Friday, November 8, 2013

Super Typhoon Hiayan

From yesterday's weather report

Wow…the Philippines have really had their rear ends handed to them this year when you talk about natural disasters.  A major earthquake hit a few months ago and this week, the fourth typhoon of the year will crash through the Visayas, the central part of the country.  Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Chinese word for a petrel seabird… also known as the largest typhoon this year.  Once it hits Philippine waters it will be known by Yolanda…not sure why they rename it?  It’s a category 5.  Wow.

The eye passed right over Kyangle yesterday, one of the northern islands/atolls in Palau.  Further south, Andy had Savannah all tucked into a tight little hole with one other boat and he and Jake hunkered down.  Winds were supposed to reach 40 – 65 knots where they were depending on how close it passed.  I was a nervous wreck.  There was absolutely nothing I could do.

To compound my worry, we have several friends on their own boats riding it out in the Philippines right now. 

Savannah, with ALL of her lines out.
So what do we do in a typhoon?  Typhoons are pretty regular in this part of the world so the first thing we do is find multiple “typhoon holes” – coves or anchorages known for their near 360 degree protection from the winds.  I say multiple because other people will have the same idea and you don’t want to be the last one trying to find cover.  We retreat to our chosen spot a day or two ahead of time so we have time to put out the lines and secure everything.  In Pulawat, last year for Bopha,, we put all four of our anchors out and tied several lines from the boat to some hefty coconut trees on land.  This year for Haiyan, Andy put out all four anchors and tied many more lines to the trees.  They stocked up on groceries and rode it out.  If I were there I would have tried to convince him to leave the boat and go to a hotel, but that didn’t happen.

I checked the various weather sources non-stop for 24 hours, pretty much making myself crazy.  My brain would tell me they’re fine, but that didn’t stop this worrier from worrying.  I knew it would be a while before he could communicate with me so my coping mechanism was a bottle of wine, a good friend and the CMAs....imagine my relief when I got an email right before settling down in front of the TV last night that said all was good.  Palau saw wind gusts up to 75 mph, but Savannah never saw anything over 25!  Whew, am I glad that’s over.

It’s not time to stop praying yet…we still have friends in the Philippines, and well, the whole rest of the country.  


Darcy said...

Thanks for posting...I was reading an article about Haiyan and they mentioned "Palau," and I immediately thought about this boat blog I read earlier this year...glad to hear all is well with Savannah, at least.

The Crew of Savannah said...

Thanks for your comment and concern. Hopefully our friends in the Philippines will have similar stories and all come out ok.

Matt McKaskle said...

Thanks for the update. I knew Andy would do the right thing but I was still concerned.

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