Friday, December 29, 2006

...And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow....

Recognize the line?

Sam McGee...

The wind, she's been a blowin'!
25 to 35 knots the last two days... and according to NOAA it's going to get worse, not better. I'm starting to work on social-engineering a ride back to KW on the Seaplane when I go. Riding the Yankee Freedom (a/k/a "Vomit Comet") is not such a great idea right now.

Two good things- First, the rain has stopped.
Also, with the winds so high we haven't had any Cubans come ashore.

On the flip side of the coin, these conditions bring on other issues...
The strong winds have brought us lots of Physalia...
(No, not my car... Real Physalia physalis... Portugese Man O' War.)

And with so many of the bright blue By-the-Wind-Sailors, we get lots of visitors with horrible stings...
Today I saw the worst one I since I was a kid back in Marathon... A visitor snorkled straight into one today.
The woman had a 4" by 4" burn patch on her left shoulder where the body of the creature hit her, then at least 5 long lines of welts from where the tentacles (dactlyozooids) hit her and zapped her with nematocysts. The welts went around her shoulder and across the front of her body and down to her hip.
(The poison is a neurotoxin, so the Rangers try to monitor stung visitors to make sure they don't go into anaphylaxis.)
Each day so far we've had at least one serious sting... Not a good thing.
We've posted signs on the beaches, the tour guides warn the visitors, but we still get at least one good hit every day.

Another change is that the seagull population is getting very agressive.
These white-feathered rats-with-wings are dropping down on the visitors as they carry their lunch plates from the serving tables to the picnic tables to eat.
The visitors either drop some or all of their food, causing a flurry of activity from the 40 or so gulls that are hovering overhead.
The lunch crew from the Sunny Days and the Yankee Freedom have to stand guard over their tables- the Sunny Days crew is on station with a long handled net, and the guys on the Yankee have brooms to shoo away the birds-
If they relax their guard for just a moment, the birds will land directly on the lunch table and grab food...
Gazing into my crystal ball I can see an informal seagull euthanasia project coming up...

What else...?

I guess that's it for now...

Film at 11.

Famous! out-

(PS-- Want to learn more about the Portugese Man O' War? Click here.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jay,
Tammie from Tenn. Soon to be from Washington state. I hope you can still have a good time at the fort. Tell all hello. O.K. even Trep.
Love you all. Tammie and Al