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Old 16-03-2015, 00:03   #91
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

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Originally Posted by NorthPacific View Post
What is being reported now as the worst natural disaster in the South Pacific. Has taken its toll on many cruising boats as well.

When you look at the devastation on land I suppose it is expected. Feel helpless so far away, yet grateful my crew and our home did not suffer the same fate.

Worst natural disater? I wouldnt think so

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The 2009 Samoa earthquake was an 8.1 Mw submarine earthquake that took place in the Samoan Islands region at 06:48:11 local time on 29 September 2009 (17:48:11 UTC, 29 September).[3] At a magnitude of 8.1, it was the largest earthquake of 2009.

A tsunami was generated which caused substantial damage and loss of life in Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center recorded a 3-inch (76 mm) rise in sea levels near the epicenter, and New Zealand scientists determined that the waves measured 14 metres (46 ft) at their highest on the Samoan coast.[4] The quake occurred on the outer rise of the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone. This is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates in the Earth's lithosphere meet and earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.

Countries affected by the tsunami in the areas that were hit are American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga (Niuatoputapu) where more than 189 people were killed, especially children, most of them in Samoa.[5] Large waves with no major damage were reported on the coasts of Fiji, the northern coast of New Zealand[6] and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. People took precautions in the low-lying atolls of Tokelau and moved to higher ground. Niue was reported as reasonably safe because it is high. There were no reports of high waves from Vanuatu, Kiribati, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.[7]
As for cyclones, it may have been the worst for the last few decades, but many have killed lots.
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Old 16-03-2015, 02:17   #92
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Re: Cyclones and avocados

Glad to hear NoTies made it through

It's amazing the Port Vila boatyard suffered no damage to boats. Would love to see how they protected them ahead of time. Especially on the hard. I know on the hard is supposed to be safer, but with 160mph winds it seems they would just get picked up and knocked over. Do they anchor them to the ground somehow?



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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
One lucky boy..
Cyclone Pam: French yachtie heartbreakingly ditches yacht, takes shelter with NZ navy - National News | TVNZ
I guess it would be difficult to abandon your yacht on a nice sunny day...

I wonder if this boat ^ made it? That had to be heartbreaking to leave. I guess, you let out all your anchor and anchors , batten down and hope something is left. Looked like a nice boat.
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Old 16-03-2015, 03:25   #93
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Re: Cyclones and avocados

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Originally Posted by jb cruzan View Post


I wonder if this boat ^ made it? That had to be heartbreaking to leave. I guess, you let out all your anchor and anchors , batten down and hope something is left. Looked like a nice boat.
Yes, v hard to leave your boat on a nice sunny day with a steady barometer...

Full marks to HMNZS Wellington.

I have a chum who was/is going up there ( Hog Harbour) in mid April to visit family... planning to send a cupla Tecsun 660s with him for the village...for next time

HF radio esp RNZI ( 9765 just now ) would be the only contact the outer islands would have with the rest of the world just now..
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Old 16-03-2015, 05:40   #94
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Re: Cyclones and avocados

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Originally Posted by jb cruzan View Post
Glad to hear NoTies made it through

It's amazing the Port Vila boatyard suffered no damage to boats. Would love to see how they protected them ahead of time. Especially on the hard. I know on the hard is supposed to be safer, but with 160mph winds it seems they would just get picked up and knocked over. Do they anchor them to the ground somehow?
When I was there last year I had a good look around and made the decision to get lifted there instead of Noumea or Fiji. The yachts are placed into heavy weighted cradles which are then stood on the ground. Heavy webbing ties are then used to tie the yacht down to the cradle and to neighbouring cradles (you'll see some of this in some of the photos on the yard's facebook page).

The boatyard is in a sheltered valley, essentially surrounded by hills on 3 sides with the fourth side open to a protected end of the inlet. No doubt floodwaters would rage through the yard in a storm surge but that wouldn't harm any yacht sitting in an above ground cradle. No doubt there are a few fallen branches, washed up litter and other debris around the yard at the moment but the location and siting of the yard gave me as much confidence as anything else.
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:01   #95
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

It is indeed interesting to click thru their facebook photos. I notice they rest the cradles on what looks like stacks of 2x6's on grass. Interesting they don't sink a little with the huge rainfall. I would not have guessed that to make it thru a cyclone. I think linking them together probably helped too. Much harder for even a cyclone to pick up half a dozen boats at the same time. Full marks anyway for their technique.
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:25   #96
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

Definitely the best place to be in a huge Cane, the boatyard!! Kudos for the Yard staff and my condolences to the island population , cruisers, locals!!
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:31   #97
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

NoTies, so happy to hear you are okay. Hope to hear the same from other cruisers and locals.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 16-03-2015, 15:08   #98
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

