08 July, 2013

Don't Trust Her

It just felt like we were cruising along a little too easily. We were. Here comes this babe just strolling along the waterways. I hear her name is Chantal. Now, isn't that just about the most seductive name you've ever heard of?

It rolls off the tongue so easy, it just oozes romantic and perfume-laden tropical nights, breezes wafting in off the water, palm trees gently swaying, with hints of exciting things to come...

The name alone just lulls you into this reverie of seductive melancholy. I mean, for us here in Belize, even the computer models show her turning north. Poor Cuba and Haiti, but they get whacked every year anyway.
Chantal - Computer Modelling
I mean, even laying on the possible storm-center location circles, we're still safe and cuddly. Chantal wouldn't disturb our being pleasantly adrift in a daydream would she? The word, 'perfumey' even suggests that she's the sweetest, most darling girl one could imagine...
Chantal - 5-Day Tracking Chart
 But, wait a minute there, sailor. Let's stop and take a quick glance at this dame's history - well, maybe not hers in particular, but some just like her, at this same date and location through the years. Uh huh! Just what I thought. She could be the kind of girl who kisses you lightly on the cheek, whispers some delightful promises in your ear, and wham! Drops you just as you've convinced yourself it really is love.
Chantal - Historical Tracking Chart
Then you wake up only to discover the hotel room's a wreck, you're hung over, your wallet's gone... Chantal! No, say it isn't so!

Reality sets in. If only you'd paid attention to the past. You might've been forewarned. I mean, just look at that last chart. Some of those tracks just keep coming straight at us. Perfumey strolls in the moonlight, my eye. She could be downright dangerous.

Keep your pants on and your hand on your wallet. You'd better just sleep lightly for the next several nights and stay alert during the days too. Take the time now to do some planning of what you might need to do to get ready for the real action.

A quick word about the charts - I 'borrowed' them from the Weather Underground website ( where you can find a ton of information, not only about Chantal, but about tropical storms and hurricanes in general. Our weather station even shows up on their website ( You should be checking this and other weather sources at least a couple times a day throughout the season. Your life might just depend on it.

Don't forget to check out our Hurricane Preparedness Checklist ( We update it and use it every year. I'll even email you a copy of it if you want. Just use our new 'Contact WINJAMA' in the right-hand column. Make sure to include your email address, and I'll get a copy of off to you.

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