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Old 12-14-2007, 09:01 PM   #1
Auzzee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,729

The 'Build-up' is almost over and northern Australia's 'Wet' season is here. Forecasters predict there will be an increase in cyclone activity this year due to el nino causing the water to warm. Warmer waters, of course, drive the TRS (tropical revolving storm) engine. In a normal year, 10 cyclones will develop off the coast. Most years those that make landfall manage to miss major population centres.

Forecasters say this year there may be as many as 20 cyclones. As we in Darwin live with this constant wet season threat, there is a tendency toward complacency. Having survived three major cyclones with only minor property damage, I admit to feeling the same complacency.

However, last night, we had a raging wet season storm with high winds and a stunning light and sound show. It reminded me of the last time we had a cyclone, and my flight across the harbour into the relative safety of a deep water channel through mangrove flats. It was scary! But in the same channel already tied off, fore and aft, to mangrove trunks, were a South African trimeran, and a Pommy steel sloop.

For four days we had a constantly revolving dinner party. Competetive cooking produced top tucker, and we drank all the awful donated booze on board boats which no one would normally bother with...In my case, I had a bottle of Boronia and a litre of the world's worst brandy given to me no doubt, by someone whom I had initially thought of as a friend.

The single event which triggered this memory mostly, was one particular clap of thunder. I was in the shower last night after having toured on deck to check mooring lines etc. At the same moment as the bathroom was brilliantly lit through a deck prism by a lightning bolt, came a thunder clap. Both were directly above the boat. But, although the boom of the thunder was mammoth, it was the sound of it coming through the vent below a dorade box which elicited my memory of the previous cyclone.

The noise and its proximity, was difficult to describe, but it sounded as though the thunder itself was seeking me out.....Now....I have a policy about not peeing in the shower on board.

I am about to get down on hands and knees to sluice out the grey water sump.



"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 12-15-2007, 12:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 396

Living with hurricanes only came into my life 4 seasons ago. The first year we were at the dock on the ICW. The first year we were on the ICW. The weather was 200 miles away, but the river came up to the bottom of the docks. Made me nervous as heck. I was getting ready to go into the river, and anchor when things started to subside.

The second year I sat on the hook in Miami on the outskirts of Charlie. We got 60 mph wind, and just let the engines idle in forward to ease the strain on the chain.

The 3rd season we were on the St. Johns River 45 miles inland at an old Navy facility. While there we recieved 90mph. The good thing there is the pier runs about 1500 ft. I am in between #1 & #2 pier. There are 2 medium size cruise ships tied to #1. The Cat also sits lower than the pier so the wind basically catches only the rigging.

I am looking forward to leaving the hurricane zone. I think the worst part is the forecasters . They have a constant sensationalism about the strength, and the movement. I jump with joy when they first predict it is coming at me. I know it will soon alter......

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Old 12-16-2007, 11:31 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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all the awful donated booze

Reminds me of the time my brother rang me up and said (and I quote):

Del! You should drop around! I've got a bottle of Korea's finest whisky!

That was about it for that conversation.
= New South Wales, Queensland,
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