They Appear To Be Evacuating Our Island Paradise

Today we were informed that the ferry service between our tropical island paradise and the mainland is being shut down because the storm that has been blowing over trees and dislodging signs from buildings is expected to get even worse. A clerk cheerfully declared that it’s the worst storm to hit the area since the 80’s. Odd, I don’t remember vacationing here in the 80’s…

The guy behind the front desk told me, “You get on the boat which is leaving in the next hour, or you are stuck here until Friday. At least.” A lot of people (who probably actually live in Australia and thus are a wee bit more flexible) took them up on this, and when the time came, there was a very long line of people pushing past Bruce– The mascot guy in the cheerful shark suit– to get on that boat. In my opinion, Bruce would have joined them if he could. Now I live in Seattle, and I’ve seen my share of choppy seas, and I wouldn’t have wanted to go out on those waters as they were. The promised increase in ferocity will be, if nothing else, interesting.

The Experiments and I took a stroll around what is increasingly becoming our private island, and we all had a good time walking into the teeth of the booming gale. They’ve never been in a situation where you had to strain to put your next foot forward (I, on the other hand was once shown the secret ‘Tapioca Room’ at Graceland). Once we reached the deserted south side of the island, we played mini-golf. The golf course here promises “A Whirlwind (check) Tour of Australia in 19 Holes!” Thus we got to play past giant fiberglass depictions of the Sydney Opera House and Snowy River and Ularu, as well as cheerful opal prospectors and diggeree-doo playing natives, past sleeping dingos and Tasmanian Tigers. Then a palm tree crashed into the Opera House, which in my opinion automatically raised the par on that hole from 2 to 4. Naturally we finished the course (rented equipment) before we allowed ourselves to be blown back to the main hotel.

After dinner, Kaja and I took a stroll about the grounds. This not quite as insane as it sounds. Yes, the wind is still roaring furiously (as it has for the last three days), but between the hotel buildings and the dense, jungle–like ground cover, there isn’t very much in–your–face wind unless you actually go to the beach to check out the high tide (very high). Our impression as to the population density of the hotel is confirmed by the paucity of lighted rooms. On the other hand, all the staff seems to know our names.

The local wildlife doesn’t seem too worried either. We saw a wallaroo rummaging through a trash can, a grumpy bird determinedly pushing its way through the wind, and a couple sporting about in an out–of–the–way hot tub. It’s also still pretty hot, so the wind is actually refreshing. Perhaps I’ll take a dip in the pool.