The summer of 2016 marked my first near-hurricane experience in Jamaica. I’ve always just missed the big storms, sometimes even by mere days but that summer I was right in the middle of one. I had planned to write about this a long time ago but each time I thought about it the Caribbean was right in the middle of much more violent storms and I felt like it would be insulting to write about my little storm experience.
Anyway, during the summer of 2016 I was on the south coast of Jamaica for three weeks in late July running into August, which is also hurricane season. The entire three weeks I was down there it was hot as HELL so a hurricane or tropical storm was the farthest thing from my mind. But these storms don’t care how great of a time you’re having….when they decide to hit, they move in FAST and hit HARD.
The day tropical storm Earl hit the south coast of Jamaica I was out at sea, at Pelican Bar. Not the best place to be during a giant storm LOL. Luckily my boat captain and friend, Shelley, saw the storm brewing and decided it was a great time to head back to land. This is how it looked from our boat out at sea.
It looked pretty menacing from our point of view and all we could do was hope it wouldn’t open up before we made it back. Us being out there was due to our own stubborn heads because Digicel had been sending out text notifications since the day before, warning of the imminent storm and giving tips to prepare for the worst. But I just did like the Jamaicans do and kept on living life.
Well…..once that storm hit I feel like we’re lucky we even made it back to shore alive!! Those storm clouds broke WIDE open while we were in transit in the small fishing boat! The force of the rain pelting down on our heads was incredible! It felt like a hail storm would feel back home! I grabbed the only thing I had to protect me which was a towel and offered very little protection. The rain relentlessly nailed us for the fifteen minute journey back to the house where Shelley parks his boat, all the while we were trying to keep covered and bailing out water at the same time. To this day I have no idea how Shelley even navigated back to shore because I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to see anything.
Once we reached the shore it was all we could do to jump out of the boat and run up the beach to the house where the boat parked. I had no idea whose house this was but I wasted no time seeking shelter on their veranda until the rain subsided enough for me to run to my car.
I had other tourists with me that day and we were all staying at the same guest house so once we were able to run to my car, we did. There was absolutely no point in covering the seats with anything because everything was soaked to the bone. I swear, if Budget Car Rental knew half the things I put their vehicles through LOL.
Anyway, we did make it back to our little cottages only to find that the entire property was pretty much flooded. We were past the point of trying to protect ourselves from the rain anymore so we just got out of the car and walked casually to our rooms through the storm. Here’s what the property just outside our cottages looked like, and this was only part way through the storm.
We all retreated to our separate rooms to dry off and change. I’m telling you, this storm was so relentless that it lasted for hours. Inside my cottage I couldn’t even hear myself think under the deafening noise of rain on the tin roof and I absolutely adored the sensation. So I chose to lay on my bed and ride out the rain by taking a nap. It was wonderful.
Later in the afternoon I woke up and the storm had subsided. When I exited my cottage I walked up the pathway toward the beach to see the storm had moved out to sea and left a pretty giant flood behind. Here’s what the beach looked like with the storm off in the distance.
But the wake of tropical storm Earl left behind some noticeable beauty which I always try to appreciate. I will never get tired of Jamaica’s natural beauty even after the fury of a major storm.