:00 pm Friday.

The north and western coasts of all three islands will see significant wave action and residents living close to shore should take all necessary precautions.


Well that's great news, considering I live on Northwest Point Road and the ocean is right across the street from me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 4:41:20 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Hurricane#

Well, there's really not much else to do right now. Preparations are being made, data is being backed up (I put last night's good backups in a ziplock before putting them back in the tape safe). I have some work to be done at home, but I can't do that til tonight, and hopefully our A/C is fixed so we're not busy bunnies in the heat.

Here's a link directly to the Cayman Government's National Hurricane Committee advisory log. There's an update from the NHC in Miami at 4pm local, and the Cayman NHC is meeting at 4:30pm local to discuss it. They'll issue a new advisory sometime after that, and then our plan of action will be derived from their advisory.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 12:42:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
The Cayman Islands' government has issued a Hurricane Watch as of 10pm Local tonight.
Tuesday, July 5, 2005 7:22:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links | Gadgets#
Tuesday, July 5, 2005 9:47:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Thursday, June 9, 2005

OK, so Arlene is 75mi south-southeast of Cuba, and pretty much out of any range of influencing us anymore. They stood down from the Tropical Storm Warning at 4:00 this afternoon as well.

We went out tonight, Seb and I met up with John, Matty & Kevin down at Aqua Beach. The sky was clear, the stars were out, and the wind was blowing pretty good. 25-30 knots, I'd estimate. As we left the carpark, we could hear waves smashing into shore across the street, and even saw the tops of some of the waves in my headlights.

There was a sort of haze hanging over West Bay, but what it was was a very very fine spray of water from the waves benig carried inland.

It rained while we were at Aqua Beach, and stupid me, I left the friggin windows open on the Jeep. Fortunately, the wind was coming from the South, so no rain actually got in, and I had a dry butt for the drive home.

That about wraps it up for Arlene for us, the NOAA 11pm Discussion said that Arlene actually had multiple mini-vortexes within an outer envelope of cyclonic action... is that a cool sentence or what? All those big, cool-sounding words, and it totally gives you a visual of it in your head. You can almost hear the Rube Goldberg Machine music from The Incredible Machine (or old Bugs Bunny cartoons) as you picture it.

Thursday, June 9, 2005 8:18:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane# I have a name to attach to the feelings! sheesh. It rained HARD yesterday around lunchtime, and then was off and on for the rest of the afternoon. By the time I got home from the gym about 6:00 our carpark was already flooded almost ankle deep... I was trying to gingerly pick my way across the lot on curbs and rocks because I still had my gym shoes on, but then it started to rain again, too.

When it rains here, it isn't like the constant monotonous drizzle you see in Vancouver, it's full-on, feels like a shower, Hollywood special effects rain.

It kept raining all night last night, and through the night. I kept getting woken up by yet HARDER rain slapping our zinc roof. It's been raining hard like that for 12 hours now and I heard on the radio just now as I was getting into the shower “prepare for conditions to deteriorate further” WHAT THE???

On top of all that, traffic's going to suck this morning worse than usual, so I better pitter patter and go get at er.


Thursday, June 9, 2005 3:54:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
well I'm sure some people will...
Wednesday, June 8, 2005 12:04:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Tropical Storm Adrian
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 5:31:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Friday, March 11, 2005
I've been trying to make a record of all the thoughts running 'round my head about how to address the "Six Months Later" article I talked about last month. Today is the six month anniversary and I still dont have anything concrete to write down. Fortunately there's a good piece in the Cayman Spirit today, parts of which I'll re-print (most likely without permission) below.
Friday, March 11, 2005 1:22:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Saturday was the five month “anniversary” of Hurricane Ivan tearing through here. Last week I thought I would do a post about what's been fixed/bulldozed since then, and also what HASN'T been done in the last five months. It turned out to be a lot more involved than I thought. I started to go through some of the 2200 pictures I have from the aftermath of the storm, and identifying things that would make good “after and after-after” shots, and then carrying my camera around with me to take those shots, and what exactly to say. I took some shots this morning, and I've been making some notes about what to write. Hopefully I can get everything together in my head and “on paper” and get something out in time for March 12th, the six-month marker. I'm also trying out Microsoft OneNote for this, so I'll also post about that in the future, too.

Richard has a post on his website about his hardware racks. Yes, racks. Plural. If I'm the übergeek, then I don't think there's a word do describe the ultra-geekiness of having not one, but TWO data relay racks in your house. He found these double-sided rackmount power-strips and I've asked for a link or a name so I can find em myself (we're in the process of designing and putting together multiple cabinets/racks in various locations throughout the company) and in doing so remembered a product I heard about a few months ago and had to go looking for. They're called Liberators (no, not THAT Liberator) and they're six-inch “extensions” that allow you to plug in your transformer/wall-wart without blocking the other outlets on your power strip or UPS. It's one of those things that makes you think “Geeze, I should have thought of THAT! I could have made millions and be kicking back on a tropical island with a fruity drink in my hand” except I'm already here. Well except for the fruity drink in my hand. (it's gotta be 5 o'clock somewhere, but it's 10:15 am here, so I'll settle for a cup of tea)

Someone in the office was asking me this morning if I knew of a website that would allow you to “track” a flight, where it was, it's altitude, speed, etc and preferably show it on a map. I asked her if she also enjoyed watching paint dry, but she did find a site called Aeroseek which does exactly what she was asking me about. If you have friends who are travelling, or you're waiting for someone to arrive, it could come in pretty handy. You might also want to do screen-grabs every minute, save it, and turn it into a stop-motion animation and then play it back in a vacation video or something, and you can have a “travelling by red line” sequence just like $imdb(Indiana Jones)!

I still haven't processed the pictures from Monday's dive. I have one of the most beautiful pictures I think I've ever taken underwater in that batch. Considering I was shooting with a digital camera without any offboard strobe, this picture came out poster-quality. I'll probably post it on it's own tonight or something, as well as put it on Flickr.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 7:29:23 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links | Underwater | Gadgets#
Friday, January 7, 2005
Mind you, the nation is only 20 miles long and about 12 wide, but don't burst my bubble.
Friday, January 7, 2005 11:43:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Wednesday, December 1, 2004

For some, December 1st is the start of Christmas Season (or Channukah, or Kwanza, or whatever... whatever you want to celebrate, have a good celebration) For others, December 1st is when they start holiday shopping (preferring to avoid the crowds of Black Friday) For me, December 1st means the end of hurricane season.

