In the eye of the tTyphoon Chan-hom

Eva and Jan Fr. Mack
Sun 10 May 2009 00:44
Our position is now 16:23:00N 119:54:84E
What can I say; we have seen the eye with blue skye and no wind. And a wall of destructive power around us. Unfortunately you don't get to the eye without going through the wall. What an incredible and scary experience. Necessity is the only boat I know that has been at anchor in 80 knots of wind (possibly more) and survived without damage to the boat itself.
We were four sailing boats in the "typhoon shelter" here in Bolinao. The other boats all went on to the rocks, though miraculously on got of with limited damages. The other two are lost. All the local boats are lost even if quite a few were on "typhoon moorings". The moorings and the boats are now on the beach. We dragged a few times and missed some rocks with a very narrow margin. But when it mattered most our two anchors in tandem, a Bruce and a Spade held while corrugated iron and barrels from the fish farms flew across the bay. It is very sad that many people living on the fish rafts are missing, including some children. Two days after the event none can be expected to be alive. Onshore looks like the area has been blanket bombed. In fact it can not be recognized. Apart from the palm trees the vegitation is largely gone. Most houses are in ruins (though the ones properly built in reinforced concrete etc. survived). I could tell you countless tales of destruction. Necessity did get some equipment damage. Our very sturdy anchor roller broke right off probably when the snubber line broke. Fortunately we had attached the anchor chain to lines running back to the main genoa winches. The mast for the wind generator was hit by something flying and the strut broke. Then this 2 inch mast simply bent over because of the wind force. The wind generator is dead (it was switched off and secured). But we, and all the other yachties, are unhurt (two are now living with us). If you have been through the wall of a major typhoon in a small boat, nothing else matters. For the locals the situation is dismal, and substantial relief has not materialized. This is not a country where the government gets much involved.
Jan Fr. and Johan
S/Y Necessity (very lucky boat)
More will be coming on

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