Matthew Drops By


The debris blanketed the entire resort

The mess left behind


Hello All!

Well, it has been yet another disruptive week for old Steve and a week to count my blessings.

We had gotten through the last tropical system and things seemed like they were going to normalize until the blobs began forming in various parts of the Atlantic. One of which was Hurricane Matthew.

This storm was odd. It took an odd path to the U.S. and grew rather quickly. It also had a strange convection blob that stuck on the eastern side like a tumor. But as it approached Cuba and Haiti, it was all to clear that this system was not a joke.

By the time I left work on Tuesday night, hysteria was starting to set in so I gassed up my car early. Supplies were beginning to roll off the shelves.

The day of the approaching storm, I was frantically checking and working on my roof and putting things indoors. By 5 p.m., I was driving to the home of my sister in St. Petersburg.

It had been ages since I saw my sister and spending the time with family was much needed. We even went down to see the surf and I figured I would get one more day to relax and surf the swell on the gulf. Well, the next afternoon that idea was torpedoed when I received a call that they were planning to work to repair the resort the next morning. So off I went back home and the next morning I was at work at 8 a.m.

The resort was a mess but compared to the destruction and flooding that happened northward; we got off easy. The entire resort was covered with a mass of palm fronds and broken tree branches. There were downed trees and fallen fences. A lot of tedious work as ahead.



Roof damage



Broken tile on the fifth floor

Broken tile fragments on the fifth floor


As for the two pictures above, the first picture shows some damage to our roof. Something struck the tiles with a lot of force. The second picture is of small pieces of the tiles that I found scattered on the 5th floor walkway. Yes, the wind blew fragments up to the fifth floor.  Amazingly, windows of the hotel units were close by and not a one was damaged.


This guy made it through the storm and stopped by to watch the clean up.

Dropping by to watch the clean up effort.


So our staff rolled up their collective sleeves and went to work and days later, we re-opened the resort.


The End Result

It is funny what a disaster brings out in people. Some people were just the same as what you expected. They did not want to help or they put in a minimal effort. But the majority came together. People that normally were in an office slapped on old clothes and work gloves and dug in. People that would complain on easy days smiled and joked about the conditions. It was interesting to watch. And this went on far beyond the walls of our resort.

As for me, I am looking forward to some time with less adventures.






About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
This entry was posted in Surf Banter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s