This year especially, I'm glad to see the end of hurricane season. Every year that I've been down here, we've been affected to one extent or another. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch ripped out the dock and the tank-filling room from the Lobster Pot. 2000 brought Helene which managed to blow itself out and passed between the Cayman Islands as a tropical wave. In 2001, Chantal passed by Cayman right when I got back from Texas (where I had to deal with the rain/flooding from TS Allison) and then Iris was looking like it was coming right for us, but didn't have too much effect on us. Just when we thought we were all in the clear, Hurricane Michelle passed by to the west of us and the southwest corner of the island took a beating from waves. All that hard work we did rebuilding the dock & tank room after Mitch was removed and we had to do it all over again. Hurricane's Isidore and Lili came a-knocking in 2002 but left without doing any significant damage and last year, 2003, was fairly light with just Claudette to come into our area.

This year, however was another story. We started off with Charley, the storm that wasn't. Somehow it managed to pass by us by about 30 miles. 30 miles away from the eye of Charley, and we had nothin. Jenny went in to work an hour late and I went to work in the afternoon. Charley later gave Florida a serious ass-beating. Earl was headed for us but fizzled out into an open wave as it got into the Caribbean. Then came Ivan (pictures). Ivan was so big that the National Hurricane Center hasnt finalized and posted it's post-storm analysis and report yet.

This spring, we had a tropical storm in April, out of season. It didn't go anywhere, but it was classified as a tropical storm because of it's characteristics. Yesterday the NHC started issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Otto, but it was way out in the ocean and heading in the wrong direction (ie not west!). Otto is out-of-season as well.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004 8:56:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Links#
Friday, November 26, 2004
This is a very long post about the day after the storm, Monday September 13, 2004. I wrote it up from notes I kept in a notebook I had with me. It's a very long post. Bear in mind that I wrote it strictly from notes and refrained from inserting little notes like "we later learned that this was bullshit" and instead at the very bottom are some observations based on knowledge I have now, as opposed to that day.
Friday, November 26, 2004 5:27:02 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Due to popular demand, Im posting links BACK to the stuff I wrote right after the storm. if you've already read them you can skip this.
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 1:24:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Last night I worked late. We got the servers (the main/important ones anyway) moved to the new temporary offices and got them wired in, and I was downstairs ghosting workstations and configuring them and all of a sudden it was nearly 8:00pm. Everton gave me a lift all the way home, as he was going somewhere near West Bay.

The lights have been on at 4-way stop in West Bay for awhile now. Subway is open there again, for starters. Two nights ago we were driving up NW Point Road and I saw STREETLIGHTS! unfortuantely they were on Town Hall Road (if you don't take the left fork onto NW point road towards the Turtle Farm, you stay on Town Hall Road, which leads you to Hell). Last night at the fork in the road, there was a streetlight on.. and streetlights heading down NW point road, too! I started getting excited! Power! wow! what was I going to do first? A/C? Laundry? ceiling fans?

The streetlights stopped about a block short of our house, right before Brittany Cove (where G & Darlene lived) WHAT a letdown! Damn! the good news is that while I was sitting at the table having a cup of capuccino this morning, I saw two CUC guys in hardhats walk past our place and around the side of the houses where the meters are, and when we left, we had to go around a big CUC bucket truck that was parked at the pole that feeds our complex! w00t!

I guess we'll have power back tonight when we get home! Our a/c units have been replaced (as in put back where they were, as opposed to being replaced with new ones) and plumbed/piped back into the building. Whether or not they'll work, or will work for an hour and then seize up I don't know. I can't see them spending the money to re-plumb them if they were bad, but I can't think of any way they could have tested them, either. Thankfully I'm already prepared for that eventuality. My little window A/C Unit from Superstar Mark in Austin is waiting for me down at Cargo.

Update! 0916 20.10.2004 Power is on! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004 5:48:56 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Monday, October 18, 2004

I've said it a few times lately... I really don't miss TV all that much.

Last week I had a rare couple minutes of mindless surfing, so I went to to see what was new. Someone had posted Season 1 Episode 6 of “Joey”. While I probably might have tuned in once or twice to see what the show was like, I really didn't care too much about it. What numbed me for a moment was that it was up to Episode 6 already. The LAST thing I heard about it was “Starting in September!”

I've “lost” six weeks of my life! Not lost in a bad sense, like losing a priceless heirloom, by lost in that I didnt realize that so much time had elapsed. On one hand, it seems like a short period since the “before Ivan” period, and on the other, it seems like another lifetime. I don't really remember what the island looked like anymore, how my car smelled (other than like ass a day after it rained) or what the landscape looked like. And that's not including the underwater landscape/scenery.

After all is said and done and power, water, telephone and cable are restored to our apartment, A/C is fixed and life returns “to normal” I'm not even going to remember what I used to like watching on TV!

Food Network and Comedy Central, which I waited (literally) years to get down here, are probably not part of the limited broadcasting that WestStar is providing (free for October and November). Those channels were good to put on when there was nothing else on, and provided interesting and funny “background” noise while puttering around in the house and/or on my computers. Discovery Channel is usually pretty good and nothing beats History Channel on a Sunday afternoon. Other than The Sopranos which isnt back for it's (final) season until 2005, I don't really have any other “must see TV”

But that'll all change when I get XMLTV sorted out and start running Windows Media Center 2005 or Freevo :-)

Monday, October 18, 2004 12:53:25 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#

Well what an enjoyable weekend THAT was! (not)

Friday evening HazMat Jenny made some sort of lo-carb pasta thing and I don't think it agreed with me AT ALL. I woke up around midnight and for the rest of the night I did my impression of the kid in The Exorcist Not fun. On top of that, there was no A/C. I lay there shivering and covering up with my fishie blankie, and then got too hot so kicked it off, and then the fan blowing directly on my sweaty carcass made it cold again... man, I got zero sleep. In the AM, when I ran out of bodily fluids to lose, I started cramping up. My god, it made my eyes water a couple times it hurt so much. Plus I was so dehydrated that all my joints started to ache. I finally got out of bed around 2:30 in the afternoon, but I still wasnt feeling well.

We had another cookout, at The Ranch this time, but I couldn't eat anything yet. I had a little Gatorade, but that started making my tummy growl again, so I stopped and switched back to water. Had some Chicken flavored Ramen Noodles last night and that stayed down, so I THINK I'm OK now.

