September Weather: Snorkeling One Day, Mopping Up Rain the Next

September Weather: Snorkeling One Day, Mopping Up Rain the Next

September 1: Discovering life in Barbados' Carlisle Bay

September 1: Discovering life in Barbados' Carlisle Bay

This photo is of my friend Sue and me holding a sea cucumber we met while snorkeling yesterday in Carlisle Bay. Such a love this sweet guy was: as soft as a super-plush toy and as gentle as one, too.

In the clear, blue water we also encountered sand dollars, graceful angel fish, comical puffer fish, and Barbados sea turtles, which was what we were there to find. Each time we happened upon a turtle (they were breakfasting on sea grass), we swelled up with the joy and warm recognition of seeing a friend we hadn’t seen in awhile; I even waved hello at one (and then felt really foolish …).

Diving to get a closer look at a spiky something at the bay’s bottom, we found this: a sea urchin having a bad hair day:

Colorful sea urchin in Carlisle Bay, Barbados

Colorful sea urchin in Carlisle Bay, Barbados

Carlisle Bay is along the south coast of Barbados, just south of Bridgetown and north of the Hilton. If you go, park along the road (Hwy 7) where the gazebo is. Take snorkel and mask (and fins, if you please) and an underwater camera if you want to capture your discoveries for posterity. No towel necessary, as it’s not cold when you get out of the water (one of many blessings of this beautiful Caribbean island).

What a simple day of pure enjoyment. This is living.

Which brings me to a much different sort of day today, September 2. September is known as the month in the Caribbean with the most hurricanes and tropical storms. Thankfully, Barbados lies about 100 miles out of the hurricane zone, so we’re not “hit” much (but never say never). The last hurricane in Barbados was recorded in 1955.

No hurricanes, though, doesn’t mean we’re not affected by them. As cheesy novels begin, today is a dark and stormy day. Tropical Storm Erika is pushing through the Caribbean and we’re feeling her effects with rain and wind, thunder and lightning, and dark clouds that blur horizon; I can’t tell where sea ends and grey sky begins.

To wit … this is from the WeatherUnderground site, a satellite shot taken at 11pm last night (Barbados is that bean-shaped bit south and a bit west of the storm system):

September 2: Umbrellas, not urchins

September 2: Umbrellas, not urchins

As I write this, I hear rain rhythmically beating at the master bedroom window. Nice day to stay indoors.

Uh oh … that wasn’t rhythmic beating; that was a knock at the door: the rain wants to come inside! I say no, the rain says yes.

Oh, brother. Strike the music, Beatles: how I long for yesterday …and get out the towels.



7 Responses to “September Weather: Snorkeling One Day, Mopping Up Rain the Next”

  1. Kieran Murphy says:

    Jane-

    Looks like a lot of fun !
    I am wondering what a storm like Erica, et al , does
    to the waves on the South Coast…. the surfers must be excited?

    Have an excellent day~

    Peace.

    Kerry

  2. andrea says:

    I love your Web site, it’s the best I’ve found. I was planning to head to Barbados this weekend. Do you suggest coming or postponing the trip? I don’t want to be holed up in a hotel room watching the sea blurring into a gray sky, though I’m sure rum would make it tolerable. I live in Colorado and am a nitwit when it comes to hurricanes.

  3. Hello, Kieran,

    Thanks for reminding me! Yes, what the storms do to the waves in the Atlantic Ocean is stunning indeed:

    One of the very most fun things to do in Barbados during a storm is drive over to Edgewater Inn in Bathsheba on the east coast for an early breakfast. (When you get there, remember you are there neither for the very plain breakfast nor the edifice itself, both of which could use some TLC.) You’ll sit high above the waves and marvel at the power of nature. The most daring surfers might be out … then again, there are sea conditions that even they won’t tempt. In either case, you’ll get a show (if not a breakfast) to remember.

  4. Andrea, thanks! Well, from one Colorado girl to another, I can tell you that Barbados in September is a mixed bag. Here are the pros and cons, as I see them, of visiting right now:

    Cons of visiting Barbados in September:
    1. It’s hot, low to mid-90s, and quite humid.
    2. There might be a storm (although Erika’s gone). While Barbados hasn’t seen a hurricane since the 1950s, a storm is still more likely in September than any other month. So there’s no guarantee that you’re going to get those sparkling blue seas Barbados is famous for.
    3. Some of the restaurants are closed during this, the “downest” of the down season.

    Pros of visiting Barbados in September:
    1. Even though the days are hot, the sea is a lovely temperature and the evenings are very, very pleasant.
    2. Accommodations are super-reasonable in price; you can get amazing deals right now. (Be SURE your rental has air-conditioning!)
    3. You’ll have the beaches to yourselves and you can get a reservation very easily on a catamaran cruise or restaurant or island safari adventure – or anything you want to do.
    4. As you note, a rum drink sure makes Barbados livin’ nice.

    So part of me says that if 1) you can get a cheap flight and accommodation and 2) you’re young enough not to care about being a bit uncomfortable with the heat, then come on down. If there’s a storm, then head over to Edgewater Inn, as I mentioned to Kieran .. in other words, incorporate whatever happens into your holiday and make it part of the adventure of being in Barbados. Some of the very best holidays happen when the unexpected occurs.

    Now … time to look inside, Andrea: If in your heart of hearts you know you just won’t be happy on your holiday unless you get the clear aqua sea, brilliant sunshine, and dry ground, then wait until November or early December to visit Barbados. You’ll still get the lower rates on flights and accommodations those months and the odds are greater of brochure-worthy snaps on your camera.

    After your visit, whenever it is, would you drop me a note, Andrea, and let me know how it was?

    Bottoms up!

  5. Kyle says:

    Great advice Jane, September is very mixed up. The day can start very bright and then end up really dark or vice versa, but you can still have fun no matter the weather. Air conditioning at your accommodation is a MUST as sometimes a fan wouldn’t be enough. Drink plenty of water and don’t forget your sunblock as the sun here is very unforgiving.

  6. orlando seo says:

    UGH!I wrote a really long response to your article but my internet crapped out and I lost it all! Oh well, just wanted to tell you that it was a great post! Nicely done!

  7. Lili says:

    What type of camera do you use for your underwater shots? They’re great!

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