Pictures really can’t show the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma, what the winds from Irma didn’t destroy the rain from Maria ruined. There is literally nowhere on the island that was not hit by the storms. Every car or truck that passes has dents, windows and fenders missing, every building has lost a part of the roof, windows, doors or walls, and some only have the concrete slab remaining. Boats in the harbors are piled up, sunk, toppled or bent. It’s difficult to imagine just how they can rebuild, but the spirit of the people in Tortola is unstoppable. They tell you it’s so much better than it was two months ago, that they’ll be better than ever in just a couple years.
We went with a group of sailors to help clean up a prison museum in downtown Road Town. The woman that worked there gave us a tour of the place first, it was so interesting to hear about the history they were preserving and just how much it meant to the people here. I have to admit, when we started I didn’t see how we could make a difference, there was debris everywhere, the job seemed impossible. But we chipped away at the mess, room by room, and 100 garbage bags later the job was done. The island will get cleaned up, little by little with a lot of help.
I have learned a few things already on this trip, you really can do anything you set your mind to, people have an amazing ability to persevere, things do not always get done right away but they do get done, there are always things on a boat to fix, clean, improve or update, internet is not always available and at your fingertips, and patience really is a virtue. We are now officially on island time, and it’s not so bad.
We will be leaving Tortola today to visit neighboring islands while we wait for parts to arrive for our water maker (lesson learned, always something to fix). The plan is to head out to Norman and Cooper Islands and then reach Anegada for a lobsterfest this weekend, returning to Tortola nest week. Once it's fixed we'll be traveling further south. Internet coverage is spotty at best, we will try to be in touch when we can but know that you are never far in our thoughts. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!