“How irresponsible of you” is all we seem to hear. We are clearly the most irresponsible family you could possibly meet ! With hurricane season almost here, the sane cruisers are slowly leaving the country for a safer place.
Not us however, we aren’t sane 🙂 , we have decided to do the unthinkable. We are bunkering down and riding out the cyclone season right here in fiji. Yes we are well and truly aware of the devastation cyclone winston caused, seeing first hand what a terrible idea it is to stay in a cyclone prone area.
We are not as thoughtless as you now may think though. For the last month we have scoured fiji, dropping the anchor in several potential hurricane holes. We have drawn several thousand mud maps of the potential anchorages and taken depths of the whole bay. We have gone to them in strong winds to makes sure we don’t get caught by any potential bullets (high speed gusts of wind) racing down the mountains. We have stalked out areas where we can tie the boat into mangroves and are relatively safe from flying coconuts. We have purchased a pactor modem which will allow us to get detailed weather forecast via our high frequency radio as well as choosing areas in internet range.
We did not make this decision to stay in a cyclone area lightly. We have done a lot of research and a lot of discussing to make sure we don’t put our home or our family at risk. In the event of a cyclone we will know that we did the best preparation that we could do.
Now to answer the question, “why would we stay in a cyclone area ? ”
It is very simple. I need to be somewhere, where I can fly AK back to Australia regularly. With AK recently turning 3 we need to sort out her lack of talking. By basing ourselves in Fiji for 12 months we are able to get AK all the help she needs. I assume alot of ferrying AK back and fourth to Australia for medical appointments we be happening.
So “why not sail back to Australia ? ”
This answer is pretty simple also. We worked so hard to get out here, to be cruising ,that we want to stay out here. We sail back to Australia, we will have to get jobs, buy a car, enrol Beany in school and before we know it, we will be trapped by society.
Any cruiser will tell you the hardest part is ,”letting go of the bowlines” and its true. We have made it out here and we would like to stay out here. Plus who wants to sit in the middle of the ocean for 2 weeks, when you can fly in a nice soft chair for 4hrs drinking wine, seasick free. Makes complete sense to me .
We also love Fiji. I love the people, I love the friendliness and I love that everybody wants to look after our girls while we shop at the market, or help hold their hands when we are crossing the road. Or the way they are so generous, feeding us from there bountiful gardens. Why go back to a place where you don’t know your neighbours, where your day is ruled by a 9-5pm job, where no one helps you out or says hello. For us its worth the risk.
With our minds made up and our bilges stocked with food, all there is to do now is cross our fingers that the weather is kind to us this summer.
For anyone who wants information on cyclone holes in Fiji, send me an email and I can send you a list of potential cyclone holes, with some google earth images 🙂 Cause we have done our homework .