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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently anchored in 15 feet of water at French Harbor on Roatan, Honduras. The night before last we had a major earthquake several miles offshore to the north of us. The strange vibration woke me from my sleep and extreme confusion set in. I recall asking the girl next to me, "what is that"? The look on her face instantly said, "holy hell if you don't know why in the hell are you asking me"?

After a few seconds the noise faded and I easily resumed my slumber seeing nothing out of place. It was only the next morning that we realized what had happened.

Tsunami. That was the fear that began welling up in myself and the other islanders. All ferry traffic was halted, but I kept thinking that staying put was crazy. Only a ship at sea is safe where tsunamis are not felt in the deep water. Close to shore they are sitting ducks for the massive waves.

About the time this was all registering the authorities lifted the warning with the statement that any potentially affected areas would have already been hit.

So, if you are on your boat and your region gets hit with a massive quake is proper protocol to haul ass to deep water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice link Selkirk. The epicenter was less than 100 miles from here which means at a velocity of ~ 600 mph I would have just under 10 minutes from the time I felt (mostly heard) the quake to the time the wave was on us.

It's been blowing 20 - 25 every evening so I've got almost 10:1 scope out. With my old manual windless I'd have a nice view of the receding water and first run up from the bow of the boat as the last of the anchor chain and anchor were being secured.

Awww the risks we take to live the dream. Never read anything about that one in any of my books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I find it interesting that even on a boat you describe the same disorientation and confusion noted by people on land, even though the water must have mitigated somewhat the vibrations felt on land.
Hey Val. To be clear I definitely did not feel this quake. What woke me was a sound like I'd never heard before. The whole boat seemed to be humming although it wasn't moving a bit. My assumption is that the noise was created by the shock waves that emanated from the quake and were traveling through the land and water. They surely weren't able to move a boat in the water, but announced their presence audibly.

Years ago I got a grad degree in geology so the forces at work are not at all foreign to me, but how they impact a cruising boat wasn't a subject that came up much. The morning after the quake we had to make our way to the Port Captain and Customs/Immigration office to check into Honduras. There was no major damage visible, but things like ceiling tiles and light fixtures were down all over the place.

Mother nature is an awesome force, but after Hurricane IKE and now this I am just fine sticking to the less powerful side of her nature. Remind me not to anchor up near any active volcanoes.
 
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