Sunday morning Brad and I went down to James' house to rescue the spare parts for the Defender that he emailed me and said were there. We didn't have a key, so I gave Brad a boost and he went up and over the wall and through the roof which was no longer there. Unfortunately, someone beat us to it. The place had been looted already, James' new TV, his Playstation 2, and all the auto parts were nowhere to be found.

Today's moving day at work. Ugh. 9 servers, 4 dedicated circuits, 2 ADSL lines, all the handsets, the phone system and then get all the new computers configured and ready to go for the users. Thankfully we've decided (for our temporary facilities) to use 802.11g wireless instead of having to run and crimp all_those_friggin_cables.

I think we get power back at home tonight! Man it's going to be like the I HAVE CREATED FIRE scene from Castaway tonight if that happens!

Monday, October 18, 2004 7:59:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Tuesday, October 12, 2004

OK, so some of you were checking here (either by RSS or old-fashioned web surfing) in the days leading up to, during, and after the storm, looking to see if we'd all made it through. I won't beat any dead horses about lack of coverage of the Cayman Islands in the news, because it's moot now.

A few days ago I posted an article about how I had figured out a way to get Mobile Web working on my Motorola MPx200 SmartPhone, and mentioned how handy it would have been to have that during the storm, as Cable & Wireless' GSM network did not go down through the hurricane (you just sometimes had to go to places where the signal was strong enough to make a call) unlike other providers who took up to six or seven days to come back up.

With that setup, I would have been able to surf on over here via the built-in version of Internet Explorer, log-in, and post a “we're OK” message. Probably not much more, because typing a long message with a cell-phone keypad is probably the same sort of sensation as masturbating with a cheese grater: slightly amusing, but mostly irritating.

I've now taken it one-step further by figuring out how to access my email from the phone. It wasn't hard, it was just one of those things that I never got around to setting up. I can now download headers of my email and if something is important, download the message and respond to it right away. Other than that, it won't automatically check my email and download anything, because I only get ONE MEGABYTE of data per month, and then I get charged PER KILOBYTE after that. In an emergency, I would use it, but not for casual emailing.

Not only can I check/receive email on the phone, but I can send it out as well. I've also configured my website to accept posts from me via email. I can write an email (see above about message length) to the website and it will show up here as a new post automagically! Wicked-cool, huh? (OK, it's cool if you actually own a propeller beanie)

So NEXT TIME a Category Five Storm-Of-The-Century comes along and happens to hit Cayman right in the nose, I'll be able to post a message while sitting on the roof behind the chimney to stay out of the 225mph+ winds! (except we werent sitting on the roof, and no one HAS chimneys down here... who the hell has a fireplace in the tropics? Besides Barrie & Leslie that is)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 12:14:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Hurricane | Gadgets | Microsoft | WWW#
Monday, October 11, 2004

HazMat Jenny and I spent all day cleaning our apartment. What a huge job that was. I went in the week after the storm and wet-mopped the whole floor (even under the bed) and moved all the furniture around as I did it aside from the closets.

HazMat Jenny did the bathroom and bathroom floor, then we took apart the fridge & freezer and cleaned all that stuff out. We left the icemaker out cause it was busted anyway, and hopefully we can get a replacement.

There was a bag of frozen strawberries in the freezer (and some blackberries too I think) that I used for making smoothies back in the day, when we had power, water,  groceries and perishables. I threw them all out weeks ago, but they had still thawed to goo/puree and leaked inside the fridge and on the floor when I opened the door. We left the fridge & freezer clean and smell-free and put a bowl of baking soda in there as well to hopefully absorb some of the remaining smell.

We then tackled the rest of the kitchen, wet-mopped the floor and then tackled the Harry Potter room. Once that was cleared out and cleaned out we could start putting stuff into storage in there, making more room in the living room. Once evrything was pretty much cleared, we swept and wet-mopped the living room, and HazMat Jenny followed along behind me with the swiffer.

We moved the table & 2 chairs back down to eat on, and brought the couch downstairs as well. All that's left to do now is the bedroom, which needs another going over with the mop & swiffer, and the closets. I have the bookcase from upstairs in my closet with Jenny's stereo on top of it. It sucked up the water that was on the floor up about 6 inches. Once I get it out I'll check and see if the bookcase is still strong, otherwise I'll shore it up with some new wood and more screws. What do I care if the bottom 6 inches aren't up to Ork's standards? :-)

As we were putting the living room back together, I found a coin with a square hole in it in the corner of the room. I knew it wasn't mine, so I assumed it was Jenny's. I put it on the counter and continued mopping the floor. When we were done, I picked up the coin and said “is this yours?” She said “Yes, when I bought that coffee table at that Feng Shui place in town it had a little booklet with it saying to put this coin in the corner of the room to protect it”

Both apartments on either side of us had ceiling and flood damage and had mold & mildew multiplying on the walls. The buildings across the street from us were gutted and lost their roofs completely. SO did we have good luck, or did we have luck from the Feng Shui coin protecting the room, or was it just a huge co-incidence?

I should have put that coin in my car

Monday, October 11, 2004 9:04:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Saturday, October 9, 2004

The Barefoot Man has a new song that's already playing on the radio. I guess it's title is just “Hurricane Ivan” but ya never know. It might be something else. It's pretty funny, pretty topical, and you probably have to have lived here to get a lot of the “inside joke” riffs, too.

I've emailed him and asked for his permission to post a clip of it here, and you can buy the CD (and his other ones) on his website as well.

Moved back into my apt today. Jenny gets back in about.. oops! gotta run to the airport and get her! HazMat Jenny is going to have to make an appearance and we'll get our apt spic n span this weekend. Toby & Tweeter are happy to be back home now too, I think.

Bruce is heading home tomorrow, after living in (ahem) paradise with us for a few weeks. He's THE MAN who brought down the generator and food a few weeks back. We were going to have a cookout tonight (still thanks to Mark in Austin) but we're going to postpone it for a couple nights.

Saturday, October 9, 2004 12:13:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
Thursday, October 7, 2004

A 5th photo album is up now. These are pics from a couple weeks ago. Everton took them (with his sweet-ass EOS Rebel Digital) all the way out to East End and back. Pictures are of Ocean Club, Mariner's Cove, Bodden Town, Breakers, East End (including Morrit's Tortuga Club) and Northside. I also rearranged the photo album page so that there's a page just for Hurricane Ivan Photos separate from underwater and travel photos. Go on over and take a look.

Below is a link to a video clip from the peak of the storm, looking westish from the ranch. Right-click and select Save As and download a copy of it for yourself rather than keep clicking on it and chewing up Rich's bandwidth.

