Anyway, back to the hurricane Luis, my dad’s boat and Jolly Harbour.
As we rounded the point and saw Steven Mendes’ boat sitting there exactly as we had left it we must have forgot for a split second about dad’s boat. But as the second past we began to panic. Where the hell was it? There were several other boats that had come into that bay after we had left and none were there now. We sped up into the newly decimated mangrove habitat that was a magnificent display of the complex marine ecosystem 24 hours before. This is a photo of the boat i started the eco tour on in the mangroves, and it is the same one we were on that day.
We had heard that some of the buildings had lost tiles from their roofs and that two boats had sunk. One had fallen which was in the part of the boat yard which didn’t have a concrete floor, but it sounded like Jolly Harbour and all of the 500 or so villas was still standing. So we finally get back to the little dock with Steve’s boat on one side and Dad’s on the other and notice quite a bit of damage to the dock. We do a little investigating and find out that just a few hours before the storm was about to detonate over Antigua and Barbuda “Lobster King” and his glass bottom boat pulled into Jolly Harbour looking for refuge. The first available dock he found was Dad and Steve’s so he pulled up and tied off. And wouldn’t you know it………the next morning he came down to find that his boat, like most others tied to docks in jolly Harbour, was as secure as he had left it. My Dad and Steve probably could have done the same without any trouble!!!! Jolly Harbour had made it through the storm like no other place in Antigua. The electricity and water was running the day after the storm even though it took three months where I lived to get electricity back. The vast majority of boats were fine as were the villas, and the next week villa sales and rentals picked up. A few years later there were still many villas unsold and prices were still hovering fairly low without anyone making any money on their original real estate prospecting on villas. All of a sudden the US dollar started a downward slide against the pound and Euro and people from Great Britain and Europe started buying. In fact, they bought at such a manic rate that by the time local people realized what was going on there were no villas left in Jolly Harbour. There were only re-sales and the prices on them were going through the roof. Right now it is not unheard of for a simple villa in need of some work to go for US $300K. Even after Luis they were being sold for about $140. How things can change so quickly is surprising for some people. Not for others…..I bet old Dr. Erhart R.I.P wasn’t surprised at all.