Monday, January 31, 2011

The Cyclone That Wasn't and The Cyclone That Very Well Could Be

We spent all weekend getting ready for our first cyclone onboard Anima. Rene added even more ropes to hold us into our marina pen, I stocked up our food stores from the local farmers market and supermarket. We battened down everything, brought all of the things usually stored on deck inside and contacted friends and family. We talked to as many people as we could about how cyclones form, what they feel like, how to survive them etc. etc. After days of watching his progress online, worrying about how the marina would hold up in destructive winds, Tropical Cyclone Anthony decided to head further south of us a couple of hours before he was due to hit here in Townsville. We had a brief rain shower last night and woke up this morning to sunny blue skies. But, it's not over yet, Tropical Cyclone Yasi is now on her way, heading right for us - again. 
The current wind forecast for Cyclone Yasi due to hit Wednesday night.
I'm exhausted - from worry. This morning we spent 2 hours examining all of the latest forecasts and models for Cyclone Yasi which is predicted to hit here in 2-3 days. It looks much much worse than Anthony was. We've studied predictions from UGRIB, the U.S. Naval Maritime Forecast Centre and Typhoon Warning Centre, the Australian Bureau of Meterorology's 7 day wind forecast, wave forecast model, cyclone forecast and maritime forecast. I've also been checking the local weather and news. I'm starting to wonder if all of this information is too much. Each time I look at a model of the cyclone path, my stomach clenches into a knot of fear, I suddenly need to go to the bathroom and feel as though I might be sick. This reaction is getting more intense the more I subject myself to the cyclone forecasts.

Anima all tied up ready for Cyclone Anthony.
Anima is secured with so many ropes!
So today I'm left wondering what to do? If Cyclone Yasi is coming here and is as strong as they say she'll be, what's the point of continuing to work on Anima when she may be destroyed in a couple of days? Should I continue with everything as though we'll be fine? Should I adopt the locals attitude of 'she'll be right, mate' or should we move to somewhere else? The other marina is not as old as this one but would be more crowded. B finger is newer than E finger in this marina but is closer to the rocks and trees of the park. Where we are is good because there are no boats close to us so there is no danger of our masts getting tangled up but if there is a large storm surge, the whole marina could lift up and over the pontoons and everything would be destroyed.... aaaaaagggghhhh!

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