An Earthquake, a Tsunami, and the Aftermath

Through Facebook and email, the Cruising World community shares their experiences and looks for news from those in the Pacific.

CW Facebook Community

In the still-unfolding tragedy that has occurred in Japan with repercussions around the Pacific this week, cruising sailors have been anxiously waiting for news of the fleet currently cruising in that area. From Japan to California, Hawaii to French Polynesia, images, videos, and reports have shown the world the scale of what’s happened.

Nat Howe shares a forum link on our Facebook page that shares the experience of a sailor from Kona, Hawaii:

“Tsunami was reported to have hit the Big Island at approximately 0340 though none of us at sea had any indications of the event. Tried to go back in the harbor at 0700 but was met by extremely disturbed water with a big whirlpool just inside the entrance. A charter fishing boat, going out, as I tried to go in, told me there was very bad surge and not to try and get back in my slip at that time. Did a 'U' and hung out back in the ocean. Monitored the VHF but continuing reports of very strong surge throughout the day that didn't start to subside till after 1600 and the Coast Guard closed the harbor till about that time. That was supposedly 11.5 hours after the initial hit by the tsunami.”

From a Facebook posting by CW columnist Cap'n Fatty Goodlander:

“...some of that footage of the boats surfing ashore was... amazing! I never thought I'd see anything like that. I'm so sorry to see the news... all the cruisers who have visited Japan report a warm welcome. How sad. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.”

Several CW contributors were in Japan at the time of the earthquake including Tom and Vicky Jackson aboard Sunstone, and we were glad to receive an email from them this week:

“Thanks for your concern. We're fine. At the moment we're cruising in the Inland Sea in the south, well away from the area affected by the quake and tsunami. Naturally we're terribly sad for the Japanese people and Japan after these terrible events. Despite their stoicism and past experience even the Japanese have been strongly affected by the scale of this disaster – and of course it's not over yet by any means.

All the best,

Tom and Vicky Jackson, Sunstone, Kitagi Shima, Japan, Inland Sea"