Ike is a miss. Thank goodness. Grand Turk Island was hit hard. Up to 80% of the homes damaged. No death toll yet. It is a Category 4 hurricane, extremely dangerous and headed for Cuba. Here the sun is shining and we are getting back to normal.
Hurricane shutters are still up all over the island, but I will imagine that they will be left up for a while. Hurricane season does not officially end until November.
The other good news is that is looks like Tropical Storm Josephine has either dissipated over the Atlantic or moved off toward Europe.
The beaches are all eroded down to bare rock. The sand has been taken into the ocean. Snorkeller's Reef is a mess. The entire reef is silted in and the ocean floor is two feet higher with tons of sand all over. People tell me that the natural motion of the tides will put all of the sand back on the beach within a month or so.
I was in the water for the first time in a week, and it was nice to have the waves small again and no rip tide. I tried shooting a fish for dinner, but the normally clear ocean is silted up and visibility is quite poor. I saw a few decent jacks, but because of the silt, I didn't see them until they were right at me, and then they zipped away. Several large fish motored by me, and I couldn't recognise the species. They were just grey shapes that went whizzing by.
Today, for the first time, I will try my normal daily exercise as well. I have a bad back, and normally I swim about 150 yards to the bouys and back to exercise my spine. I tried it last week, and the waves were almost impossible to swim through and when I came up for air, I was swamped with water up my nose and down by throat. The ocean is a lot quieter. And the air is a lot cooler after the hurricanes.
So it is onwards and upwards in this island paradise. Back to the task at hand. One thing that I will miss from the hurricanes, is the friendliness of the people, which I suspect will evaporate. There is nothing that makes people more friendlier, than the idea that you might need them to rescue you when the 'cane a-comin'.