Sorry I’ve been so absent around DSN of late but it has been literally non-stop travel, meetings, and field work with my day job. In fact, I’m about to head to Honduras for a site-visit to the Bay Islands Marine Protected Area Network. The plan was to blog from the field about the conservation gains in this southernmost section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Well, that was the plan anyway.
Meet Tropical Storm Richard, currently vexing me at 16.0N, 80.4W, approximately 235 miles SSE of Grand Cayman. Richard has maximum sustained winds of approximately 40 mph and is crawling towards the Honduras Bay Islands at 3 mph
The government of Honduras has issued a tropical storm watch for the coast of Honduras from the Nicaragua/Honduras border westward to Limon.
I’m scheduled to leave tomorrow early for Houston, and then connect on to Roatan. But if this upgrades to a hurricane (or just meanders closer to the mainland), I foresee a protracted stay at the George H Bush International Airport Holiday Inn. All on my own dime as airlines don’t help out with weather related delays.
So, do I:
a) Keep my current itinerary and take my chances on being able to fly-in to Roatan tomorrow and then ride out a tropical storm/hurricane with the locals; or,
b) Keep my current itinerary and get stranded in Houston until flights are cleared for landing in Roatan; or,
c) Pay the change of flight penalty and delay my flight until Richard passes over Honduras; or,
d) Pay the penalty and cancel this flight and reuse the tickets later.
I trouble you all with the pesky details of my life only to illustrate the challenges of field-based biodiversity conservation work. I’ve written about the occasional messiness of fieldwork before. All these potential changes and postponements come at a financial burden to a small conservation NGO and to our local partners. It also represents significant lost time in rounding-up busy project partners and stakeholders in Honduras, a process that can take weeks to months to align. And postponements/cancellations can push our window for program delivery outside of what funders want.
Shit happens. No one can predict how weather or natural disasters will impact the best laid plans. But damn it, does this storm have to mock me with its name!?