Thursday, November 5, 2020

Hurricane Eta

We find ourselves in the odd position of waiting for a late season hurricane to descend on the Keys which is not unusual as the Western Caribbean stays warm well into December. Hurricane season ends officially on the last day of November and now indeed we face the prospect of one such late arrival.
Key West
I had noticed Hurricane Eta on the weather map while it was busy threatening the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua and it has at last report caused considerable damage. I sailed up the east coast of Nicaragua 20 years ago and it merits its nickname as the mangroves and the small sandy islands they live on produce ferocious insects. I had a primitive GPS system on my boat with a  sort of mapping program which made the exploration possible but it was  a maze of shallow waters and incorrect coordinates and island surprises in the wrong place. The inhabitants of the entire Caribbean coast of Central America are a race apart, of African (slave) descent, mostly English speaking, and not well supported by their Spanish speaking governments on the Pacific watershed. I can't imagine the desolation caused by Hurricane Eta. 
Key West
Now we see what was going to be a depression coming north is rated a tropical storm despite having to make a 90 degree turn, most unusual, over Belize then hitting the Caymans and crossing the spine of western Cuba, a series of obstacles that should slow any hurricane down. Not this one. Oh well we may end up getting drenched and blown around this weekend. 
Florida Keys
When I was out on a  recent lunch break hurricanes were far from my mind as I had decided the season was over in defiance of history and norms and all that stuff. Current overcast skies were sunny and bright and cool temperatures were hot and sweaty and I was  wishing for winter. I really was and now a facsimile is here with dry air blowing over the Keys at a brisk 30 miles an hour.
I figure it must be snowing Up North as roads are filled with traffic and crowds are downtown and winter has arrived. A hurricane warning may come as a bit of a surprise to the happy winter residents. 
I wonder how coronavirus will appear in Key West this winter.  With the summer rapid turnover of vacationers any virus shared here gets taken Up North. With people dining out, visiting bars and staying in town Lower Keys Medical Center may be getting a  workout this winter. I shall watch with interest. Meanwhile we have a hurricane brewing.  That needs some watching.
2020  just won't stop producing chaos. Local electoral results are in a recount. Not chaos exactly but a measure of how close opinion divides. Peace and serenity in 2021.