Friday, March 13, 2015

Black cloud with a green/white/amber lining

I'm back in New Zealand, writing about Auckland escapes, some of which I've done and some I must shamefully admit that I haven't (namely the Awhitu Peninsula, above, which I've only ever seen from the air flying to and from Australia, most recently last week) but about which (after extensive research) I have written so enthusiastically that I've quite sold myself on them. Of course there's last week's Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Perth taking up some writing time, too - but I keep getting distracted by doom-laden tweets and news reports about the incoming Severe Tropical Cyclone, category 5, due here Monday/Tuesday. The thing is, as well as being described as 'mean and ugly', 'a rubbish-dumpster monster' and 'a beast of a storm', it's also called Pam.
Hard not to take it all personally, really.

Right now it's dishing out 'destructive winds, torrential rain and phenomenal seas' (is that a standard meteorological description?) as it - she - passes right over frighteningly vulnerable Vanuatu (where I haven't yet been), with New Caledonia due to get a glancing blow. Then it's predicted to head on down our way, skimming past on the eastern side and dealing to East Cape, with strong winds and high seas for us right here in Auckland.

My last experience of a cyclone was visiting Aitutaki in the Cook Islands just a couple of weeks after Cyclone Pat blew through, and it was a quietly shocking experience to see the coconut and banana palms stripped, houses without roofs, and sheets of corrugated iron wrapped around  poles like wet cardboard. In just that short time, though, the people had worked hard to clear roads and gardens of debris, raking and wheelbarrowing all day long to restore their lives as far back to normal as they could.
So far I've been lucky to avoid all actual cyclones, both here and overseas, though I've learned plenty about them after the fact - if you go to Darwin, make sure you visit the Cyclone Tracy exhibit at the museum - and that's just fine by me. If things go to plan, Pam will peter out and all that will happen is that there'll be some big waves on the beach. And that means a whole new harvest of sea-glass to collect!
(One of those white bits, by the way, came from Cottesloe Beach, in Perth, last week.)

2 comments:

the queen said...

Thought of you just a half hour ago when CNN reported you were in the the storm's path. (And yes, I am up at 3:30 am.) hope you stay safe.

Pamela Wade said...

Thank you - if things go as predicted, we'll be ok, unlike the poor souls in Vanuatu. I know you know about the threat of tornadoes - fingers crossed we both continue to stay safe. Now go to bed!

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