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Hurricane Emily 2005, what a ride and what a story….if you did not know, we just brushed with a Category 4 Hurricane here in the Riviera Maya….rumored direct hit on Tulum, though dear Emily landed just to the south at Puerto Adventuras. Little damage has been created, though we can not say that all went away unscathed. Considering the potential damage that could have been done, we think of ourselves as very lucky.

First, before we give you details of the pre-Emily events and now post-Emily events, we would like to thank everyone who sent us emails and prayers during this time. We are still trying to get back to each and every one of you, but as you can imagine, being three to four days without electrical and internet has put us a bit behind. It is great to see that we have so many international friends who were supporting us through this time.

So, Emily, dear Emily….we followed her path and learned that she was increasing strength in the Carribean and heading for us….Tulum directly and maybe Playa Del Carmen…hmmm, either way a dive center was going to have some wind and rain. So all employees rallied together and executed our well known hurricane plan….pack it up, ship all items to Dave´s house and wait….and that we did….the Tulum dive center dove that day and quit finally at 4 p.m. What a team…all students were finished, cert cards provided and sent to their secure hotels. We secured the equipment at Cenote Dive Center and ran for the hills…Monday at 8 pm all electrical was turned off in Playa Del Carmen, at 9:30 p.m. it was off in Tulum…Nicola was baking hurricane cookies and she did not finish the last batch, but the cooked ones were good…I think we may have another item for the dive center, Emily cookies…anyway, cell service was still up and running so information was being exchanged between the cities to see what was happening….we were waiting for the arrival of Emily.

At 10:30 p.m. the wind came in, and the howling….that seemed to be the worst part, the wind was strong but the howling made it seem stronger…many people were already asleep as Emily crept in slowly….but at 1 a.m. she came in with a bang….wind and rain….and again that horrible howling…I don´t thin anyone was sleeping at that point…

So we will skip to the next day as you must have assumed by now that we are alive and well. Monday morning brought some sun and complete quiet. People stirred out of their houses to assess the damage. I have to say that it was surprisingly not as bad as one would think….houses were intact but vegetation was harmed. There were many trees down, their leaves creating a green carpet over all the streets. It was time to get into the cars and see if the palapa at Abyss Tulum was still a palapa or if was now firewood. That as not a fun drive. The second task was to get to Puerto Adventuras to see if the boats survived the hurricane and if so what the potential damage was.

Happily we report that there was no structural damage to any of the dive centers in Playa Del Carmen or Tulum. Nor did we suffer any problems with our boats. It was a little scary getting into Puerto Adventuras that morning as this area did receive a direct hit from Emily. Oddly enough though the hit was to vegetation, not boats or many houses. I cant say that all houses were that lucky but a majority of homes, businesses and all people remain untouched by Emily. Now, the Pemex gas stations were touched , infact one could say chewed and then spit out by this storm, but the clean up crew for the area has done a great job in restoring phone service, electrical and water service, while clearing the area of debris. If you did now know it, one could even say that Emily´s tracks have been covered up very nicely. We are finding that we have to remind visitors that a hurricane has passed through. when they come in looking to resume their regualr holiday activities.

So Monday and Tuesday have been clean up days. Wednesday was a diving day and WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS! The only remants at this point of Emily are some very tired people who have been up for days trying to get businesses back to normal. I think when you come to visit next you will find that not much has changed…the jungle is a little less dense, there is a new branch in the bottom of Grand Cenote and the Restaurant at Casa Cenote will be closed for a while…for renovations.

We have to admit the wind has been up a little so we have not checked the reefs, but the good news is that the surf was not as big as we thought it would be so we are keeping our fingers crossed that little damage has been suffered to our friends.

SO DON´T CANCEL YOUR NEXT VISIT. We are all fine and ready to receive all of our dive friends. If you are having any difficulty contacting hotels, let us know so we can assist in your planning. If you are thinking of coming to Tulum, we have a great hotel in town that you can stay at in case your favorite beach hotel has suffered some damage and can not accomodate your request. Just ask us on email and we can book this Tulum treasure directly for you. Not beachside but a great place to stay with all services for divers.

Adios Emily…you are now a tropical depression but have not left us in a depression as we are back on track! We will see you all soon and share more stories of Emily and everyone has thier own version of the Night Emily came to town. She left as quickly as she arrived….thank goodness she did not stay for a while.

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