*sings* IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!!
Nope, not Christmas. Christmas as I used to know it barely exists for me anymore – there is no tree, no family and presents on Christmas morning, no hot chocolate and skating and snowmen. Christmas is just another day that I take people out diving (and I am totally okay with that). So, while that song might evoke images of Christmas in your mind, the most wonderful time of year on Roatan for me is rainy season.
I will take a moment here to be grateful that we have rainy season, not monsoon season like some other places. It does rain a lot, but not in catastrophic ways and we still get quite a few sunny days interspersed in there. Rainy season on Roatan also only lasts 3 months (compared to my Saskatchewan winters in Canada which can be up to 8 months of the year with snow and freezing temperatures).
We do feel terrible when tourists are here and have saved up all year to take their vacation and end up in the rain (although we would like to introduce you guys to a thing called Google, cause the yearly weather patterns here are no secret and you should probably look that kind of stuff up before you spend thousands of dollars on a vacation), most people who live here love rainy season!
Oh, rainy season, I love you so. Let me count the ways:
After 8 months of nearly dying from heatstroke every day, the cooler temperatures are more than welcome.
Even people who swear they love the heat need a respite sometimes from the intensely hot tropical weather we get here. I actually don’t love the heat, which is why I try to spend the hot part of the daytime here underwater. I also leave during the hottest two months of the year (August and September) and head back to Canada because I literally cannot take the weather here during that time. So once November rolls around and it starts to rain and the temperature drops to a ‘chilly’ +25C/77F… I do my happy dance because I can sit at home and type a blog post like this without sweating to death. And sometimes I even get to wear pants. PANTS, people. It’s exciting. Also, being able to drink hot tea and cook hot food? So lovely.
Rainy season = slow season.
Now, slow season sucks for reasons such as no one is making any money. But it’s also a time for the people who live here to get to enjoy their island and all it has to offer without hordes of cruise shippers crawling all over everything. Prices are also cheaper in low season.
There is a totally legitimate excuse for sitting in your house and watching Netflix for 6 days straight.
No one likes going out when it’s pouring (I feel like that’s kind of a universal truth). So sometimes we do nothing but sit at home, read, check Facebook every 3 minutes and watch all the hundreds of movies we’ve all somehow accumulated from the DVD guy… and no one judges.
Less bug bites!
While there are actually more bugs around in rainy season, since you have pants on and are normally not sitting outside at the beach, you get bit less.
Cleaner ants AKA army ants AKA the best/worst thing ever.
These are huge black ants that descend on your home by the thousands all at once. It’s super creepy to watch – they pour in around door and window frames, up through cracks in the floor, under the door. The first time they invaded my house I had a complete meltdown because Raid doesn’t kill them and no matter how hard I swept them out, more kept coming back in waves. They were in my bed, in my dishes, everywhere! Finally I called an islander friend and managed to shriek out my problem to him, and he (bless his heart) told me to go outside and stand in the street for 5 minutes. Five minutes later he was there, put me on the back of his motorcycle and took me out for a beer. He told me the ants come in and clean your house and then leave in a couple hours. There is nothing to do but wait it out. They bite though, and hard, so if you ever see them go have a beer somewhere else while you wait. Two hours later, I returned to a spotless home – the ants eat EVERYTHING, like crumbs, spiders, other ants, flying bugs, cockroaches (!!), anything they can find. I didn’t have to sweep for days! They always seem to come before a rain, and when I see my floor is full of crumbs I always wish for an invasion of ants to come clean it up.
Rain doesn’t stop a dive.
High wind might get a dive canceled, but rain? Nope! I have people ask me all the time if you can still dive in the rain. Uh, you know you’re going to get wet anyway right?
It’s finally quiet.
I think my favorite part of rainy season is that I can actually sleep, enjoy Skype calls, read or watch a movie/TV peacefully or write without distraction. When it’s not raining, my neighborhood is an absolute circus. Dogs yelping and howling for hours on end, gangs of tiny kids sent outside to run around and scream all day because their parents don’t want to watch them, teenage boys running their no-muffler ATVs up and down the road as fast as they can, neighborhood basketball games outside my bedroom window with boys yelling obscenities you’ve never even heard of before, roosters crowing at all the wrong hours… the list goes on. (We won’t get started on the guy who lives behind me with 4ft tall speakers outside who thinks everyone in a 1-mile radius wants to listen to him blasting reggaeton at 7:30am.) If you were picturing me living in a serene beachside condo, think again. So I love the rain because everyone is inside and I can get a little peace and quiet. It’s such a treat once in awhile and I am always trying to savor it, because I know as soon as the rain stops everyone will come out to play again.