The day was beautiful, we were basking in the sun and Letitgo was resting on a lake. At 5pm the VHF came to life, Ladies and Gentlemen we are having a visitor tonight, the radio net controller Barry announced. A Tropical depression was racing towards Tonga at 35 km/h (Note that normally a system moves at a max speed of 10km/h), it we will hit us during the night with winds up to 50 Knots.
Well well well… We engaged in speed and sprinted into action to ensure that all was secured well, the only thing that was not really was the dinghy which we remedied right away. Fortunately the harbor we are is deep into the bay allowing the wind to slow down a little, but the outer islands reported this morning similar condition when Winston (the cyclone’s name) came through last year (Fiji recorded at the time winds higher than 300km/hr that time). This morning we heard on the radio that one local boat was lost from his mooring on one of the resort, then a local restaurant “Mango” lost a portion of its roof and dock…
This was a quick one which lasted 12 hours, but it is still a good reminder to always be ready for the worst to come. Typically there is a the three days warning unfortunately this time around the rule didn’t apply and took a few people by surprise. On our side, we have definitely made up our mind, if we have a forecast above 70 knots, we will take a hotel room and live it from there, truly at that point being onboard will not make a difference and the boat will be very uncomfortable.
Here is an idea of what we are going through right now:
Look closely, now add a fan at the higher speed with some water sprayed on our face and a hairdryer noise in your ears. That should give you the feeling of what we are going through at the moment.
Last Saturday the market was beautiful, we even bought a basket of Papaya and produced some Basil and Papaya Jams along with Papaya Chutney.
What can we say we have to keep busy during those “stuck on the boat days”…