Archive for the ‘Tsunami’ Category

In Port and Online

Clark April 28th, 2007

I am devoting this day to actually understanding this website. I hope everyone understands that this has been one-way communication up to this point: I have been sending the updates via Sailmail (very slow radio link) and Matt has been posting them to the website.

Now I have made my first post and I will start responding to comments…people have actually been reading this thing! Matt told me that I have full admin, meaning I can accidentally erase the whole website, so I will tread softly as I learn.

I finally saw something on TV about the tsunami. It’s pretty grim, pulling bodies out of the rubble. At least it’s nice and cold so the bodies are staying fresh. In Thailand they were all rotting in the tropical heat after a day. And there are only ten, whereas there were 300,000 in the the 2004 tsunami.

Everyone’s Alive!

Clark April 27th, 2007

Except the villagers and the fishermen. They’re all dead, but everyone I know is alive. It turns out there are two settlements in Seno Aysen, one up the river a ways, and one down the seno called Chacabuco. It was the one up the river that got obliterated. There actually was a yacht in Chacabuco. They got rocked and rolled a bit, and said it sounded like an atom bomb going off, but they’re fine. 

It’s amazing that this is back page news even in Chile, and I can’t find it on any international news sites. There was this blurb in Prensa Latina if anyone is interested:

What am I, a tsunami magnet? 

Speaking of earthquakes, the lovely city of Valdivia has the distinction of being the site of biggest earthquake ever, or at least since humans have been recording such things. In 1960 an earthquake not only levelled the city, but drastically changed the landscape. The courses of rivers were changed, lakes were formed, and the whole area dropped a full two meters in elevation. 

The Valdivia River used to be contained within a walled channel. The earthquake dropped the walls below the surface of the water to become ten-mile-long death traps. The submerged walls are well-marked, but everyone has a story about crashing into one, and they are now dotted with a series of wrecks where ships have gone astray. I was warned enough times that I made sure I came up in daylight and kept my eye on the ball. Valdivia has a big university. There are rowing teams training up and down the river, and big stone houses lining the banks. It feels like the south of England. 

Last night I was invited for dinner on a Canadian couple’s boat. They showed me a slide show of underwater photography, which was magically accompanied by some piano, which I recognized as Debussy. I made a joke about them having a piano onboard, but they really do have a piano onboard! Maryanne was playing it, and I thought she’d just slipped away to put on a CD. It’s only a 45-foot boat, but gotta have the piano. She is a retired concert pianist, and her husband Larry is a retired airline pilot. 

I drank too much, talked their ears off, and had to be kicked out at midnight.