On February 20, TC Winston reached its peak intensity with ten-minute sustained winds of 230 km/h (145 mph) and a pressure of 915 hPa (mbar; 27.03 inHg), shortly before making landfall on Viti Levu, Fiji.
|Winston as he passes by Fiji (again)|
|Winston's path circling Fiji|
So, if you would like to donate, we know that Sea Mercy is an excellent choice.
|Cyclone Flags are up|
Several of our friends loaded up their boats with supplies and headed north.
Wish we could have helped...
|Up the mangrove creek - lots of lines|
It was excellent example of everyone working together to make sure all were safe.
|Good group of boats up the creek|
We had 5 lines tied to the mangroves on the port side; 4 on the starboard side; plus anchors bow and stern. And, at low tide, we were stuck in the mud. Moondance wasn't going anywhere!
Very Special Thanks to Don on s/v Coromandel. He had us all organized and tied to the mangroves. Plus, continued to row up and down the creek checking on everyone.
|Moondance stuck in the mud|
That's when we went to bed and slept well - we were pooped!
Some boats saw 100 knots of wind. It really depending on where you were in the creek. But, all were safe.
|Weaving thru boats and lines|
We had so many lines to maneuver thru and around. It wasn't easy, but worth it.
The Rhum-ba was open and serving beer and pizza (yeah!) and we were ready to get off the boat, plus wanted to see how Port Denarau weathered the storm.
|Still raining and pouring|
It was surreal to see the marina completely empty, but good to find out that they had only received minimal damage.
Well, except for the power. Parts of Fiji are still with out it...
So, we hope that we never have to go thru another cyclone, but it is very good to know that the mangrove creeks provide an excellent safe haven.
Plus, to know how well the Port Denarau Marina and the Yachties worked together to ensure all were safe!
Moondance ending up going side ways and got stuck on a mud bank (yes, laying on her side).
It took lots of help to get her moving again the next day at high tide. Until then, we were able to stay on one of the other boats that weren't occupied.
Just staring at ol' Moondance... Happy to report that no damage occurred. Well, maybe our pride!
Lesson learned: if possible, go up the creek at slack tide!