Cruisers Help Out After Fiji Cyclone - Sail Magazine

Cruisers Help Out After Fiji Cyclone

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
36
 image released by NASA Goddard Rapid Response on Friday shows Cyclone Winston in the South Pacific Ocean

image released by NASA Goddard Rapid Response on Friday shows Cyclone Winston in the South Pacific Ocean

Cyclone Winston, the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere hit the Fiji Islands on February 21, 2016. Winds scorched the islands, up to 315 km/hour in the eye, taking a path across the top of the main island of Viti Levu. The 30 sheltering cruising yachts and other vessels in the mangrove protected Denarau river on the western side of the island rode out 200km/hour on the night of the 21st-22nd.

 Loading Shine for The island of Makogai

Loading Shine for The island of Makogai

The cyclone swept between the 2 main islands of Fiji at 25 knots, slowed down after the Yasawas, and is now several hundred kilometres to the west. Communication with the more remote islands is zero, but what we do know already from aerial surveys is devastating. Taveuni has lost 95% of their homes. The town of Rakiraki on Viti Levu is flattened. Villages are left with little more than piles of rubble. Savusavu was hit hard. Last news was that nearly half the yachts sheltering on moorings there being lost.

Many yachties are now volunteering with Sea Mercy (seamercy.org), as first responders to get supplies to islands that larger boats cannot reach. Sea Mercy is coordinating with the government to get to places they cannot, or do not have resources for. Rob and I from Il Silenzio are responsible for setting up the donations warehouse on shore at Port Denarau at the moment. We have been receiving donated supplies, organizing what is required to be sourced, have loaded 2 cruising yachts so far, and they just left, sailing for the tiny island of Makogai, with a nurse on board. Medical supplies and food are a first need and also cooking utensils as so much was swept away in the tidal surge after the winds went through. We will have radio scheds with them each morning and determine the next supply needs when they arrive at their destination and assess the situation.

 Rob Parker from SV Il Silenzio setting up warehouse

Rob Parker from SV Il Silenzio setting up warehouse

The heat here is intense, no electricity, patchy communications, but yachties have big hearts, and all are grateful to be safe and able to help the people of Fiji, who live so simply and peacefully, and ask so little from life.

To support the work of Sea Mercy in this crisis go to seamercy.org or visit the facebook page:

Related

01-Lead-photo

Boat Review: Gunfleet 43

Many couples dream of selling up and casting off, but the prospect of downsizing can be daunting. How do you pack your life into some 40ft of LOA after living in a 2,000ft house? Maybe the British-built Gunfleet 43 has the answer. No, you can’t bring your hot tub, but with the ...read more

2017-05-22-154228

Cruising: the Aleutian Islands

The rain blew sideways as we beat to windward.Rock!A welter of whitewater appeared fine to starboard. Were our charts for the Aleutian Islands off? In the past few years, we’ve become accustomed to the fine charting in Alaska—could there be an uncharted reef off the Kilokak ...read more

04-Cup-Congressional-Cup--14-Credit-Bronny-Daniels700x

36th America's Cup: American Magic

While much of the yacht racing world has had its eyes glued to the Volvo Ocean Race these eight past months, the behemoth that is the America’s Cup has also been slowly but surely lurching into motion, following the publication of the official AC75 class rule in late March.Here ...read more

180521-Lead2048x

Volvo Fleet Heads to Europe

After days of rain, calms and fog, the Volvo Ocean Race Race fleet enjoyed perfect sailing conditions for the start of Leg 9 in Newport, Rhode Island, on Sunday. It then promptly plunged back into yet more fog as it headed offshore toward the finish in Cardiff, Wales, a little ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comImpeller Practice Engine raw-water pump impellers don’t last forever. Even if they are not destroyed by running the engine dry following a blockage, they still deteriorate with the years. If you’ve never ...read more

Waves1(1)

Know how: Weather 101, Basics

OverviewThe first thing to know is that “Weather 101, Basics” is a science course. Its goal is to prepare boaters for a second course launching later this year called “Weather 202, Advanced.” Taken together, these classes are designed to teach boaters to become their own weather ...read more