We all sat about with all our new friends, with a variety of dhals and curry. We had the chunky Pom dhal, the home grown local dhal and the Awsome aussie dhal. The camp fire crackled in the back ground while we all merrily ear bashed each other.
What we didn’t know was our first tropical storm of the season was brewing. Now this is serious buisness. As soon as we saw it pop up on our weather forecast,we went straight into lengthy discussions.
Now we have sat out a cyclone before, in a place where there was nowhere to hide. We got lucky and only saw 50knots come blowing across the pacific towards us. We of course dragged but had company , racing us to the bombie that lay behind us. We all had a good laugh and a few beers, once it had passed us by.
The noise was frightening as it screamed through the rigging.
So its time to test out our selected cyclone hole. Tomorow we run or I guess its more like a jog, for the Lautoka river. The system developing only has it at 40kots, but we know this could quite easily reach 50knots. What better way to test out your hurricane hole then, with a small tropical storm.
The boat is well stoked up and we spent the day stretching our legs chasing waterfalls, knowing we will be couped up inside the cabin for the next week.
For all those intrested: The Lautoka river offers 360′ protection. The bar at the entrance is passable on a mid high tide and the entrance is marked by two stakes. Depths once inside vary from 7m to 3m until you reach the end, where it goes from 3m to nothing instantly.
The bottom is mud, if you do run aground at the end you should be able to reverse off, as the mud is very soft. We ran aground several times when testing out the river. The mangroves drop straight down to 3m, so you can crash into the mangroves and not run aground ( yes we did this also). The off shoots are shallow, but some are 2-3m deep up near the end, just watch the current when the tide is moving, the current got quite strong down the off shoots, hence us crashing into the mangroves, our 35hp engine couldnt move us quick enough, when turning around. The river is wide, so turning around is easy and the current in the main river didn’t seem to flow that fast . If there was a cyclone, I would suggest getting in early as the big boats from denerau come up this river. I’d want to be well out of there way. Not sure I would want a 50 tonne steel boat dragging onto us
Denerau for us is too shallow. We have 6ft draft and Lautoka accomadates for this . We will keep our fingers crossed , that this storm doesn’t develop any further, but we are taking extra precautions because, some of you may not think it, but we are responsible parents and when it comes to tropical cyclones, we don’t mess about.
We are very laid back people who take the mickey out of everything, but we do know when its time to take things seriously.