Almost immediately on my return to Cozumel Wednesday, 8/16 I had to go shopping. Not only was I pretty much out of staples, but I had to get ready for Hurricane Dean which had Cozumel in its sights at that point. Here are the hardware shelves at Chedraui a few days before the storm was due on Monday or Tuesday.


The pan (bread) aisle was really wiped out. I mostly bought beans and other protein sources. That was the biggest issue after Wilma, so I was going to be prepared. It took me a couple of days to get water, but I finally got 3 big (20 liter) bottles of potable water, a case of small bottles, plus what we drew from the faucet and stored in buckets with bleach. The used cat litter buckets sure come in handy. If the electric goes out, you can't pump water to the tonaka (water tank) on the roof. So water is important.


I waited until about the last minute to fill up my gas tank. Just 2 days prior the lines were snaked for blocks. I only had to wait about 20 minutes to fill up. My next door neighbor waited over 2 hours.


Here goes a boat past my house. As I am about 1 1/2 blocks from the water, this was pretty common.


Here comes another boat out of the water. I think this is the last one.


The last boat, that is, except this poor boat. It was abandoned by its owners. But, the storm didn't effect it. Just took off a couple of pieces and moved it down about 4 blocks.


In the middle of all this, on Saturday night, Ruby and Julio got married. Ruby is a neighbor from my old apartment and I am in love with her family. They are the kindest people. Candy (her mom) has saved money for this day since Ruby was born. It was an elaborate affair, over 600 guests. The table decorations and some of the church decorations were made by Candy and her family. It was a formal Catholic wedding in the San Miguel chapel in downtown. Her relatives are mainly from the Yucatan and they came in droves. Everyone was nervous about the hurricane and these wedding receptions typically go all night. But some guests left by the 11 pm ferry and headed to the mainland. Others waited until the morning and crossed on the last ferry on Sunday before they completely closed the port.


Here is the northern marina, Puerto Abriga all set for the storm. The boats are all crowded in the northern end of the marina. This is known to be the safest place. Friend Joyce sitting on the dock.


This is the southern end of the marina. No boats in the water.

Many of the largest boats went to the mainland ahead of the storm. There is a safer harbor for them there. Sometimes they go to the other side of the Yucatan.


I took the marina pictures just after snorkeling. I wanted to get before and after pictures there, but since it was pretty much the same after, I will only present this Queen Triggerfish.


This store on the waterfront had been under construction during Wilma. The steel framework had been tilted and was one of my photos back then. It is not tilted any more. Here they used boards, steel shutters, plastic and sand bags for protection. The clock is on its own.


I saw all the downtown stores making these frames a few months back. Now I see what they were doing. They are putting heavy duty plywood on a framework over the steel shutters. Since not much held up during Wilma, they are doubling their protection against Dean.


The Cozumel Museum in the last of the sunlight on Monday evening. Dean was due to arrive around 2 am. By now we were pretty sure we were going to be spared the brunt of the storm, but I still vividly remember the right turn Hurricane Charlie took at the last minute, so I continued to prepare "as if" and so did all of Cozumel.


Here is my living room filled with my lawn furniture. Everything was taken up off the floors, the cement couches and "end tables" that could get wet. When the wind comes from the north I can get water in this room. The heavy cushions are up off the cement with old cat litter buckets holding them up.


Thre is almost no glass in my apartment. The wooden shutters close and lock. During Wilma they were braced from the outside with boards, but not this time. The heavy wooden closets I moved in front of the windows and to block any water from coming in where my computer was.


I slept in my hammock with one of the windows open. And even though it was fitfully, I did sleep that night. The electric went out in the night.


And comes the dawn


My friend, Lisa, and her dog, Maxwell, stayed with me during the storm. First we checked the yard for dangers and then we opened the back door these pups went straight to what they always do, play, play and play.


First thing I did was go with Grant and Tulay and check out the No Name Bar at the Baracuda Hotel. They own it and wanted to check for damage. No damage and they had electric. So Grant made everyone lattes and we headed back to undo our hurricane preparations.


Tulay on the dock. There were big swells coming in like you see when you are crossing the channel. The ocean seemed to be breathing.


Lisa with her latte. By the time Grant brought me back to my casa, the electric was back on. So Lisa and I explored the waterfront. The sand you see on the road behind Lisa is about the worst Dean did in the downtown area.


The cleanup started almost immediately. Word from Majahaul was pretty grim. Their cruise ship pier collapsed as did ours during Wilma. Cozumel expected the ships to reroute here in the coming weeks. Because it is low season, I haven't seen any evidence of that yet.

As much as I don't like the cruise ships, the local economy has become dependent on them. Although little of the revenues stick here, they are a necessary evil. They are not coming in the huge numbers that they were before Wilma.

The tough Cozumelanians got right to work getting ready for tourists, our main industry.

Word reached us a day or so later that the east side road was cut at Chen Rio. It was a poorly reconstructed area from repairs after Wilma.




The military was noticably present. They had these unreadable banners on the side of the trucks. After a few days they headed south to the Majahaul area. Trudy saw these same banners on trucks in the Tulumn area heading south.

The Cozumel people sent supplies and clothing to the people near Majahaul and Chetamal where the damage was the worst.


Here is a truck that looks like it might tip up in the front end because of the weight of the protective materials being hauled away.

The rest of the images are just some photos that I took on Tuesday and don't really need an explanation.





Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Comments or questions: cozumelcarol@gmail.com

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