Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Red Dot Above Us

I awoke at 2:43 a.m. today to another torrential downpour. Don and I got up and checked the windows and went back to sleep. Next time I woke, it was 6:15 a.m. Don and Rachel, dressed in a sweatshirt and long-sleeved shirt, were sitting in the swing on the deck sipping coffee and watching it rain. It was still just torrential. Don had put this 20 oz. tumbler on the table and it was nearly full when I came out. The chiminea was also almost full of water. As soon as it was bright enough to see better, Rachel got out the electronic rain gauge she had brought us, installed the batteries, and put it in operation. This was about 6:45 a.m. Our measured rainfall from then until around 11:00 a.m. was 4.64 inches. We had a LOT of rain before we began measuring, as the chiminea shows; we figure at least 10 inches.

When Don checked the weather on the internet, he said it showed a red dot sitting right above the island of Roatan; everything else was clear.
Rachel and I started to make banana smoothies for breakfast, and then the power went out. It was off for a couple of hours. It's fun getting ready for church in the near dark.

At 9:45, it was still pouring, so Rachel and Lance suited up in their ponchos for church. The ceiling at church was leaking in a number of places, including on Lance's arm. The rain had also blown through the windows, so the floor was wet on that side of the room. On the drive to church, going down our hill, we noticed several areas of mud slide. When we got out onto the main road, there were a number of more serious mud slides and quite a lot of trees that had slid down over the road. We had to drive off the road to get around the worst of them. Water was just pouring down the hills, the culverts and gulleys.

After church, we decided to go down to Tranquil Seas, owned by our British friend Chris, for his Sunday buffet. It's right on the beach in front of our usual snorkeling site. This is a picture of Rachel and I and Chris' dog. Notice it is not raining now.
Chris's newly finished swimming pool was full of muddy water.

So was the ocean. So much muddy run-off from all the new construction sites had turned the ocean out to the reef and even beyond, an awful brown. This happens every time we have a hard rain but this is the worst I've seen.

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