Fri 2 Oct 2009 20:57
Position, 22.39S 167.25E
Just before 7am last Wednesday the radio warned us that there had been a serious earthquake in Samoa, a tsunami warning had been issued and all boats were strongly advised to leave the bay immediately and head for deep water. It certainly got our attention and within a few minutes 30 yachts were heading out of the bay. Interestingly, the locals, who all live in low lying areas, seemed not to have been alerted to the danger. A couple of hours later Radio Australia broadcast the all clear, as did Noumea maritime radio. Had the Tsunami hit, we would have been ok out in deep water, but the local population would have been in big trouble. Nuiatopatapu in Northern Tonga, where the tsunami struck, had been a group we had planned to cruise to, but bad weather had prevented us from going there. At least one cruiser was swept overboard from his yacht anchored in Samoa--there was no time for any warnings there.
We are completing an overnight trip of about 140 miles from Ouvea down to the Isle des Pins, one of our favourite places. Most of the night we had 15 to 20kts of wind about 20 degrees off the bow. The Selene has the length and power to handle these conditions well.
Much more comfortable than with the wind abeam. We have a line overboard and plenty of birds working ahead, so hope to catch a nice tuna or mahimahi before breakfast.