2004-09-11 Hurricane Ivan 163.avi (2.65 MB)
Thursday, October 7, 2004 11:14:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Hurricane#

Me with a beard. I call it “The Ché”

My body has gotten used to the new routine now, I guess it has been for a little bit now. I didn't think about it til just a couple days ago, and when I did, I realized just how alike every day is.

Usually wake up around 0530 when it starts getting light out (The roosters dont help, they start crowing at 2300 for awhile, and then at 0300, and then again around 0500 or so and then keep it up ALL DAY LONG. I really don't hear them all that much anymore, I guess my brain just filters them out. Water comes on around 6ish, and there's nothing like a cold shower to awaken and invigorate you, and get the slimy feeling of sweating all night off of you. After that, we fire up some sterno and boil the kettle for breakfast. Instant coffee and a slice of bread with \$g\((?PB&J[\w\s\d]+)\)  on it for breakfast.

I've never had a PB&J sandwich until this hurricane. As a kid, I didn't like it. As I got older and had Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and things I figured one day I'd give it a try. As PB doesnt really need to be refrigerated, I bought some and put it in my Hurricane Preparedness Kit. Same thing with oatmeal. I like Oatmeal cookies, but never really liked oatmeal on it's own. John says that's why we got hit with the hurricane, cause it was Mother Nature's way of forcing me to try them. :-)

After Breakfast, about 0630 or so I have a couple hours “to myself” while it's cool and light out. The last week or so that cool time has been spent up to my elbows in greasy Jeep engine compartment. Usually around 0830 or so I leave for work, and if I have any stops to make, I do them then (such as going to Parker's for car parts... I think they should just put a cot in there for me I spend so much time in there). Cafe Del Sol is open again, but I don't know if theyr'e serving coffee yet, just internet provision. Olde English Bakery is open downtown as well for internet access and The Full Monty! (I havent had one of those since before we did the South Beach Diet in Feb!)  They're also selling the “I Survived Hurricane Ivan” t-shirts to help the hurricane relief fund. I heard that last week alone they donated $10,000. at $15 bucks a shirt, THAT'S A LOT OF SHIRTS!

Speaking of Internet Connections, I finally got my MPx200 Mobile Web up and running. I REALLY wish I had figured it out before, as I could have been posting to here DURING the storm. The Access Point name in the Edit Data Connections page is CASE-SENSETIVE. Bloody hell.

So I get in to work around 0900. I spend the day troubleshooting (we've got our systems up and running here and there and connected via this-n-that) and extracting machines from the debris, cleaning them up and seeing if they still work. Thankfully all the data was stored on the servers which survived, as did their backups. If everyone had their own data locally, like some places do who don't want to centralize everything and give certain sysadmins “too much power” then we woulda been hosed. Lunch was being provided/flown in for us at first, but now that restaurants are starting to open up again, Lunch has been a lunch-break. Yesterday I went and sat at the bar at Lone Star and had a cheeseburger and fries. Little things like that that make it feel like we're making progress. Subway, BK, Wendy's are open, Fidel Murphy's is open, Hammerheads and Paradise Bar & Grill are open. Champion House is open as well, but a bunch of staff who have eaten there recently have all gotten sick, so I'll steer clear of there.

Work usually goes til 1700, and I usually stick around til about 1800. Get my “personal” surfing in on my own time, and then head home making a stop at Foster's at the Airport (which has a limited supply of meat now that other groceries don't) Get home, take another cold shower while the water's still on, fix something to eat around 1930 or so, maybe a little later.

By then it's pretty much pitch black. Finish up, clean up and then that's about it. I've been listening to the Freeplay Radio and reading by oil lamp and/or the ambient light on the Coleman Portable Power Center. Rarely am I still awake by 2200, but if I am, the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of West Bay. The Milky Way stretches from horizon to horizon, and there are SO MANY stars visible that it's hard to see even well-known constellations like the Big DipperOrion and Cassiopeia. There's more light pollution at night now that so many people are running generators, and along with that, instead of sleeping to crickets, you get to sleep to the sound of generators.

Lather, rinse and repeat as necessary.

Thursday, October 7, 2004 8:57:23 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Joanne & Jules modelling the Cayman Islands Fall Line

Yesterday Northwest Point Road was closed to traffic (well ok I drove around the cones) and there were close to 100 people from West Bay public dock all the way to about Watercourse Road. They were armed with shovels, rakes, brooms, machetes and chainsaws. There were also two or three dump trucks and a bunch of real-life-size Tonka Toys. NW Point Road is fairly cleaned up now, which was probably a pre-requisite for CUC to come along and check the power lines.

Yesterday I saw a map of CUCs projected schedule. West Bay was the first section, with a scheduled energising date of Oct 5th to 31st. That hopefully means that sometime this month we'll get power back in West Bay. We won't get A/C back, as all the A/C units behind our apartment were swept away by waves. Power does mean fans though, and that's a good start.

I'm still up to my elbows in the Jeep. Starting to piss me off, I've reached the limit of what I can do with my tools and my knowledge. FINALLY got the flare nut on the power steering pump to loosen last night, but it didn't really. It was the WHOLE THING that moved and bent/twisted/crimped the steel part of the pressure hose. At that point, I cut the hose on the rubber and pulled it out. Now I have to try and get the pulley off and onto the new pump, and then try and get the rest of the pressure hose off, get a replacement hose and try to get it on... THEN I can add fluid and bleed it out and hope that the issue is fixed.

If you're curious, they're selling those T-shirts at Olde English Bakery downtown, and they also have internet access available. Cafe Del Sol re-opened yesterday or today as well for internet access.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004 2:27:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Hurricane#
Monday, October 4, 2004

Just in case people were having trouble finding the photos of the storm, I renamed the link on the right (under where it says Navigation) to Hurricane Ivan Photo Albums just to remove any shadow of doubt.

Or you can just click here

Monday, October 4, 2004 7:36:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Sunday, October 3, 2004

Thanks to Mark M, we had real beef burgers last night. We all went over to Jo's and cooked em up over there. There were Zac, Steph, Joanne, Bruce, Matty, Me, Frank (who owns The Ranch), Jules, Susan and Tim. we had some cold drinks, some hot burgers, and we played Pringles Trivial Pursuit Chips for awhile. These chips have questions and answers printed on the chips themselves. Whoever got the answer right got the chip!

Curfew has been extended now til 10pm so we didnt have to eat & run like last time. We only went through one package of patties, so the other is in the fridge til maybe Wednesday or Thursday and we'll do it all again.