We already knew Friday the 13th of March was going to be a black day with talk of the Vanuatu Beast and Nuclear Cyclones having done the rounds for a week or so. As currently forecast, the eye was going to side swipe us by about 100 miles at category 5.
Our boat was already hauled, cottage cyclone shutters in place, big battery, inverter and lights for the cyclone itself and generator for the post cyclone power outage. It’s funny, after weathering cyclones on boats with only solar panels, we realized we needed a generator to run our fridge etc. Not so self sufficient as land lubbers. Plenty of food and drinking water in stock as well as charged phone batteries, kindle & laptop.
The morning of the 13th was spent doing a couple of last minute preparations and talking about strategies & contingencies with the Admiral. Our cottage is 4 metres above high tide mark and about 8 metres back from the water on a lagoon. The winds were forecast to come straight across the lagoon at us then veer to the southwest as the eye passed, so we were going to receive the full brunt of what Pam had to offer, with water thrown into the mix as well.
As the winds built we battened down and by lunch time we had 40 knots gusting to 60, nothing too dramatic yet if you have ever lived in Wellington NZ. By early evening it was really starting to boogie and we stood by to lose power at any moment.
Around 1900 we received an updated warning that the system had changed track and was heading more or less directly for us. We had been concerned about losing the roof and what we would do so we had built a small bunker out of 2 very strong tables, covered with a tarpaulin and sheltering our important papers, mementoes etc. with barely enough room for us. After the latest update we decided to enlarge the bunker with a king size bed base supported by the 2 tables and 2 chairs with the mattress underneath for us to sleep on, all kept cozy with the tarpaulin covering the whole lot.
We’ve both lived and worked on the windiest place on Earth and experienced what Antarctica can show but NOTHING prepares you for 130 knots of sustained winds for a few hours. The wind skipped through the “shrieking” phase and went to the “moaning” very quickly but we were so exhausted we actually slept for some time.
The devastation we awakened to on the Saturday was mind boggling. Our cottage proved her worth as an old school colonial building and was almost completely untouched. We were one of the few lucky ones with rooves, trees and assorted debris blocking every street and road.
The clearing effort started immediately and when we were able to get to the harbour we were confronted by about 90% of the moored boat fleet either damaged, sunk, semi submerged or tossed up on shore like a toy boat. Unconfirmed news was reaching us of 3 yachties dead. The coastal trading fleet were lying like a row of tipped over dominoes on Iririki Island with some small boats crushed in between them.
One 90’ steel dive boat had managed to cut a swathe through the moored boats, sinking some, holing others and breaking moorings. Derelict vessels that Marine & Ports had done nothing about broke their lines and holed other boats.
In amongst it all were a few yachts that had survived by some miracle, including an old classic Bass Strait sailing cray boat. None of the owners had expected to have a boat in the morning so the 5 yachts that survived were truly blessed.
We had one boat listed for sale by an absentee owner which ended up with her mast poking through the Waterfront Bar & Grill (for those that know Port Vila). I contacted him yesterday to see if he had insurance, the answer was “no” and he had resigned himself as early as last Wednesday that he had lost his boat. The chainsaw starts tomorrow to remove it.
All this is the devastation from one small part of Vanuatu. Google a map and understand that this system passed the whole length of the island chain, most of which we still have no communication with. Spare a thought for the people of Vanuatu and make sure you come here this year if you are planning to, the country needs yachties like never before.
This is an amazing country with amazing people, I have not seen a single outward show of grief yet there is plenty to grieve about. Some of the first businesses to re-open were the nakamals where people go to enjoy a relaxing shell of kava. We sat around, expats and ni-Vans talking about how lucky we are.
For the person that asked, the lagoon east of the main harbour is barely navigable at the entrance but will allow a 6’ draft to enter at high tide but is actually around a very nasty weather point to approach so has never really been used. (This is the lagoon we live on).
Oh BTW, our yacht “Nightcap” survived the onslaught but, despite being tied down, 8 props and being in the lee of the worst wind managed to fall over gracefully and is now lying on her side. One day I’ll post how to properly prepare a keeler for the strongest storm in recorded history for this part of the world.
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Old 16-03-2015, 15:26   #99
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

Amazing detail NoTies. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in. We're all aghast at the destruction. Thoughts are with you and all the Ni-Vanuatu people. Wish we could sail there right now to help (but have to go to work). Please post your tips on how to prepare a keel boat for a cyclone. Your experience may save many others.
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Old 16-03-2015, 15:40   #100
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

Well done No Ties, your preparedness has paid off. If/When you hear any news from Erromango (Dillons bay) and Tanna, (Port Resolution) could you pass it on?
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Old 16-03-2015, 15:46   #101
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

Wow unbelievable. Post pics if and when you can. Was one side ox the island better then the other our did it not matter

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Old 16-03-2015, 15:56   #102
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

Thank you so much for the informative post, No Ties.

Sorry your boat is on its side, hope it's okay.

More hopes for those south of you.

Maybe some effort could be made to solicit the yachties who are going to Vanuatu this season to carry school supplies to replace those turned to mush from the rain/wind combo? Maybe there's a CF member who has good connections to organize this? or friends with AusAid?

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Old 16-03-2015, 16:06   #103
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

Great report No Ties and a good primer on shore side preparedness for survival storms.
Having lived thru a few of these in the Philippines ...one of the positive aspects of such a blow is that the jungle gets trimmed back and the sea views open up for a decade or so.
Small consultation for those suffering now, but part of nature's landscaping.
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Old 16-03-2015, 16:15   #104
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

I'll pass on more details about the rest of the country as they come to hand. Ann, Sue from Noonsite has contacted me to see who to coordinate relief aid through. The obvious person is Lemara at Yachting World but I want to get Elsie's approval first. She doesn't arrive until the weekend.
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:00   #105
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Re: All Cyclone Pam threads merged to here

An awesome NOAA Science on Sphere video of FOUR tropical storms (including Pam). This shows the storms in motion, from space….showing the entire hemisphere (South Pacific to Indian Ocean) over Australia. Very interesting to see this view.

<div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10155351516735083" data-width="466"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10155351516735083">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/scienceonasphere">NOAA Science On a Sphere</a>.</div></div>


Hmmm…. I cannot seem to get the video to embed here. Not sure why the link does not embed. It is on Facebook. I asked the NOAA staff and they said people can only see this video on Facebook. I copied the link and pasted it here on the forum, as I usually do with youtube videos, but it is not working? ?? if anyone can tell me why, I will fix this post later.

If the above link does not work, then try this one, as I embedded it on my Facebook page and it works there, at the top of my Facebook wall today: http://www.facebook.com/steadman.uhlich
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