Tsunami info and Pure Joy Update
30 September 2009 | Poulsbo WA USA
Thought you might want to see this account of the earthquake and tsunami. Eeeek. We know to get out of the harbor asap in the event we experience this first-hand.
From: R K
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 5:52 AM
. Sad News from Pago Pago
Posted by: "Glenn Tuttle" email@example.com parrothedd1
Date: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:53 am ((PDT))
Lois Peck of the S/V Spice Island Lady reported the following:
The Sunami that hit PagoPago swept Danny of the S/V Mainly off the dock and Joan found him after many hours at the morgue. Randy and Cheryl on S/V Caribee were on a mooring and are OK but say their boat took a beating.
I am forward the first email from Caribee the second one told us Danny was drowned.
Ernie Kelley of the S/V Lauren Grace reported the following:
By now you may have seen on world news that an 8.3 earthquake centered about 140 miles southwest of Western Samoa has caused damage, loss of life and tsunamis that have had waves as high as 20 feet and traveled as far as a mile inland. Likely the death toll will rise from the present number of 28. Fortunately though the Samoan islands have a system of tsunami sirens scattered throughout the islands and people did have some time to seek higher ground though obviously some did not make it.
What we experienced in the capital of Western Samoa, Apia, was trembling of the earth strong enough to feel it on our boat floating in 8 feet of water in the city marina. We watched the dock poles shake making ripples 360 degrees then the water in the marina began running out. The shaking lasted more than a minute and maybe even 2 minutes. Our first earthquake. Both of us have read accounts and watched films of tsumanis after earthquakes and had rehearsed the best plan to save our boat. We knew a tsunami was a real possiblilty. Charlene and I immediately started our engines, loosed the dock lines and backed out of our slip and exited the marina into the harbor. Meanwhile we could see water rushing out of the marina basin and were later told it went down quickly 4 to 5 feet then leveled off. We were the first ones out of the marina and out the entrance of the harbor to seek 100 feet of water or more. The big ships were sounding their horns as we passed them at the dock indicating all crew to get aboard to exit quickly. We stayed tuned to VHF channel 16 for updates and found a FM station giving some news. We hovered about 4 miles out for 4 hours waiting for the port captain to get the all clear from the U.S. Earthquake Center in Hawaii. News while were out was that islands a thousand miles away in all directions and those in between would likely be receiving a tsunami. Do not know yet how badly the hundreds of small islands with barely 20 feet of land above sea level fared. Within 3 hours a tsunami hit New Zealand but do not know what damage.
At 1230 hrs local time (about 1930 hrs in Florida) we received the all clear and motored back to our dock knowing from boats that did not depart the marina that there was no damage. The marina is on the north side of the island and the tsunami hit the south side. The local radio station has said that some 28 people have lost their lives including some children no doubt in the small villages we visited last week right on the beach. In a local hotel here called Aggie Grays the hotel guests experienced t.v.'s falling from the wall mounts, drywall cracking and violent shaking. Aggie Gray also has a beach resort hotel on the south side of the island and buses were bringing in guests to the downtown hotel visibly shaken and in their night clothes.
We have been in touch with boaters in American Samoa, about 80 miles east of us. A tsunami struck there after the quake and caused a great deal of damage. Loss of life is expected because so many Samoans there live close to the water. We know that where we anchored while in American Samoa it is 31 feet deep and the boat anchored in front of us who is still there experienced a sudden lowering of the harbor to the 5 foot deep level. Some 25 feet of water was drawn out just before the tsunami hit. There were six boats at the dock who could not have adjusted their lines quick enough to lower down without damage to their boats so will likely hear about that soon.
Not sure when this e-mail will get out as all communications systems are being used heavily including e-mails. We are fine, no damage to any boats or the marina. As we know more we will inform you.
SV Lauren Grace
lying Apia, Western Samoa
On another note, I'm trying harder to make sense of the health care issues this week. Any info you have that you think I need to know, please email me.
It is a beautiful morning here in Poulsbo, with fog around the peripheray, and a pleasant 54 degrees. Just spent many days prepping and painting the aft shower/head, including recaulking the tiles around the comode. My first caulking project. It is beautiful. Next will be some barrier protection for windows and hatches. We still have a four-page list of things to do, which is good because it will help the months move along. There is a nice contingency of folks here on F Dock at Port of Poulsbo Marina who are also wintering over. One couple circumnavigated Vancouver Island for five months this summer in an Islander 36 out of Oregon -- with three chow dogs onboard. They left yesterday for a month at home and to arrange for the dogs to be watched so they can experience cruising without them. Another couple -- she is a nurse and he is a stay-at-boat home dad, just got back from three weeks inside Vancouver Island and have a 2 year old who is about as boat savvy as some boaters. Then there is a couple on a Cataline 35 (2003) who circumnavigated Vancouver Island -- he is a firefighter out of Oregon and she is an EMT. They took five months and sailed as far north as Nainamo. All these people are our winter neighbors, including two guys -- Jonathan and Mark -- each with their own boat who were moored in Olympia with us for a couple of years and who lead the way for us when we were deciding where to winter.
I've already got my library card; found a lap pool at the high school and got the okay from the Port to have ladies yoga several times a week in a floating building by the office. And I'm enjoying the projects. And some good reading.
We really, really do need to do some sailing and hope that we can motivate ourselves away from the dock. That became harder as Ray had DISH TV installed last weekend, only because of the wiring. It seems like we are literally tied to the dock. It is also interesting to be on the other side of the water again, ie from Edmonds eg. after having left Sequim/PA in 2000 to get back into the big city work force.
Hope all is well with each of you.