Monday, August 28, 2017

The Week of Two Typhoons

Hong Kong has weathered two major typhoons within a week, Typhoon Hato at Signal 10+, and Typhoon Pakhar at Signal 8. In the Typhoon Shelter, we've seen waves breaking over the sea wall, debris from other boats flying through the air, sails and canvas awnings ripped away and carried by the wind. We've seen and felt boats swing about as hurricane strength wind gusts blew them into others, including ours. We've had temporary electrical power outages, and loss of fresh water. There have also been a few sleepless nights rocking and rolling, checking the typhoon's position, and getting up early mornings to make sure that all the ropes and lines were still secure and bilge pumps working. There have been a few days, because of the danger of winds, that there were no small sampans running to take us to shore if we had wanted to do that. But all and all, for Joanna, cats, and I, no serious problems, for which we are very grateful. We've come through the storms fine.

The storms have passed us, and unfortunately done more serious damage elsewhere, particularly Macau and coastal China. We've had messages from friends flying into and out of the Hong Kong airport who have had to cope with delays, or a more than usual exciting landing, but all that we know of have finally safely reached their destinations. We've not heard from anyone we know who has been injured or suffered serious property damage. Again, we are very grateful for this, as well.
It's still raining here, sometimes heavily, in the weather system following in the wake of Typhoon Pakhar, and grey skies still very grey. But Hong Kong is returning to normal, and its another working Monday for Joanna and I. For that we're grateful, too.

Thank you again to everyone who sent us your prayers, thoughts, and wishes for our safety. They always mean a lot to us. I do look forward to be able to see, really soon I hope, more blue skies and golden sunsets over the Typhoon Shelter and the Harbour. To those of you who may be going through your own severe weather where you are, particularly along the US Texas coast, I hope you will continue to be safe, and your blue skies and golden sunsets will return soon, too.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Typhoon Hato

Hong Kong has gone through its first Signal 10 Typhoon (the most severe rating) in the last five years, and the strongest I've experienced since living in Hong Kong. The worst is now over for the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter, with Typhoon Hato moving away from Hong Kong, but still at Signal 8 strength. The storm was made worse by happening during an unusually high tide and storm surge. Joanna, cats, and I are ok.

We have just had shore electrical power restored, and the fresh water supply is being repaired (thanks to those out in the still heavy rain who have worked on this!). Several of our neighbor's boats have been damaged or lost their moorings in the storm. The boat we are tied up next to literally exploded its main cabin door and large window due to the hurricane force wind and atmospheric pressure changes, blowing debris across while I was checking our mooring lines on deck. Watermark has suffered some heavy damage to one of her mooring points, which will require a visit to the shipyard to repair, but fortunately with some jury rigging of rope we were able to keep her anchored and minimize her crashing into other boats. Very luckily for us, nothing more serious. Cats handled it well, with only a case or two of sea sickness.

We are thankful for the Typhoon Shelter's seawall, which for a major portion of the time was the only thing that stood between Watermark and crew and the Typhoon when directly south of us. Here are a couple of video clips shot by neighbors showing the waves of the South China Sea breaking against the sea wall as it held them back from the Typhoon Shelter and those of us in their path. We hope all of our friends and colleagues in Hong Kong, Macau, and South China are also safe and dry.