Saturday October 22, 2005 - Wilma Day 2


Hurricane It's been going for about 36 hours. Overnight the winds shifted from the west to the south. The winds are still roaring and the waves still thundering.
Plans Try to get dry and get some food that is not candy.
Expectations Hopefully this will be the last day.

When we first woke up it seemed like the storm had really died down during the night. When we started to venture out a bit we learned that the winds had just shifted and were now out of the south. The bulk of the hotel protected our room from the winds. It has now been 36 hours of hurricane force winds, 24 hours of being wet, and 48 hours since our last shower. Our room stank. The smell of mildew and wet feet permeated everything. Looking out into the courtyard all the trees are either down or stripped of all vegatation. The winds are still well into the hurricane force strength. I would guess they were about 90-110 kts with waves at about 8-10 feet. It is not as bad as late last night, but it is still a very strong storm. But now everything was coming from the south and most of the hotel was pretty well protected for this. Soon others start venturing out into the courtyard. The staff members open up the kitchen and bring out some cereal and rolls and pass them out for breakfast.

Around this time we start hearing about the horrible night that Sue, Meg, Mike, and Shirley had. Sue and Meg had a room that was right next door to the water front rooms. They realized they were losing the fight to keep the water out of their room and they evacuated to the "safety" of Mike and Shirley's room which was up in the corner by the dive shop. As the storm continued on Friday the waves started making it all the way up to their room. About the time they decided to evacuate a big wave came and blew their door inward. They ended up being stuck, unable to make it out the door for fear of being swept away. They took refuge in their bathroom for the night and ended up spending all night bailing water out of the bathroom back into the main room over and over and over again. Lots of strange debris ended up floating into their room including a refrigerator, some metal roofing material, a statue of a dolphin, someones luggage, and lots of concrete.

Once breakfast is taken care of we start working on cleanup (yes even though the hurricane is still going strong). Our impenetrable Door version 5.0 survived the night even though a plastic drain pipe had been banging against the glass all night. All the other rooms on our floor had big slidinging glass doors. Only one of them made it through the night. At about noon we were starting to feel a little bored and restless. T decided he wanted to start some repairs. He found some plywood that had been protecting the windows of the bar and we started patching up windows on our floor. While we are out doing repairs we notice that the wind is just going right along the side of the windows and our hallway and not coming in too much. We try opening our balcony and front doors and get a nice gentle cross breeze in the room. This greatly helps out with the mildew smell. It is a very surreal feeling when a hurricane is raging outside and you are sitting by the window with all the windows and doors open and are just getting a mild breeze in the room. We keep it that way all day.

Today many staff members reported in. The cleanup was beginning already. First order of business was to move the debris around so it was easier to get around the hotel. Next open up the kitchen for lunch. The kitchen and upstairs restaraunt faired pretty well. Only a bit of water on the floor. In a short time we are all dining on wonderful ham and cheese or tuna sandwitches. The incoming staff reported that Wilma had stalled out over the Yucatan and was going to be around all day.

It ended up being a fairly boring afternoon. We just sat around trying to dry out a little bit now that we could open the windows. In the afternoon we got another round of sandwiches before the staff had to leave to make it home before curfew. We had one injury in our group. Someone slipped on wet tile and pulled something in his hip. A few people are running low on their perscriptions. As night rolled around the winds were still hurricane force (about 80-90 kts) from the south and the waves were about 10-12 feet. We had now had hurricane force winds for almost 48 hours. We had been wet for about 36 hours, had no power or running water for about 30 hours, and had not bathed in over 48 hours, there is still standing water in the rooms, and the beds are wet. At least we got fed and have plenty of bottled water to drink and buckets of water for flushing the toilet. Throughout everything the last few days the staff of Scuba Club has been treating us wonderfully. We go to sleep with the windows and doors wide open and the storm still raging outside.