Tuesday, December 26, 2006

How to die ?

It was at the deserted beach of Punta Marquez in Mexico, where camping to work on the “PS-series”, that a large sea bass was caught on September 1, 2006 at 14.00 h.
Meanwhile, at an enormous speed, dark clouds were coming from the South. Like a black wall with underneath, just above the horizon, a grey layer of heavy rain falling.
Soon it would reach the encampment and the windows and roof vents of the camper were wide open.
Running with the fishing pole in one hand and the large fish in the other reaching the camper just in time. Quickly the windows were closed, the roof vents and the door. Locked inside now while a tremendous strong wind was shaking the camper and creating huge clouds of dust and sand when heavy rain started to fall.
It was 14.19 hours, the barometer at 1003.6 millibar, 30.4 degrees centigrade and a northeastern wind with a speed of 40 kilometres per hour

There had been reports on the radio that a hurricane was coming to the north. But it was not clear if it would hit the West coast, where Punta Marquez is, or the East coast of Baja California. Hurricanes are extremely dangerous. They come with wind speeds of over 200 kilometres per hour and extremely heavy rainfall causing wreckage, havoc, destruction, inundations and landslides.
Where a hurricane passes, people are killed.

Some days before, the BBC Worldservice and CNN had said that the hurricane would pass on the East coast-side and later it was said that the hurricane would die down in the mountains in Central Baja California.
It seemed to be safe to remain on the West coast at Punta Marquez.
But obviously, unpredictable as the path of a hurricane is, it had come to Punta Marquez.

The night of September 1st to September 2nd. At 03.43 hours. Barometer had dropped to 996.2 millibar. The build-in alarm of the electronic weather centre in the camper, measuring temperature, wind speed, humidity and air pressure started beeping. It meant that the situation was getting very dangerous. The centre of the hurricane was approaching. Better to go and look for shelter and a safer place. But too late. Impossible to get away from the location at Punta Marquez in the middle of the night with the strong wind and heavy rainfall. All dirt roads had become impassable or were simply washed away.
In the meantime, sleeping had become impossible. The wind was blowing now at speeds of over 50 kilometres per hour. The whole camper was dancing on its wheels. It was like sitting in a sailing boat on a rough sea.

Slowly it became dawn while the wind continued to rage with extremely heavy rainfall. The camper began to leak. Outside hardly anything could be seen because the falling water showed like a grey and impenetrable curtain.
Meanwhile there were feelings of fear. How bad would it get? Would the eye of the hurricane, with those winds of 200 kilometres per hour, pass over Punta Marquez?
In that case it would mean a certain death. No way it could be survived. The fear for this was augmented by not knowing what would happen. Would there be a lucky escape and the hurricane calming down or would it get worse and fatal?

It was a horrible feeling. To have to realize that to die might happen in those circumstances. Completely unnecessary. Because if adequate information about the weather could have been obtained beforehand, through Internet, a retreat to a safe place could have been made. Because the camper had no Internet and the radio had not been giving correct information, this deadly trap seemed to be closing.

This ordeal went on for 25 hours. Locked inside the leaking camper, which seemed it would be turned over by the horrendous and violent winds any moment. Thinking it were the last moments of a life that had been until then very fortunate.

During that time the decision was made to return to Punta Marquez only with a camper equipped with satellite-internet.
This is the major reason why the camper that experienced the hurricane is being sold as well as the large motor home purchased last March.
And why now in Riverside, California, a new motor home is being build based on the own designs, equipped with Internet and four-wheel drive.

There is nothing against dying. But a lot against dying in a stupid way.

No comments: