Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Typhoon in the Shelter

With Typhoon Nesat approaching Hong Kong, Typhoon Signal 8 is raised by the Hong Kong Observatory early in the morning of September 29.  Signal 8 is a warning of dangerous gale force winds, rain, and sea conditions.  All non essential businesses and services in the city shut down, and people are advised to stay indoors and take precautions for the safety of themselves and their property.

While neighbors in the Harbour take the opportunity to head for shore before the Typhoon strikes, the crew of Watermark (my wife, cats, and I) decide to stay aboard her in the refuge of the Typhoon Shelter.

Another clip shows the wind and rain as a neighboring boat tries to prepare:

Not the first Typhoon to be weathered by Watermark, but definitely an adventure for her crew.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Home from Patrol: Marine Police have a home in the Typhoon Shelter

Hong Kong's Marine Police Southern Division is based in the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.  
As neighbors in the Shelter, their presence is reassuring.  They maintain a number of craft in the Harbour, ranging from ocean going patrol launches to  smaller tactical "go fast boats".  

The largest of these is PL 6 56 "Detector".  This craft patrols the sea lanes as well as the areas around the dozens of islands that are under Hong Kong's jurisdiction.

I see her mast lights at night and pass her daily as she makes her early morning and nightly patrols, returning to her dock at the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.

I wish her and her crew well in the work that they do patrolling  one of the worlds busiest waterways.

Fishermen in the Typhoon Shelter

Small boats of every description and condition are used by fishermen to weave their way between the larger moored junks and and yachts in the Typhoon Shelter.  It is not unusual to see them paddled slowly with a single oar to come along side of "Watermark" and her buoys. It's not considered bad manners at all to fish in the shade of her hull, and not unusual to look out the below deck portholes to see a fisherman looking back at eye level.

Hand lines, rather that poles, are the preferred choice.   I've seen small fish, and squid, pulled up right next to "Watermark".

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Typhoon Shelter Neighbors include Boat Living Pets

My neighbors in the Shelter also include the few cats and dogs that live aboard boats full time.
For some of us, companionable pets are part of what makes living on a boat a home.

Eleanor is a calico cat who's home is a neighboring boat, but visits us on "Watermark" often.  She enjoys keeping us company on "anchor watch", sitting on the bow and watching the sunset.  She also earns her place, as many other seagoing cats throughout the ages have, by fiercely stalking any uninvited creatures that may try to board during the night.

Dogs passing by excitedly standing in the bow of small motor boats, enjoying the wind and the waves, are a regular sight, too.

For Teddy and Alfie,  kayaking is a weekend adventure.  I usually see them on the stern dive deck of their cruiser, brothers shoulder to shoulder with their tails wagging, watching the sampans passing by.

We brought our own cats from Singapore when we moved to the Typhoon Shelter.  They adapted quickly to life on the water, and even though a smaller space than the Singapore  shophouse and garden they were use to, seem to love the gentle rocking of "Watermark", the dozy sunlight through the windows, and exploring the different levels of the cabins.  We do keep them inside, as it can be hazardous for pets that are unaware that they may actually, as we all eventually do, fall over the side.

"Watermark" has a full crew.

see More Pets Aboard