My friend yelled something about having to save his plants before dashing for the front door, only to be engulfed by a blinding flash of lightning and a thunder clap so violent it rattled our teeth.
It was September, 2009 and I was on St. Croix getting a proper thrashing from Tropical Storm Erika. Sheets of rain flew horizontaly at times with such force it stung the face. Lightning crashed all around my friend’s house perched high on a hill in the north of the island and thunder beat against the walls with terrifying force.
Of course, this wasn’t my first time being put through the ringer during hurricane season. I’d been through countless depressions, storms and hurricanes during my childhood. Most notable of them all, though, was Hurricane Hugo in 1989. I had also weathered that fateful night on St. Croix as we were brutally punished by a slow moving Category 4 hurricane stuffed with hidden tornado-like vortices raging in its depths—only to emerge in the morning to a post-apocalyptic scene of utter destruction unlike anything I could have ever imagined.
Then there was that time back in 2005 when what seemed like a fairly tame tropical storm instantly spun-up to hurricane force before slamming into my hotel in South Florida. That hurricane then went on to cement its name in the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere: Katrina.
So now, here we are in 2011 with Tropical Storm Emily menacing the 1.5 million Haitians still living in tents, Cuba, our friends in the Bahamas and even Uncommon Caribbean’s South Florida office. Every year between June 1st and November 30th we go through this. Sure, other travel sites might not talk about it, but hey, our focus is on the real Caribbean and frankly our yearly storm season is just as much a part of Caribbean culture as rum, roti and riddims.
That said, as illustrated by the image in this week’s Caribbean wallpaper that I captured the morning after our ordeal with Erika back in 2009 (which my friend and his plants survived), morning always comes and the sun always cuts through the clouds eventually returning our islands to the paradises they were in the days, months and years before.
So do yourself a favor: stay on top of the weather in the region and take advantage of the many deals available during the off-season… And, of course, download this week’s desktop wallpaper by clicking below.