Saturday, August 20, 2016

Day 51 -- Rain, Wind and Surf

While having breakfast this morning, I counted more than a dozen dog-walkers on the beach, all with hoods pulled over their heads, fending off the wind and rain. A jogger ran along the promenade, the wind whipping his jacket – but he wasn’t moving all that fast. With those observations, I decided to visit a museum today.

The museum I chose is in Ramsey, about a 1¼ hour train ride from Douglas. The Electric Railway runs 2-car trains. One car is enclosed, the other roofed, but open to the sides. When I reached the station, the enclosed car was already full, but having already decided to go to Ramsey, I naturally took a seat in the open car, already filling with passengers. The man seated next to me lost his umbrella when it blew out of the train just as the train started to move. He’ll probably recover it when he returns to the station.

The ride to Ramsey was pleasant enough, despite the occasional blast of wind and rain. A light sprinkle was falling when we arrived in Ramsey. I was not to be deterred by the one-mile walk from the station to the museum. When I was about 1/3 the way to the museum, the downpour started. By 2/3 of the way, my pants and boots were soaked. I reluctantly concluded that my touring a museum dripping wet would be no fun for me, and even less fun for the museum staff. I’ll save the museum for another day.

Walking back to the train station, I passed the bus station, and the idea dawned that I should take a bus tour of the island. I found a bus whose route meandered back to Douglas, crisscrossing the island west and then east to achieve south – a great way for me to see parts of the island I haven’t been to, without walking in the rain. The plan worked well for about 20 minutes, by which time the bus filled with passengers and all the windows fogged.

When I arrived in Douglas, the misty weather seemed relatively clear compared to the foggy bus. So I walked along the promenade marveling at the full-moon-high-tide waves now breaking against the sea wall. Where the strongest breakers hit the sea wall, the police had closed the adjacent roadway to traffic. Upon inquiry, a policeman told me that the road closure was to protect pedestrians: a few years ago, a child escaping a wave breaking over the wall ran onto the roadway and was struck by a vehicle.