Welcome! Tally ho!

Our B.V.I. Adventure is designed to give our family, friends and any other interested followers a look into the life of two expatriates making their way on the island of Tortola. Tortola is the largest island in the British Virgin Islands.

So, why did we move 2,000 miles away from our home in Knoxville, Tennessee? Michael accepted a position as the director of retail and international sales for a Caribbean clothing brand.

Cheers!

Adventurers

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 272: Goodbye Earl!

Well, we survived our first hurricane in the BVI!  Here's a recap of our day...
Much of the island lost power in the early morning hours on Monday - long before Hurricane Earl hit Tortola and the rest of the BVI.  Our friend Adam came over around noon - conditions at his house on Todman Peak were deteriorating quickly.  It's interesting how drastically different the weather can be at various locations on this little island.
We enjoyed a nice lunch and watched a little bit of The Hangover, before finalizing our hurricane preparations.  That included removing all of the screens from the porch windows and closing the last of the hurricane shutters.
It wasn't until 1:45 p.m. that our power went out.  
Our house is situated on the south side of the island.  And as the hurricane swirled into the Caribbean Sea, the wind was blowing from west to east.  That's right to left looking at the Sir Francis Drake Channel from our porch, which is the view in this photo:
The rain followed in the same direction so we were able to sit on the porch and watch Earl move in without getting wet.  We mixed a few rum drinks and watched in awe as the waves got bigger and bigger and the storm intensified.  Adam got a call from the owner of his house to tell him some windows on the west side of his house were open.  This was puzzling because when Adam left his house, hurricane shutters were securely on the windows.  {Turns out, the shutters did blow off, but the windows were in tact and everything inside was just fine.  But what a scare!  There was absolutely nothing he could do about it at the time!}

This next photo was taken around 4:30 p.m. as visibility was getting worse.  We were amazed how much protection the house and the mountainside provided us.  You would think we'd be drenched sitting on the now-open air porch, but we didn't feel a drop...  
...not until much much later, that is.  We moved inside around 5:00 p.m. as we could sense a change in Earl's direction.  It didn't take long for the boys to seek out the guitars and play a little music.  I tried to record a few of their tunes but the sound of the wind dominates the audio. 
We took requests on Facebook and our friend Rodney suggested CCR's "Who'll Stop the Rain."  Nice choice!  We also want to thank our Facebook friends for giving us updates on the storm.  Not that the news was all that comforting as Earl grew to a Category 4...ha!
Around 7:00 p.m. I made black bean soup.  That's the great thing about having a gas stove - it works even when you don't have power!  We played dominoes, told stories and listened to the storm rattle the hurricane shutters.  Since the walls of our house are made of concrete, we left very secure.

From 8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. the wind howled and the rain lashed the house relentlessly.  The porch was soaked and leaves were everywhere!  A few more rum drinks and we were ready to go to bed.  We received word that Earl had reached Puerto Rico and we were told that things would begin to quiet down.  We cracked the shutters to allow air to move through the house and tried to sleep...

Earl was fascinating, a bit scary, windy and wet all rolled into one!  As a musical tribute to Earl's exit, here's the Dixie Chick tune...you guessed it, "Goodbye Earl!"

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