Oct 30, 2016

Preparing for America's Cup 2017

Bermuda is going to be the host of the America's Cup in June 2017 and this is a really big deal.   Tourism on the island has been in the toilet since the 1990's as cruise ships and cheaper islands took much of the lime light off of Bermuda.   I still say that if you want a very romantic getaway to a very non-North American destination, this is the place to go.   Ignore the prices and enjoy all that Bermuda has to offer.  But if you want all-inclusive, all you can eat, sitting on a resort and stuff like that, Bermuda is not the place for you.   This is a place to be explored and restaurants to be sampled.

Anyhow, the amount of TV coverage the island is going to get is going to be big for tourism when people see how beautiful Bermuda is.  The sailing crowd is already taking advantage with various sailing races being planned in the coming years.  

Currently there are at least 3 teams on the island preparing for the races.  Oracle (USA), SoftBank (Japan) and Artemis (Sweden).   Oracle has done amazing work promoting Bermuda and the upcoming race and my hat is off to all the work they have done.  If your on the island watch for the teams to be "playing" out in the great sound with the AC35 boats.    These are very similar to the boats that will be raced next year but they are not allowed to run the new boats until after xmas when the AC45's will be launched.

A couple of days after the hurricane a friend gave me a shout and asked if I'd like to take a run in a boat for a few hours.  His son wanted to run his boat after the hurricane to ensure all was good.   I jumped at the chance and as luck would have it, SoftBank and Oracle were out planing.   The lighting was terrible and them seemed to stay as far from us as they could, apparently they avoid cameras at all cost?!?   But with some heavy cropping and playing I managed to get a few decent shots.  But I know I need a bigger lens before June next year :-)

Nope, not the AC boats but love seeing these little rigs.

Oct 29, 2016

Hurricane Nicole

Those who follow me on social media (Facebook and Instagram) know that we made out alright in the hurricane but I did end up losing my internet the rest of the trip.   I was able to post to social media but blogging takes more time and it fell by the way side.   For that I apologize, although I'm not sure how many people read this page anymore, as no one ever comments.

Long story short the storm hit as a category 3 and the house was pretty exposed, as can be seen in the videos.   The first part of the storm came with 9 inches of rain and I believe the highest clocked winds were 137 mph.    

First video, 10am.

Be sure to follow it to the youtube page and go full rez.    Send video is from the front of the house at 1030am, this was probably at it's worst.

The eye eventually hit and it lasted almost an hour and a half.   I'm very winded in the video this is from the remnants of the cold I had my first week on the island and the very low barometric pressure - picture of that in a bit.

The 2nd half of the hurricane wasn't too bad for me.   The wind switched around to the north and we were a bit more sheltered.   The winds did drop down to about Cat 2 at this point.   Ironically this was when most of the damage happened, the wind had pushed all the trees in one direction and when it swung around it tipped them into another direction snapping trees and power poles.

No rain in the 2nd half so didn't have to deal with all the water anymore.

Once the storm was done there were a few pictures of around the property.

The house all buttoned up, you can see the leaves all stuck to the roof and walls.

I have never seen a barometer go this low, definitely made for one heck of a headache.

One of the power poles above the house snapped.

A good look at that pole out of place.

Overall the island got off very lucky.  At one point 95% of the island lost power but most were back up within 24 hours and the remainder within 4 days or so.   Around 30 boats were sunk or pushed up on the rocks but surprising little damage.   I think this was due to 2 hurricanes 2 years ago having cleaned up a lot of the dead shit laying around and the fact that the eye passed over the island giving us a bit of a break from the sustained winds.   Overall we were all very lucky.    Took about 3 days to get most stuff cleaned up.

Oct 11, 2016

Pre Hurricane Surf

Hurricane Nicole continues to approach the island and is expected to be a direct hit on Thursday morning as a Cat 1 or 2 storm. We've gotten the house mostly secured and supplies in place while we wait. Winds are already between 40-50km/h and are expected to remain like this until Wednesday night when the big stuff will start coming in. Couple of good friends dropped by and asked if I'd like to go for a drive and check out the surf.  The waves are very confused but not that bad as the wind is currently coming from the opposite direction as the waves and knocks the top off them. But not many people playing in the surf as it's already too dangerous with the riptides and currents. But the southshore is starting to rock 'n roll.

First stop was Southlands.   Kinda had a feeling that we wouldn't see much here as the wind is out of the northeast, so this is in the lea.

Southlands, the other side where I normally swim, definitely not today!

Second stop, Astwood Cove.   Same as southlands but a bit prettier.

I've always loved this little cove down inside Astwood, not a easy spot to get to on a calm day, wasn't trying today.

Thirst stop, Horseshoe Bay.  Not many tourists hanging out here today.

Horseshoe Bay

Gravelly Bay we started to see some wave action.   A memorial to someone, it appears they spent a lot of time at this spot - I'm guessing fishing.

I have photographed this house before in big surf/waves.   I can't image how this place survives the storms.

A good example of the wind taking to top off the waves.   Was blowing about 40km/h at this point.

John Smith bay.  Was calm on this side.

But not so calm on this side.

Even the critters know something is up.   This is the 4th tree frog I have evicted from the house tonight.   The ants have also moved in and need an evicting as well.    

I'm sure tomorrow will get even more interesting but I won't be able to get out on the bike with the high winds.   We'll just have to see what the day brings for photo opportunities.