the boat ashore get aboard their cars and head home for breakfast. It was coming up to 9 a. m. We are indeed lucky to live among the people we do. The rain continued to sheet down as the wind backed from north to west, the wind direction to which our house is the most vulnerable. The power went out mid-morning and the wind continued building with brutal gusts punching the house. The building was shaking like a vibrating bed in a cheap motel room. The living room windows were bowing in frighteningly with each gust. The groaning and creaking of the house on top of the howling wind created a shocking din.
We watched in horrified awe as curtains of spray as high as two houses and as wide as we could see from the window lifted off the raging surface of the sea and advanced toward us across the 800 metres separating us from Bishop’s Harbour, smashing into the house like an enormous fist and wrapping the entire building in a sheet of flying water, obliterating any view.
The seawater, normally green and white when it is turbulent, was brown from the silt in the huge volume of freshwater run-off. I was drawing cartoons for a 5 p. m. deadline for this newspaper and Lisa was unpacking the stuff we had brought over from the Point. We couldn’t concentrate very well.
About mid-afternoon, Lisa noticed that the pop-up roof on our van had been lifted by the vacuum of the wind passing over the top of the vehicle and was in danger of being torn off altogether. A friend helped me lash it down with rope. It took a while because we kept dropping to all fours to avoid being laid out flat.
This was about the time, we learned the next day, that the large stained glass window in St. Stephen’s, one of the oldest wooden churches on the island, was sucked out of its frame and reduced to smithereens on the road outside.
As the light started to fade, so did the wind ever so subtly, but typically for this kind of storm there were sporadic bursts of vicious gusting. Igor was not going out quietly. Without power and exhausted, we went to bed with the light, waking frequently to note that the wind was dropping, though the sea still boiled under a near full moon and star-crowded sky.
Wednesday morning dawned with a beautiful blue sky and moderate southwesterly winds. In 24 hours the wind had backed 360 degrees through every sector of the compass. We walked around to the Point, bailed out our trusty old wooden punt moored off the floating wharf and rowed her over to the mainland side of the harbour.
Mid-morning we got the power back. Glued to the radio we learned of the unprecedented destruction with sadly, but miraculously, one life lost. We were cut off by land from everywhere, but had food, water and hydro. Many were much worse off.
Nature turns the volume all the way up occasionally to remind us how truly powerless we are, and who is really in charge. The old people in Salvage say they have never seen the like.
We were immensely comforted by the kindness of our neighbours in the face of such wrath.