Weekly Report 27 Jan 10

Lynton 'Heff' Heffer
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Weekly Report 27 Jan 10

Post by Brad » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:45 pm

To be honest there are no fishing reports to be forwarded this which is no surprise considering the unsettling weather conditions surrounding us over the past week or so. With Cyclone Olga knocking on our front door everyone went into shut down mode including the local boats located at the Port Douglas marina and yacht club. An evacuation by the Cairns Harbour Master was ordered at 5pm the night prior to the expected cyclone, and by morning 99% of vessels had complied. If you are unaware, all vessels head up the Dickson Inlet to designated areas depending on the size of the boat and tie off to the mangroves. Mangroved creeks with limited water flow have proven to be one of the most safest places to be situated when a cyclone hits.

The wind tends to blow over the top of the mangroves and the boats parked below and hugged in amongst the mangroves avoid the momentum of the gusts. This time around the evacuation up the creek appeared to be quite orderly with no reports of inconsideration displayed by any of the boaties. Big boats, medium boats, small boats and even houseboats all made the move. As usual there was the community spirit shown amongst people assisting each other with preparation of boats. As you know Olga turned out to be a fizzer and the evacuation turned into an exercise. All boats were back home a day a two later and life continued as nothing had happened.

Now having used various methods of communication to track the incoming cyclone it is clear there are two standout sources. Firstly a VHF Radio listening to channel 81 is invaluable. Even if you have a trailer boat parked in the shed turn it on and listen to it. The next best appeared to be the radio stations 4CA and the ABC which had regular updates. The most disappointing sources were the Bureau of Meteorology which updated every 3-4 hours on the internet. They updated their website saying the cyclone had crossed land 2 hours after the fact. Secondly the TV stations followed suite a little while after updating themselves from the bureau, again way too late when the heat is on. It is something to consider the next time we are on cyclone watch. Hopefully the winds and rain can ease because when it does this latest run of fresh will have stirred up the pot inshore and offshore.
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