I ran out of razor blades when I was in Miami, I dulled out about 3 Mach3 razors trying to get the fuzz off my face. Thankfully I realized it before I did too much damage, and was able to leave some semblance of “I meant to do this” goatee (sort of) Afterwards I decided I'd keep it until Pirates Week (if we still have a Pirates Week this year) and hopefully by then (November) I'll have power back and can bust out the clippers and get rid of it all.

The New Cooler kicks ass, and I've been able to get some ice at work that's flown in from Cayman Brac daily. I only remembered that yesterday though, so FROM NOW ON we'll have a cold ice chest as well as the fridge every now and then when they fire up the new generator.

Sunday, October 3, 2004 9:34:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Saturday, October 2, 2004
It depends on your definition of normal
Saturday, October 2, 2004 8:48:58 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Monday, September 27, 2004
OK I thought I would take this time (now that I have some) to point out some people who have really made a difference in the last two weeks.
Monday, September 27, 2004 8:56:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

OK so it's bad enough that we're up to L (for Lisa) already and it's not even October yet. Four major hurricanes have hit Florida in one season. Cayman got hit by a Cat5 (not Cat5e, and not 802.11a/b/g) AND the day after Hurricane Charley passed by us, there was a 6.1 earthquake measured just south of Grand Cayman as well.

Now Mt St Helens is acting up again. Dozens of small earthquakes measured around the crater over the weekend. Scientists are flying over the dome today to measure gases and see what's going on. I still remember The Big One back in 1980. It was my seventh birthday, and we just moved to a new house. My mom said it sounded like a car hit the side of the house, and that was in Burnaby, a good 300 miles or so away from the blast.

Is it just me, or did George Bush use the cash cheat from Sim City on the USA one too many times? The only way we'll know for sure is if Godzilla turns up and starts stomping through Seattle!

Monday, September 27, 2004 7:27:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Sunday, September 26, 2004


I have not heard gunfire at all in the last two weeks, and I live in West Bay which generally is the armpit of Grand Cayman. We've slept with machetes nearby, just in case, but haven't had anyone coming around the house at all at night. I HAVE seen police patrolling around at night with all their lights on, “showing the flag”.

I've been reading some of the accounts of people who have left and got quoted in newspapers and online and stuff. Some of it is accurate, and some of it is just complete and utter BS.

The only gang of men armed with machetes I saw was on the Monday after the storm, two of them also had axes, and one had a chainsaw.

They were not running around menacing anybody, they were walking through ankle deep water and trying to clear away fallen trees so the roads would be open, and in some instances, access could be granted to houses that were “blocked in” by limbs and trees.

The first day that they said the gas stations might be open, there were huge long lines. Today I drove right into On The Run Esso in Industrial park, went in and got some chicken strips and a cold Dr Pepper. Joanne was saying that the third day that the gas stations were open, she was in line, got in and out in about 20 mins.

The Tuesday after the storm was chaotic at the airport. the terminal was closed, and Cayman Airways was operating a medical evac flight, and then 2 or 3 other flights out of the maintenance hangar. Customs and Immigration had tables set up and were trying to function as normal for the few people that were inbound with supplies, and keeping track of who had left. By Friday they had the terminal cleaned up enough and got the emergency generator back online so that people could be processed through at the check-in counters and screened through the security checkpoint as per usual. As soon as there were no more free flights, the crowds all dispersed.

I have about 700 more pictures that I copied from Everton whom I work with. I might take some time tonight to pick some of them and post them to the photo albums page in the next day or so. I also have video that Brad took before and during the storm, and that I took when I went with him on the Monday after the storm, but that's a long ways off, editing-wise.

Courtenay Platt, a local photographer has some pictures posted at Blue Ocean Art.
David Wolfe, another local photographer has 350 or so pictures posted on his web site.
Arthur McTaggart, one of the SysAdmins at Cable & Wireless posted some photos from during the storm on one of C&Ws servers. This one may or may not still be up.
David Olson has nearly 1000 photos online on his site now, using Coppermine, a free PHP gallery available at Sourceforge. The cool thing about that site is each photo has a “comments” section that has turned into an impromptu discussion board

Today I sunburned my back while working on some cars. Out of 4 of them, Im hoping to have one working reliably in the next few days so I can turn in my rental which is going to start breaking the bank soon, even with the great rate they gave me(plug plug plug). I was supposed to go to Tampa today and delivery some data, but the flight was cancelled because Hurricane Jeanne is passing by Tampa right about.... now.

Man I'm going to need a vacation soon... somewhere with cold and snow... a place where the women flock like the salmon of Capistrano... a place where the beer flows like wine! Yes my friends, I'm talking about a little place called ASSSPEN. I hear California is beautiful this time of year. :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2004 12:51:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Friday, September 24, 2004

I have another 4 or 5 days of journal entries handwritten in a book, I just havent gotten around to organizing it and typing it. I can't believe it was almost 2 weeks ago already.

My car is pretty much toast. I stopped by GT Automotive this morning, a couple of the guys were around and I asked them if they knew when they would be re-opening again, and they said Monday, but dont bring your car in, we have no room for it. I said well i cant easily do that anyway, id have to drag/tow it. They took my name and phone number and said they would come out and look at it when they could, but considering that it's an Integra and the water was half-way up the drivers seat, they'll probably come out, look at it for 5 mins and give me a form for Insurance that says it's a total loss. Even if they could get it started, chances are that something else would go ithin the next few months, or even start a fire. They were hesitant to work on the cars and charge people those rates because they didn't think it was fair that someone pays 500 bucks to get their car running and then it dies or catches fire in two months. Don't you wish all mechanics were that honest? :-)

It wouldnt have been so bad if I actually HAD insurance though. I had let it lapse until this week because I was waiting to get paid to renew it. But even if I had insurance, I only had “3rd party liability” insurance on it, not Comprehensive which would have covered this. Last night I was listening to the proceedings from the legislative assembly, and the Leader of Gov't Business (awkward way of saying the guy in charge who's not the Governor) was talking about transportation and said that according to his sources between 5000 and 10000 cars were destroyed.  He also mentioned that most of the cars only had 3rd party liability insurance, and said something about one of the laws/rules that cars older than 4-5 years were not eligible for comprehensive insurance. that was new to me. if that was true, then I couldn't have gotten it for my car anyway (which was 14 years old but looked about 2 or 3 :'( ) He suggessted that Gov't should relax the 27% duty on importation of cars temporarily. Sounds good to me! Japanese Vehicles is going to be pretty busy shipping stuff here for the next while, I think. It's by far the cheapest way to get a vehicle, and since they're all RHD cars, they can come straight in. Personally, I think Im going to start scouring the auto trader in the US. Maybe even Ebay Motors. Mike at Sprite was telling me about his adventure buying a car on eBay last time I was home.

