Friday, January 22, 2010

Tsunami Warning

We left Clarence Town on January 12th, for an easy overnight run to the Crooked-Acklin Islands. Late afternoon, we pulled the anchor and went in to the Flying Fish Marina where we filled our fuel tanks, then headed out. About an hour later, just before dusk, we got a call from the marina on our VHF radio, telling us that there had been an earthquake in Haiti (7.0 on the Richter scale) with potential aftershocks, and that a tsunami warning had been issued for the southern Bahamas and other nearby areas. Great. Then we realized that the open ocean was exactly where we wanted to be during a tsunami warning, since a tsunami’s damage generally occurs when the water reaches shallows and land. In deep water, we might only see a tsunami as a swell. So instead of following our intended course along the coast of Long Island, we headed out beyond the 1,000 meter depth contour before turning south again. We maintained contact with the marina and another boat that had left earlier in the day. And…we had a beautiful night. No tsunami, no bad weather, and we made our waypoint by dawn.

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