Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Nate – gave us a pass

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Boarding up for TS Nate.  
Normally a bit of rough weather doesn’t bother us. We’re Canadian and have experienced snowy blizzards and drenching rain storms. But I confess I’m not a fan of tropical storms that are teetering on the edge of being classified as a hurricane.
I don’t mind wind, but I really don’t like the high velocity winds of a tormenta. Sadly though, when this recent storm, TS Nate, blasted over the mountainous countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua it was the excessive rainfall that caused the deaths of twenty-two people.
Since we live at the edge of the ocean and TS Nate was forecast to pass directly over this flat, little sandbar of an island we obsessively clicked on the NOAA site and several internet weather channels checking predicted rainfall, storm surge, and wind speeds.
On Wednesday it became pretty clear we were going to get hit.
By Thursday morning we had dragged everything inside our little casa; two sun loungers, a small sofa and two chairs, glass topped tables, stacks of big cushions for the two larger sofas, and anything small enough to become an airborne hazard. 
We tied down garden hoses to prevent them whipping around in the wind, and pushed plant pots into tight huddles. 
I made up a couple of dozen sandbags to block the rain from entering under our doors, especially our bedroom door which has an outside entrance onto an open deck.
New house a bit north of ours boarded up.
We had extra bottles of water, gas in the golf cart, easy to prepare food for us and the pets, and cash in case the power was off for a few days making ATM’s useless. (By now we are feeling like the characters in the novel that I am writing, Tormenta Isla, who had to do all the same prep work!)
Then, exactly as our friends Tony Garcia and Isauro Martinez described many boat owners prepared for the storm/hurricane by moving their vessels deep into Laguna Makax. The Caribe line of passenger boats from Cozumel brought their three good-sized vessels to Isla and docked them at the municipal wharf next to the car ferry. Presumably that dock is more sheltered than the ones at Cozumel. Even the car ferry and the Ultramar passenger ferries shut down early.
Caribe Ferry – normally located in Cozumel
It was an eerie feeling driving along the island’s shoreline which normally bustles with boats, islanders and tourists. Every public or private wharf from Velasquez Restaurante, near the north end of the island, to the car ferry were empty and all of the oceanfront restaurants were closed. Every tour, pleasure, or work boat had been moved to Laguna Makax, or dragged high up on the beach and securely tied to nearby palm trees.

Hotel shuttered on main floor
Many businesses were closed so that their staff would be safely at home before the predicted late-Friday afternoon arrival of the storm. Doors and windows were covered by pieces of wood or cortinas, the accordion-style hurricane shutters.
A light rain damped the streets and we decided it was time to hunker down with our pets and a good bottle of wine. We read, we sipped wine, we waited, and we checked the internet. The predicted rainfall was for around 95mm or 4 inches although TS Nate had dumped 510 mm or about 20 inches of rain on Central America. The wind-speed was going to touch on a Category 1 Hurricane of 120 kilometers per hour, about 74 miles an hour.
Wharf at Bally Hoo – empty, restaurant closed.
The afternoon turned into evening, and still no rain or wind. 
Then, remarkably we fell asleep for two hours. I usually lay awake during storms listening the sounds of the house; the rattle of the screen on our windows, the creak of the patio doors as the wind pushes against it, and the banging of something not tightly secured.
At ten in the evening both Lawrie and I woke up, to silence. No wind. No rain. Nothing. We checked the internet again. It looked as if the storm now called Hurricane Nate had moved about ten miles east, closer to Cuba. It had passed by us. That was a big relief to everyone. Facebook pages were soon littered with jokes about the over-reaction and the huge amount of prep work for a non-event.
M&J’s buttoned up for TS Nate
But as one of our friends said:
“They just don’t understand what it feels like to lose everything and to not have insurance. To have your only vehicle damaged, whether it was a moto or an old car it was still your only transportation. To worry about the lives of your family, your friends, and yourself. To step out of your home and see the damage done to your community and know that it could be days or weeks before everything is back to some type of normal. In the meantime people scramble to make a living and to feed their children. It’s difficult, very difficult. So what if we over-prepared, better that then homeless.”
We’d happily do the same preparations again especially if it works as a lucky charm and keeps the tormenta away. 
Although it seems that when our nearby neighbours Rob and Julie Goth board over their small windows, the ones without the cortinas, we are guaranteed to get a pass from the hurricane.
We’re back to sunny and hot weather and waiting on the return of our various Canadian, American and European neighbours for the busy October to April social season. 
There goes the diet!
Cheers from paradise
Lynda & Lawrie

 ~

Trouble Isla 5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and furious
CA review on September 26, 2017
Yasmin and Jessica are back and the gold they found in Treasure Isla is still haunting them, especially when Carlos, their boss at the Loco Lobo, and Yasmin’s new lover, is kidnapped. No spoilers here, but his captivity and the girls’ efforts to free him, with the help of Carlos’s pals—including local Isla Mujeres fishermen and a Mexico City cop—are the crux of this fast-paced story. Lock has created not only a compelling and authentic setting, but a well-developed ensemble cast. The next Isla mystery can’t come fast enough.
Book #2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series
Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD


 Treasure Isla 
Book #1 Isla Mujeres Mystery Series
            $2.99 USD on most e-book distribution systems.


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