Friday, September 24, 2004 6:50:50 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Journal entry from Sunday morning at the peak of the storm
Thursday, September 23, 2004 7:57:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Journal entry from Saturday night and Sunday Morning when the storm ripped through here
Wednesday, September 22, 2004 7:16:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Tuesday, September 21, 2004

OK, I have some photos up now. Click Photo Albums over on the right there, and there are 4 photo galleries with 20 pictures each in them. that way those of you who are still on dialup wont get hammered all at once.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004 8:17:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Monday, September 20, 2004

OK this is something I could REALLY use right about now

Coleman Portable Power Kit it's a solar charger for cell phones/mp3s cameras, etc and also is a solar-powered light and radio.

The problem is that Amazon says it takes 1-2 weeks to ship. Dat No Good, Mon. it's also for sale at Costco, but they don't have any availability online, other than their online store which again says “1-2 weeks” which is no good.

Could you PLEASE call/visit your local Costco stores and see if they have it in stock? Email me (address at bottom of this page) if you find one, and I'll give you an address in Miami to send it to that will get it here pretty quickly.

Thank you for the calls & emails. Along with penis enlargement, viagra pills, online dating and home refinanance emails, there are over 1000 emails in my inbox. I quickly scanned through them today when I got online, and replied to a few of them, but don't be scared if I haven't replied yet, I can only get online for a little while while I'm at work, and when I'm here Im usually you know, working. :-)

I'll be posting stuff here, and once I get back on my feet I have about 15 pages of notes I kept during the last week of the storm and it's aftermath. I have close to 200 pictures and video clips to sort through, size, describe and post as well.

If you'd like to send me a text message, go to Cable & Wireless's SMS portal and type out your 160char message there. Please leave a few chars at the end to sign it, as it will just say “from” 555. My mobile # is 925-3833. That's 925-DUDE. :-)

Monday, September 20, 2004 2:20:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Friday, September 17, 2004
When that 155mph Storm asks you if you've paid your dues, you can look that bastard right in the eye and say "Yes sir, the check is in the mail!"
Friday, September 17, 2004 12:20:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Saturday, September 11, 2004

still have power... pretty surprising. last gusts were about 80mph Albie thinks, and that was pretty scary.

patio doors in the back here are groaning and creaking with the wind already. shit's supposed to start hitting the fan betwen 12-2 and the eye between 6 and 8.

going to be a long night.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 7:26:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Hurricane#

whoever just tried to call me, call back, it rang once and then said missed call

Saturday, September 11, 2004 6:22:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Hurricane#

Cell phone have stopped working, landlines are down

but curiously, the DSL modem is still syncing with the CO.


we're moving beds around right now, trying to avoid the windows and thinigs like that.

expecting the power to go out at any time now.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 5:34:38 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

west bay shelters are full, so we're stuck here... this is the last computer up, I already put my stuff away. packet8 is down and wrapped up, too. power is SCHDULED to go out around 9pm. water has already been turned off. we were just outside on the patio and saw a big bright flash at the same time the lights flivckered, so as soon as that shit starts happening they'll cut if ff to prevent shorts adn damage. At that point we're on batteries and stuff.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 5:02:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

OK, that was a big gust. Albert and I were on the northeast side and a gust came through and the deck felt like it moved... IM going to stay online a little longer, but soon we're going to have to decide what to do and where to go.

unfortunately the shelters don't allow any pets... :'( there are 2 dogs, a cat, tweeter and toby here with us

It's starting to get bad here, this might be the last update. the eye is supposed to pass right over us at around 7am tomorrow, and then we'll go through all of this again, but from the opposite direction...


acables flickering now. power and net could go at any time

Saturday, September 11, 2004 3:24:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Hurricane#

it's' about 50mph out there now, and the gusts are getting pretty strong. Toby is in the closet in the bathroom, tweeter is on the kitchen counter at the moment, but he'll probably go into another inside room/closet soon, too.

Just heard a report from Comfort Suites that they're all being evacuated along with the rest of Seven Mile Beach, but where are they going to put all those people? there are 2500 spots in the shelters and as of 2:00 there were about 500 people int he West Bay shelters. Someone else called up here and said that there are trees down in Red Bay already. Were up still, with power, water, cable & internet. webcam is up, if you have yahoo messenger, add me: and you can view it too.

Next update from the NHC is at 7:00, we'll be waiting for it.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 2:32:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
5pm update has the eye crossing Grand Cayman from Southeast to Northwest.
Saturday, September 11, 2004 1:40:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

if you have Yahoo Messenger, you can view my webcam. my yahoo userid is

The Camera is pointing out the window facing west right now and it will stay up as long as we have net and power.


Saturday, September 11, 2004 1:06:17 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Saturday, September 11, 2004 12:06:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane# and for advisories and updates til then




Saturday, September 11, 2004 8:06:12 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

Things do not look good. the 11am advisory from NOAA puts the eye of Ivan VERY FUCKING CLOSE to us, which means that Grand Cayman will get the full force of the NW quadrant of the storm.

I've moved everything downstairs thinking the roof would come off first, then after we boarded up starting taking everything back upstairs because now the biggest threat was flooding, but now it really doesn't matter. 150mph winds and 20 foot storm surge/coastal flooding means that no matter what I'm screwed. I hate to even think about it, but Im starting to get my head around the fact that WHEN it gets worse and we're forced to leave, that everything in the apartment is going to be a total loss.

Our power went out right after the first rain band/squall came through, but apparently it's pretty localized, as Matty is onine over at the Ranch, and Renee is online who lives behind Fosters at the Strand. Todd, you remember how hard the rain was hammering on the roof when that storm came through when you were down? well it was about THREE TIMES HARDER than that. THEN the power went out. Our parking lot has about 2-3 inches of standing water in it at the moment, and it's only going to get worse and turn into feet if it rains like that constantly.

I've packed a “go box” of food & stuff in a big rubbermaid containerand Im going to have to re-evaluate what I've put in my pelican box. The laptop was up on top of the kitchen cupboards, but now Im going to put it in the waterproof case.

OH my neighbour just popped online so the power must be on back home. Im gonna finish this up and then head back there, plug in the packet8 phone and do some calling while I can.

