Sunday, September 4, 2016

My First Hurricane (sort of), Hermine

Thursday night the first hurricane of the season, and my first hurricane ever, was poised to hit Florida from the gulf side of the state and continue across Florida and up the Atlantic coast with Georgetown targeted for the heaviest rainfall.

Thursday night we enjoyed an ice cream cone and free music in the park along with lovely cool breezes from the harbor.

Sandbags were stacked in a trailer, at the ready in case the storm surge threatened to send water over the docks and onto Front Street.

By the time it hit here in the early hours of Friday, Hermine had been downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm.

The downpours of rain continued all day and by noon the wind began to blow. We lost electricity several times during the day.

Sometime in the night Friday the storm swooped on up the coast leaving us with lots of puddles, branches in the yard, one of the neighbor's shutters blown off, and on Saturday the most beautiful day you can imagine. The sun shining, humidity gone, cool breezes blowing ... what a reward for weathering the storm!

We headed for the beach at Pawleys Island early, but we weren't the first ones there. Several people picking up shells, fishermen, and a few surfers beat us.

We brought our coffee, walked, and then sat and read for an hour, enjoying the dry, cool air the storm had left us with.

These two big horseshoe crab shells had been brought in by the tide. The largest one is abut 14 inches long and maybe 10 inches wide.

Horseshoe crabs are fascinating creatures. First of all, they aren't crabs. And they have been here since before the dinosaurs and haven't changed much since.

The pointy tail thing is not a stinger, it's a rudder and is especially useful for righting themselves when they get turned upside down.

If you have ever had a shot, you can thank a horseshoe crab that you didn't get an infection. Their blood contains amoebocytes that the FDA uses in testing drugs and surgical implants for bacteria, a procedure that has saved millions of patients' lives (though that's not true for the crabs; fifteen to 20 percent die in the process). Each quart of horseshoe crab blood costs drug companies about $15,000.

The one on the right is probably a female as they grow to be larger than the males. They are 10-11 years old before they are mature and ready to reproduce.

This is a holiday weekend in the States, Labor Day -- sort of the official end of the carefree of summer. Families celebrate with a 3-day weekend of picnics, last days at the lake or the beach, and the children all go back to school on Tuesday.

Happy Labor Day, American friends!



  1. Great to read that preparations for the "worst"
    were in place, best to be fully prepared for the
    fury of the elements.
    An interesting learning phase for you now from tornadoes and
    blizzards to hurricanes.
    Been to Pawleys Island Beach in the 1980's. Certainly
    a little more gentle in the waves department than the Aussie
    coastline ones.
    PS: None of the usual horrible August weather this year here in
    Brisbane but the southern areas got excessive rain falls for the
    winter months. Terrible for the grain (wheat etc) farming communities.
    Climatic changes???

  2. We probably had more wind than rain. Mac has spent two days trying to clear the yard, nothing really big, but loads of small stuff. That was interesting about the crabs, had no idea.

  3. We probably had more wind than rain. Mac has spent two days trying to clear the yard, nothing really big, but loads of small stuff. That was interesting about the crabs, had no idea.

  4. I would think you would feel relief after the storm and feel like celebrating.

  5. You made it! Glad you are okay! Perhaps a party is in order! :)

  6. I was thinking of you as I watched news of the hurricane. Glad you are okay! Interesting read about the horseshoe crab blood.

  7. Luckily we don't have hurricane. Lovely sea

  8. Exciting and frightening at the same time. Really interesting about the horseshoe crab.

  9. Must have been scary to experience such a huricane for the first time. Interesting crabs on the beach.

  10. Glad you weathered the storm and got such a lovely day afterwards. I liked reading your horseshoe crab facts. I've seen them mating at the aquarium. (It doesn't look easy!)

  11. I'm so glad you survived Hurricane/Tropical storm Hermine. Hurricane Lester was a no show. Madeline also didn't amount to much. I really hate hurricane season. They say we've been lucky so far, but the big one could happen anytime.

    I haven't seen a horseshoe crab in such a long time. They really do look prehistoric.

  12. That storm sounds scary but I'm glad you didn't get blown away. Generally speaking we don't get extreme weather here in Edinburgh. Just gentle rain and gentle sun.

  13. Thats interesting stuff about the Horse shoe crab that isn't a crab. Lucky you didn't get the full force of the hurricane/cyclone.