WOW!!..in all the excitement and confusion of having ICE face Cyclone Evan and getting ready to depart for Antarctica…then the joy of knowing the the boat had survived ..I did not put a blog up…sorry!!…but all is well..
Grant had topped up the batteries and double checked the boat as the Cyclone approached and expecting a 3 mtr Tidal surge we decided to drop the anchor in the keel hole just incase. Winds grew to a constant 80kts for three hours when Grant sent the last report then held at about 140kts for three hours before it started to slowly abate. Grant was motoring for much of that time to hold his boat off the retaining wall in the Marina till the wind direction swung. He survived with just one bent stanchion. There was no loss of life and most boats in Vuda marina were OK a great vindication for it being considered the best Cyclone hole in the Pacific. Denereau Marina just 8 miles away was completely wiped out!!
Sp ICE now has a slight list and moved a little in the hole but all OK!! The amazing story was that as the cyclone was building I was uninsured…but I received the word from Sun Alliance insurance company in the UK that they had approved my $900,000 cover as the wind was building to 60kts..so I rang the NZ broker straight away and paid the premium with my credit card…happy days..
THANKS GRANT!!…you were a champion for looking after our boat!! He and Caroline survived and are now helping with the massive clean up. It was amazing that no one was killed. I am now two days away from the ICE edge heading into Commonwealth bay in Antarctica. It is going to be tough with plenty of Pack Ice around…with three Antarctic expeditions, I will not be off the MV ORION till mid February…I am just about to start the crew Hunt for next season in Tonga, straight after Xmas…there has been plenty going on in Tonga over the past two months, with Mark kept really busy…
Have a MERRY XMAS everyone…Don