Jenny: birds are in the bathroom up on high, your clothes (most of them) are in your laundry sacs and inside big garbage bags.

I'll call when I can.


111458W.gif (30.75 KB)
Saturday, September 11, 2004 7:55:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Friday, September 10, 2004
We "borrowed" some materials and boarded up all our windows this afternoon.
Friday, September 10, 2004 4:47:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Ivan has pushed a little more west on the forecast track, which is bad for us...
Friday, September 10, 2004 2:02:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#



Hurricane Ivan Noon Friday NHC Advisory
Issued 11:45 am: The centre of Hurricane Ivan is currently projected to pass 16 miles ENE of Cayman Brac at its closest point on Saturday, and with the Category 4 system expected to strengthen further, the Sister Islands are urged to prepare as for direct impact.

At the same time, a slight change in the projected path could result in Grand Cayman experiencing similar conditions. All three islands should therefore ensure that they are fully prepared.

Nature of Impact
Latest projections indicate that Cayman Brac and Little Cayman should begin feeling tropical storm force winds from early Saturday morning. On Grand Cayman tropical storm force winds are anticipated to begin early Saturday evening.

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman can expect that hurricane force winds will start at on Saturday night and will continue until early Sunday morning; following that, tropical storm force winds are expected to last until Sunday afternoon.

Battering waves and seas will affect all coasts of the Sister Islands from early Saturday and the north and west coasts of Grand Cayman from this evening (Friday) through to late Sunday.

Average daily rainfall of greater than three to six inches, beginning Friday evening through to Monday, is expected. Higher rainfall accumulations are anticipated over the Sister Islands. Rain bands are expected to spread across the entire Cayman area from this evening.
This could lead to extensive flooding in the Sister Islands and on Grand Cayman over the entire weekend.

Wave heights may rise to six to nine feet, especially over Cayman Brac from late tonight (Friday), increasing to 12 feet or greater by Saturday morning. These battering waves will persist over the Sister Islands through Sunday morning.

Aggravating the already dangerous situation for the Sister Islands, high tide is expected around 8pm Saturday at about the same time as predicted maximum winds for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Consequently, at these times, these islands are likely to have higher than expected storm surge levels, resulting in increased severity of battering from breaking waves.

Full Advisory Here

Friday, September 10, 2004 10:04:38 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

I've re-activated my old cell phone number this morning, as my GSM phone has a rather short battery life. If landlines/power is out it'll be my only comm tool, so I want to make sure I dont have to run my car for an hour to charge the GSM phone if I don't have to.

If you don't have my old cell number, drop me a line (link at the bottom of the page) today or tonight and I'll send it to you. my home number is unplugged at the mo, and my VoIP phone is disconnected and the ATA is in my laptop bag.

Update: my phone won't “recharge” so don't bother calling it. I'll have my cell phone on until the batteries give out. I might switch it off for awhile to conserve batteries once I'm hunkered down, so leave a voicemail and I'll get it when I power back on

Friday, September 10, 2004 5:32:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

Results for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (19.28N, 81.35W):
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 20.3N, 80.1W or about 107.3 miles (172.7 km) from your location. The estimated time of when the eye will be at that location is in about 47.5 hours.

Considering that Hurricane Force winds extend for 50 miles from the eye, and TS force winds up to 175 miles from the eye, Grand Cayman can be placed in the “less fucked” column. This is if it stays on it's projected path, and since when does Mother Nature follow predictions? Now on to the “Well and truly fucked” column:

Results for Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands (19.76N, 79.74W):
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 19.8N, 79.6W or about 8.5 miles (13.7 km) from your location. The estimated time of when the eye will be at that location is in about 42.9 hours.

If Ivan follows it's forecast track, the eye will pass 8.5 miles away from the island. Let me emphasize that the eye will pass 8.5 miles away from the island. Can it get any worse? Well yes it can.. Brac & Little Cayman are in line for the NW quadrant of the storm which is the worst of the four. They've increased the storm surge to 5-8 feet as well. Little Cayman is little more than a big sandbar. Cayman Brac at least has some structure to it, and a lot of people are planning to ride the storm out in the caves on it's namesake bluff. Im on my way to work in a few mins, and then there'll be the 7am update from NOAA and I'll post more info then.

Friday, September 10, 2004 3:35:18 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Thursday, September 9, 2004

Results for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (19.28N, 81.35W):
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 20.4N, 80.0W or about 114.3 miles (183.9 km) from your location. The estimated time of when the eye will be at that location is in about 53.3 hours

results from “Closest Point of Approach” on 

As of 10pm local, the track has been moved slightly left, or almost directly over Cayman Brac. Bad day to be on the Brac tomorrow night and Saturday. If we're 114 miles away from the eye, then we should fare not too badly. Still only 3-5 foot storm surge, but on top of abnormally high tides (it was REALLY high tonight when I was driving home) it could make for some big waves. I think the oceanfront across the street from us should be fairly well protected, but the N and NW faces of West Bay, and South of Georgetown will take a pretty good thrashing, like they did with Michelle. Nat and I figure that we'll get up to about 100mph winds here in Grand Cayman, but all bets are off for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. they're in the direct path of the NW Quadrant, which is packing the 150mph winds.

I have to be in at work at 7am, and we'll probably be outta there early. I'll post again in the AM and then again before I leave work.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 9:43:56 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

 As of 5PM Local, the National Hurricane Committee issued a Hurricane Warning for the Cayman Islands. This means we can expect Hurricane Conditions within 24 hours. Ivan is just a huge, huge storm. It's been downgraded to a category 4 hurricane now, because the winds have dropped to ONLY 150mph. It's forecast to fluctuate up and down from 4 to 5 between where it is now and when it makes significant landfall in Cuba Saturday night/Sunday morning.

We're getting some thunderstorms currently, the last lightning crash was so loud, I thought there was a car accident, and a co-worker was walking in the front door and thought it was an explosion and he jumped and nearly hit his head on the doorframe. We wont start to see real detorioration in conditions until tomorrow evening, and when we wake up Saturday morning, it'll be a'howlin. With the last update at 1700AST the eye was moved west almost passing directly over Cayman Brac. A couple more shifts west/south and it'll be right on top of us.

