Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cyclone Evan

Cyclone Evan : Epicentre right on Vuda Point
As this amazing image of Cyclone Evan shows, it scored a direct hit on Vuda Point Marina, where Sapphire is currently stored in a trench. This unique storage method will hopefully have prevented her from being blown over, and she can’t take in water and sink or get ripped off a mooring and blown ashore or out to sea, which is the sort of thing that can happen to yachts at anchor or on ordinary moorings in a marina. However she may well sustain damage from rainwater getting in, or from trees or other debris falling onto her, and I don’t doubt that the tarpaulin cover I rigged  up before leaving will have been torn away, so I am a little worried to hear what has happened over there. Not that I will be able to do much about it from this distance.
Scouring the internet for news, I came across a video posted from Vuda Point. It was taken from the cockpit of a yacht in the marina, which is itself supposed to be cyclone protected – a relative term I guess – and it showed wild wind and rain, trees bending back and forth – I searched the background of the video for a glimpse of Sapphire but nothing much was visible through the heavy rain. Locals reported severe  flooding and houses being blown away at nearby Lautoka and Nadi, trees down everywhere, tourists from evacuated island resorts camped out in the airport, and wind gusts over 150mph. There was a photo of the Raymarine Wind instruments on someones yacht in the marina : 54 knots.
The Track of the Cyclone preddcited 2 days earlier
I tried to make use of “Social Media” – ie Facebook – and there were brief messages from people in various resorts in the area reporting flooding and trees down, and lots of requests for news about this place or that, but in many areas power is down, mobile phones aren’t working and roads are blocked.  I have emailed the Marina, but wont be surprised if I don’t hear anything for a day or two. They will be frantically busy cleaning up a huge mess I imagine – their lovely open air restaurant could easily have been blown away as its made mostly of tree branches, has a thatch roof and sits in an exposed position for a view of the Marina on one side and the ocean on the other.
Sapphires caretaker, that sweet old Indian guy called Bharros, doesn’t have a phone or email so Ive simply asked the Marina if they can pass on a message to him from me, and to give me some news when he can – for all I know his own place might have been wrecked so he may be preoccupied with more important things for a while anyway. I just hope his family and his house are OK. I can afford to live without my toys !

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