The View
from Here:
  Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline, and when she's not organizing the St. Barthelemy film festival, or supervising the local volleyball league, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.
  April '02
  Weather Report
  Special bulletin from Saint Barth: Heavy rains and heavy winds due to a convergence of who knows what from who knows where. With a juxtaposition of dark clouds, brief periods of intense sun and a weekend where everything seemed inside out.
  It all started on Saturday evening (April 6) at about 10:00pm. We were all still on the tennis court at AJOE in Lorient putting away the loudspeakers and chairs from the film festival screening of Vampires In Havana, a rather charming animated gangster spoof. Frank Gonzalez, a leading theatre, film, and television actor from Havana had come to the festival to present the film (for an island that's not too far away it's pretty hard to get here. Frank flew from Havana to Jamaica to St Martin to St Barth, for example). After the movie, Frank entertained the crowd by showing how he does the voices for the various characters. No sooner did he finish than the heavens opened and the rains came and seemed to never stop coming (almost 6 inches of rain in two days time). This put a little dent in the end of the film festival as Sunday night's film was washed out and re-scheduled for Monday evening. Unfortunately, it rained a little at around 8:00pm on Monday as well and only a few brave souls ventured out. But the evening cleared up and those of us who were there enjoyed the film.
  In the meantime, the St. Barth Bucket, an invitational regatta for sailboats over 100' in length, was also taking place. First day of the race was Saturday, with calm seas, nice winds of 10-15 knots, turquoise waters, and fluffy clouds. A beautiful 112-footer, Unfurled, made it's first entry in this race, and took the lead at the first buoy and led all the way to the finish line. Unfortunately the clear skies and sunshine of Sunday afternoon were accompanied by little or no wind, after a very rainy morning. So a short version of the race was run with only six of the original eight entries finishing (one of them actually broke a rudder in practice run and never raced at all).
  So for the movie, an event requiring clear skies, it rained, and for the race which needed wind, all was calm. Until Monday when the winds whipped up and continued whipping right through Tuesday, when they whipping through here with near gale force. This caused total havoc at the airport which was closed then open then closed, stranding people in St Barth for an extra day or two (not too hard a punishment) and the airport was crowded with folks trying to get home. Fortunately the rain seemed to have stopped. If not I was about to go down to the dock and see of one of those big "buckets" that came here for the regatta might double as Noah's Ark.

  More to come,

  Ellen Lampert-Greaux

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