Barbadians generally took the threat of an imminent adverse weather system quite seriously last night and curtailed many of their early morning activities today.
The Spring Garden Highway between 4.30 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. is as popular a stretch as there is for walkers to get in much needed exercise. However, with the exception of a member of the Barbados TODAY roving team, not a single walker was seen this morning.
Indeed, other than one brown canine sniffing fruitlessly beside the road at the area of the Brighton Road and Spring Garden junction, it was a veritable ghost town. And on Brandons Beach the story was almost the same. The area from Brandons to Batts Rock offers an ideal course for those wishing to tough it out on the ‘dead’ sand. It is a section used daily by dozens of persons during the early morning. However, just one squat male was observed walking northward in the direction of the now derelict Paradise Beach Hotel.
And the sea has traditionally been a favourite haunt of hundreds of bathers. On any given morning one can find more than 25 persons at a time at Brandons getting an early morning bath. Farther north a few more usually take advantage of the soothing temperature of the Hot Pot. This morning about 5.30 a.m. just one individual was taking a bath and the Hot Pot itself had no takers.
Along the beach a slight drizzle, enough just to kiss one’s face, along with the briny yet fresh aroma of the ocean, offered no reminder of the prediction of inclement weather. Nor did the turquoise waves, overlapping, rushing, receding, repeating, give any hint that some gathering tempest might appear in an instant or later in the day. It seemed like any other early Barbadian morning on the beach. Just no people.
At Pile Bay the boats were in and save for one seemingly sleeping individual whose dress and appearance gave no clue as to whether he was a fisherman or an inebriated villager, all was quiet and peaceful on that front.
The trek from Spring Garden Highway along President Kennedy Drive, Eagle Hall and Black Rock Main Road offered a virtually similar story. Bus stops were unpeopled, usual 24-hour gas stations had significantly reduced those hours, a few privately-owned Public Service Vehicles were on the road but most were noticeably empty with the exception of course of the man at the wheel. Not a Transport Board bus was in sight.
By 7 a.m. the sun was still struggling to emerge from behind the clouds, while a bit more life stirred on the streets in the form of private vehicles and a few pedestrians.
Bajans had rightfully taken the threat very seriously but as the day progressed there were indications that some businesses were re-opening even before the all clear had been given by the relevant authorities.