The nice lady at check-in enquired if Antigua was our final destination. No! we said. We have a connecting Liat flight to Dominica. No! she said. The Douglas-Charles Airport on Dominica is closed because of a tropical storm. Strange we thought! We had followed the first hurricane of the season,' 'Danny' as it headed directly towards Dominica a week earlier and then veered away and fizzled out. The BBC forecast we had looked at just before we left promised calm weather and lots of sunshine. Now she was babbling about some sort of tropical storm and that it was called Erika.
As everyone knows, if you give a storm a name then it's big. Dominica had been hit by hurricane David 20 years earlier. It was devastating, but nothing of much consequence has hit Dominica since. Erika wasn't even a hurricane, but what it was turned out to be much worse. The winds only reached 45mph, but the clouds carried a vast ammount of water. The photo above is of Douglas-Charles airport the day Erika swept through and the reason it was unlikely we'd be able to land a plane here. Boarding the BA flight to Antigua though, we had no idea of quite how catastrophic the situation was. We had planned this move for 6 months; we had put everything into it, incliuding all our hopes. We had even been out for a recce in January and Oliver had tried the school for a week and loved it. We had fallen in love with this incredible island, it's people and it's nature.