, the local newspaper has been highlighting cyclone possibilities for weeks, as it does every year at this time. They do it with such boring frequency that only the tourists bother to look at it, boy and wolf scenario. There is currently a low developing into a cyclone a few hundred mile southwest of here. Visiting yachties are asking where should they go, i'm saying wait until it gets here, mainly because if it doesnt get here they wont be able to do anything until the next spring tide. The tides range from 0-7metres and play a significant part in where you can and cant go anytime of the year. And historically if its developing south west of here it will move south west further. Cyclones come by every year, my attitude is part of the local folklore and although 60 folk were killed in 74 when one actually did come here most long term locals dont bother. Granted its an arrogant attitide to take but when they keep on harping on about cyclones every wet season it gets a bit dull. The port authorities along the Queensland
coast have excellent cyclone procedures for yachties, the Darwin Port Authority cyclone handbook mentions yachts twice, in the index for yacht clubs. The handbook focuses more on what the clerks have to do with their computers
than anything else. A cyclone came by earlier this year, terrorised a local community nearby went inland and became a storm, last year one pretty much did the same thing. The marinas
are usually full and the dozen or so of us who live aboard in the harbour take the good with the bad, if things actually do look bad we know what creeks to go up depending on what the tide is at the time.
I've had some enjoyable moments with severe storms in the Tasman and have actually been in at least one significant cyclone in the Indian Ocean
, which rates another post on its own, but I've always trusted my gut and acted accordingly. I look at the available weather charts
and my instruments, the sky and the sea, the tell tales on my sails
and the vane at the top of my mast
and survive accordingly (wood touched). I've not been foolish enough to leave a safe haven when a serious storm is about but when caught with my pants down trust my yacht and trust my gut.