I don't have a lot of faith in most of the buildings here holding up to that. I havent been home all day, but I dont think management is putting up any boards at our apartment complex. They didn't for Charley, either and that one passed 25miles from here. One flying coconut through a window (and what are the chances of that happening) and 130mph winds will fill up the apartment like a balloon and blow out the other windows (and possibly eardrums) and if that doesnt equalize the pressure, then it'll pop the roof from the inside, which then can get “caught” by the outside wind and taken off. If any of the above happen, everything in the apt will be damaged by rain... and that's not taking any storm surge/large battering waves/flooding into account.

SO, Im finishing up here at work, going home to make preparations, positioning food & water so that they'll be accessible in the event that the structural integrity is compromised (a nice way of saying if the shit hits the fan). I'll be “packing” a go-bag with some underwear and socks & water & a flashlight & batteries in case I need to grab it and run on Saturday. It's not far from my apt to a shelter, but the road my apt is on is about 30 feet from the ocean, and there's an empty lot right across the street from us.. no other houses to stop the big waves. After seven years here, I could be back to square one.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 2:03:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Effective immediately, airlines are being instructed to discontinue transporting visitors into the Cayman Islands until the "All Clear" has been issued. Residents will continue to have the opportunity to return until the airlines stop flying. Given the severity of the storm, the NHC continues to advise visitors to consider departing by Friday. Large numbers of visitors have already voluntarily ended their vacations early and departed.
Thursday, September 9, 2004 9:14:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Thursday, September 9, 2004 7:11:09 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Issued 8:30am: Overnight Hurricane Ivan strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds over 160mph. Residents are urged to continue taking all appropriate precautions for the forecast conditions. Hurricane Ivan is strong, dangerous and residents should continue their arrangements, planning for the possibility of being impacted directly by the storm.
Thursday, September 9, 2004 6:42:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

We'll be upgraded to a Hurricane Warning soon, which indicates Hurricane Force winds within 24 hours. Ay carumba. Ivan has a central pressure of 916mb and a 15mb drop in the last 7 hours. The last storm that was thi big was Mitch in 98, which dropped to 907mb at one point. NOAA's website describes a Category 5 storm as follows:

Category Five Hurricane:

Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required. Hurricane Mitch of 1998 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity over the western Caribbean. Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is one of the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclones of record.

The good news (for us at least) is that it's still forecast to pass to the northeast of cayman brac and make it's first landfall in Central Cuba. The predicted path of course is +/- 75 nautical miles, so it could come 75 miles closer, or 75 miles further away. We're still within the predicted path area.

With this latest news, you'll start to see people flurrying around the island making preparations. Yesterday people were pretty nonchalant about making preparations and buying supplies at the supermarkets, today those preparations will take on a more urgent note. Kirk's supermarket had crews out “pruning” the trees in their parking lot. I saw “pruning” because they were “pruned” the way my dad “prunes” trees leaving nothing much more than the trunk. We'll probably be making preparations at work now, too. They've added more flights, and American and Air Jamaica are sending extra, and bigger planes than usual to carry more people out.

OK I need to get out of bed and go get in traffic now, next update around 1100 local or so.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 4:19:36 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, September 8, 2004
This means that we can expect Hurricane conditions within 36 hours.
Wednesday, September 8, 2004 7:33:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#

We're under a Hurricane Alert for Hurricane Ivan. I called my parents and Jenny last night and said “I have a bad feeling about this one...” I've been through a few now, some close brushes, some false alarms and some pretty close ones over the years down here starting with Georges in '98 which was a false alarm, Mitch later that year that took out the Lobster Pot dock, Irene in '99 which missed us, Debby in '00 that dissipated and re-strengthened after it passed us, Allison (from Texas), Chantal & Iris which didn't do any damage and Michelle that did in 2001 and Isidore & Lili in 2002. 2003 was a quiet year, but this year is crazy. I'll post updates as I hear/get them from various sources.

Weather resources
Cayman Government Hurricane Committee
Weather Underground Computer Model Map projected path
NOAA National Hurricane Center
3-Day Closeup projected path map (refresh for current map)

Wunderground Strike Probability Map
El Tiempo Cuba Weather & Doppler Radar (in Spanish)
Reports from the Islands (Storm Carib)
Home Weather Station on the East End of Grand Cayman

Wednesday, September 8, 2004 7:20:50 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
I wonder if I'll be the first one to use this term this year...
Tuesday, September 7, 2004 10:09:39 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Monday, September 6, 2004
Sunday, September 5, 2004
Charley slams Florida from the west, then Frances from the East. Ivan is already a Cat3 and might come this way next weekend... on its' way to the gulf coast anywhere from texas to the florida panhandle.
Sunday, September 5, 2004 3:23:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Hurricane#
Friday, August 13, 2004
We got the "All Clear" yesterday, and then Charley went and spanked Cuba and tore off some roofs and downed some trees, picked up steam and SKIPPED category three and went right to 145mph Cat4 and went ashore near Ft Myers beach in Florida. Now that that's said and done, TD#4 is on the way, and TD#5 is supposed to be a hurricane by the time it hits Jamaica next Tuesday
Friday, August 13, 2004 2:40:58 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Cayman Gov't has issued the "All Clear" signal.
Thursday, August 12, 2004 11:40:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
What do you mean you're done?
Thursday, August 12, 2004 9:35:36 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Charley's eye is currently 56 miles away from the airport on Grand Cayman, as of 7amEST
Thursday, August 12, 2004 6:28:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Strongest winds should be around daybreak tomorrow morning
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 4:01:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Gov't has closed it's offices as of 1pm, all non-essential staff here is being turned loose shortly.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 10:15:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
The track has been adjusted again, and shows that it will strengthen to a hurricane class 1 this afternoon and pass between us and the Sister Islands tonight.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 8:07:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 4:58:47 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
It really is eerie.. there's NO wind, the stars are out, there's very minimal wave action along the beach... Hurricane Watch declared at 7:00
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 8:55:12 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
The declaration of the "Warning" denotes that tropical storm conditions are expected to affect all three Cayman Islands within 24 hours, that is, by tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. If TS Charley continues its current path, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman can expect to begin experiencing tropical storm force winds of 39 to 74 mph by early Wednesday night, with the centre of the system expected to pass 25 miles to the south of Cayman Brac at around midnight (Wednesday).
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 4:38:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
The 5:00EDT advisory changed the track of Charley significantly and is now poised to angle up between Grand Cayman and Little Cayman almost passing directly over Little Cayman
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 1:35:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 10:14:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane#
Monday, August 9, 2004
First tropical storm in the Caribbean Basin recorded today...
Monday, August 9, 2004 11:13:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hurricane | Links#
Admin Login
Sign In
Pick a theme: