21C on Bequia this morning. It rained all night long and is still raining. There’s a weather system hovering over this entire region of the Caribbean that looks as though it will last for several more days. We woke up to this:
The entire verandah was flooded and the furniture soaked – something that never happens unless we’re threatened by a tropical storm or hurricane – and NEVER during the dry season, which this is supposed to be right now. Here’s a comparison: last year was the driest dry season on record in several decades, and it lasted from late October of 2009 until the end of May, 2010. Less than 2 inches of rain fell during that time, all vegetation turned brown and many trees and gardens were lost, potable water had to be trucked in from St. Vincent, and by barge, as well. I don’t ever remembering seeing barges bringing water to the island before. St. Vincent didn’t have a lot of water to spare either, even though it has mountainous terrain and rivers, unlike Bequia. And unattended cisterns on Bequia were being tapped and water out-and-out t’ieved from them.
After a brush by Hurricane Tomas in September, which did more damage to the vegetation that had survived the drought than much structural damage, the island also experienced record rainfalls throughout the rest of the rainy season. It dried out slightly in March of this year, but now it’s been continuing to rain since then. We’re guessing that, since June last year, the total rainfall has been somewhere around 125-inches, or about ten feet! Considering that the annual Bequia average is 40-inches of precipitation – this is A LOT of rain! The one saving grace? It’s not falling in the form of snow… And Dennis and I agree – you can never have too much water when you’ve lived through times of not enough.
But the weather really is wacky all over the planet right now, and this part of the Caribbean is no exception. I don’t mind this current rain, though, since I’m not a tourist here, and know that I can come back again in August for a month and probably have great weather the entire time – hot, somewhat dry, with little to no trade winds blowing – and not to mention peace and quiet, because few tourists travel to the Caribbean during the summer, many businesses close, and the place is pleasantly deserted! MY idea of paradise, actually. In the meantime, I’m here to edit a novel, and this is perfect weather to get that done. It’s also a good day for cleaning out the closet, and for cooking and eating an extra-spicy and heat-hot curry tonight – which are the other plans we have for today.
What else can you do? Well, we could follow the cats’ examples… Griz went back to bed, and so did Emme. Zoom hasn’t even come home yet, and is likely sleeping next door at the neighbours’ house. She thinks she’s their cat when they’re here. But I do know all the cats look like this right now, with noses covered against the elements:
And I’m wearing fuzzy socks and a thick bathrobe. Dennis has hauled out a sweatshirt, although he’s braving this unusually low temperature today in shorts. So stoic! Our water is solar-heated and, since we haven’t seen the sun in a few days, any hot water we had has run out. Time to brace myself for a cold shower. Going for a swim is out of the question!
But we can be assured that, going into the dry season this year – if it does ever arrive – our water cistern is full-to-overflowing!