Nerd Alert! Okay, so my husband is an uber weather geek. He is obsessive over the weather, so much that he ran a (now defunct – on hiatus) weather blog and Twitter account for Broward Weather. Many years ago I took the Skywarn class with him and became a certified, registered storm spotter. Since then, I’ve also become somewhat of a nerd myself, but from a more artistic standpoint. I like to document weather by means of photographic expression.
Who can blame me? I have veins pumping native Floridian blood that’s sprinkled with salt due to my healthy obsession with all things ocean. I’m a perfect storm of adventurous spirit, danger, and a wild streak that wouldn’t dare keep me pent up in an apartment when there’s a huge tropical storm pounding our coast and my second home, Key West. Tip: Love trumps fear!
The local news stations started their 24 hour coverage, which I lovingly call “panic mode” on Saturday. The storm was still on the western tip of Cuba, more than 300 miles from Florida mainland. I suppose their aim is to inform of a possible impending doom, but clearly it’s a thinly veiled attempt to strike fear into the hearts of residents and tourists alike to “prepare” and “get out while you can.” It has always been so humorous to listen to the drama shit-storm they can brew up over nothing. I don’t watch the news, or much TV for that matter so this was a special occasion for me. As I watched these reporters outside broadcasting from every major city in the cone of uncertainty urging people to stay inside, exactly the opposite of what they were doing, I laughed. After all, I wanted to be that jackass that was jumping around waving to mom during a live broadcast, too. *smirk*
Living in Florida all of my life, I’ve been through hurricanes of all sizes and strengths. I know when it’s too dangerous and certainly the difference between a storm and a hurricane. Don’t get me wrong, I value my life I’m not stupid, and this was not a hurricane so I grabbed my camera and ventured out to the beach as Tropical Storm Isaac passed through. Most shops along A1A were closed. The power was out at a few lights and police sat in the intersections safely inside their cars to alert the hundreds of people driving and walking around. The roads were full of traffic, some storefronts were operating as if it were just another afternoon rainstorm, the beach was packed with news-people, curious cellphone-camera wielding tourists, brave families, surfers, and water sport junkies.
We had sustained winds of about 35 mph, and wind gust just over 50 mph – which isn’t so bad. It was unavoidable to keep my camera dry, and free of salty ocean breeze droplets but I managed for the most part. We got soaked over and over but I would do it again. So there I stand, armed with my 5D Mark II staring at angry ocean with my chest puffed out toward the rain bands coming in, wind whipping the hair into my face like playful shower rat tails, fending off the annoyance of soggy socks, and even the danger of death by flying coconut … it was completely worth the rush to witness the uncontrollable super-power mother nature unleashes most creatively. Truly exhilarating.