Tsunami watch

Over nine-thousand miles and twenty hours ago a devastating earthquake struck Japan, the rest of the world knows more about this then me. On the opposite corner of the Pacific Ocean I wait expectantly like a father for a new-borne, well read, prepared and advised and yet strangely uneasy with the prospect.

Having listened to a Tsunami expert talk about the aftermath and crossed an ocean with a Tsunami survivor, motoring out into the oncoming wave I know what can happen. Numerous articles discuss the consequences of the unpredicted surge creating a towering wave crashing down on unsuspecting people and places. Now with the clock ticking and the predicted twenty-one hour window closing we are awaiting our surge, sufficiently distant to not be unsuspecting.

With the option of getting offshore to deep water not possible in the time available we are sheltered in a deep bay off Puerto Eden within the mammoth Chilean Fjords having lain out all our chain and warp. The well organized and recently experienced Chilean authorities have everything planned, all ships and yachts transiting accounted for and villagers evacuated to central refuges, it is waiting time and this is where we must wait.

It is now half an hour until a wave that has travelled a mind boggling nine thousand miles in under a day will disperse its energy on the most formidable lee-shore on the planet, the awesome and unstoppable power of nature. On a perfect evening we await what locally is predicted to be a surge of a foot or more under us, probably breaking along the shore before the all clear is sounded and we can proceed north. We have precious time on our side, time that thousands closer to the epic centre simply did not have; communications, technology and information relayed to us but not to them. Our thoughts are with them and those before who have perished to this natural phenomenon.

Since we sailed from the end of the world, Puerto Williams north through the various channels, passages and Fjords the only word to describe the experience has been awesome, the spectacle of raw rugged natural beauty, towering mountain peaks, the fiercest of weather systems, the pristine glaciers, the power of nature is immense and we are very humble, never more so then now.

Clive Cosby