Friday, March 19, 2010

Hurricane Tomas

March 19, 2010—Tomas stayed east of Viti Levu Island so the weather was not nearly as bad as we expected. On Tuesday, Steve and I woke up early because the wind had picked up. Around 9 a.m. we decided to walk out to the point at the entrance to the marina. We were amazed at how light the winds out there were until we walked out from behind the yacht club building. The wind then hit us at what we believe was about 40 knots. We enjoyed the view and took pictures and videos even though it was raining lightly. As usual the pictures don't really show the actual conditions, but at least they give some idea of what it was like.

The seas were rough; however, that didn’t keep a cruise ship from leaving port that morning, so we watched as it moved north past the point. All the boats in the marina had been well secured, and the surge gate had been put into place at the breakwater for the marina. The surge gate is a string of tires on their rims that are chained together. It really helped to dampen the waves entering the harbor.

When we arrived back at the boat, we decided that the winds inside the marina were at about 20 knots so the marina basin was very well protected from the wind and waves, especially since they were not coming from the west. The rest of the day was pretty benign, and by Wednesday the weather had cleared up considerably. By Thursday we were undoing all our cyclone preparations and returning the boat to normal.

We have worked with another couple to schedule a party this evening for the yard workers who put in so much effort to make the boats secure. The cruisers paid for the meat, the kava, and two side dishes. The yacht club made the two side dishes for us, and they let us use their barbeque facilities.

We had a good turnout, and some of the workers brought some family members. Peter from sv Nightcap made kava. The kava bowl was an old float with the top cut off. The top then became the bottom to hold the bowl in place. Steve did the cooking on the barbeque—lamb chops, pork chops, and bangors (sausages). Several of us ladies baked desserts so there good food for all. It did rain a bit during the meal; however, that never stopped anyone from eating or drinking kava. We all expressed our thanks for them, and everyone went away full. Some went away a bit tipsy from the kava.

We will leave for Musket Cove tomorrow so that we can get a break from the heat here in Vuda. The forecast looks good for awhile, and Musket is only two hours away, so we can come back here if the weather turns ugly. I plan to post blogs every couple of weeks until we leave Fiji around the first of May.

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