‘Posts may be sporadic for the next few weeks’ so said my last post but, I was anticipating days of outdoor life; swimming, walking, eating outdoors with no time to sit and write a post indoors, but…
When we headed off for our holiday last week we were slightly smug that we were leaving a cooler, misty and wet Cornwall for warmer climes. We were feeling sorry for all those families who were having a rotten time and if you choose our part of Cornwall there isn’t much else to offer except for a few miles of beach, mind you that’s what people love about it when the weather is good. Regular readers of this blog will know that we have a penchant for Hawaii and have been going for many years. We were heading out again last week unaware of weather patterns in the Pacific ocean until our flight attendant reminded us to be safe during the oncoming hurricane.
Excuse me, did you say Hurricane… yes its a category 5 – the worst it could be.
You have to realise that we don’t do hurricanes in the UK, we’ve had winds of up to 75 mph and rain that floods [a previous house was flooded] but the reality of tropical storms and worse are something we’ve never experienced. Mad friend had to You Tube a Cat 5 hurricane – she wishes she hadn’t. You see them on the news or TV programmes called things like ‘The World’s Worse Weather’ but if they’ re happening on the US mainland people living in the path of the storm given ample warning are able to move away if they so wish, but here on a small island, a dot in a huge ocean, there’s no where to run. We hear that some airlines are quoting silly prices to leave the islands ahead of Hurricane Lane hitting.
So we sit and wait it out, but it’s moving quite slowly, 5 mph; what was originally meant to hit on Thursday, becomes Friday and then Saturday so anxiety levels go up as you wait and wait and…wait, especially when it turns dark and you can’t see outside. Oahu tells all public buildings to close on the Friday and people head to the stores to stock up with emergency supplies. Shelves of water and groceries become empty making one wonder what will happen after the storm, as the island is reliant on flying or shipping supplies in.
We sit indoors for three days except for a quick trip to the takeaway, as we don’t want to eat all the emergency supplies. We watch the rain falling and the wind picking up and think ‘is this it?’ we refresh the hurricane tracker as it inches closer. At 4pm on the Friday we have a hurricane warning go out across the island, mobile phones are sent emergency texts and local radio stations are looping automated emergency announcements.
By Saturday morning Lane has been demoted to a Tropical Storm, at the final hour it has made a 90 degree turn west away from the islands; a MASSIVE thank you to the weather gods.
We head outside into the mall, the relief is palpable, people are tweeting ‘what am I going to do with twenty litres of water and a tray of baked beans?’ ‘Well there’s always food banks’ says our friend and host. Oahu has a bad homeless population living under canvass, had the hurricane hit they would have been hit homeless for a second time. No wind now but still a lot of rain, in two days we will have been here a week and still no sun.
beautiful day in paradise, as the radio announcers usually say.