Preparing the Fleet for TC Kirrily - Whitsunday Escape
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Preparing the Fleet for TC Kirrily

We have been reminded that Mother Nature is at the helm, with two tropical cyclones coming to play in the Coral Sea this season.

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm that begins over tropical oceans. Starting their life as a low-pressure system, once the wind speed reaches 63km/hr or greater, the system is given a name and officially known as a Cyclone. The term  “Tropical Cyclone” is specific to these type of weather systems in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. They can vary significantly in speed, size and intensity. The forecast tracking of a tropical cyclone can vary significantly between weather models and the impact of these weather systems can be felt quite a distance from where the centre makes landfall. The advantage of Tropical Cyclones is that they can be forecast well in advance giving us time to prepare.

Naturally, we watch any such system carefully when they first start to appear on the long-term forecast. We love our fleet, our investors and our customers and have sound systems and policies in place to ensure all are well cared for. Securing the Whitsunday Escape fleet of 38 boats takes time. And preparation is key.

Tropical Cyclone Jasper had us review our Cyclone plans and stock up on rope – ready if required, but as time progressed this system tracked further north and only delivered a day of strong winds to the Whitsundays.

Tropical Cyclone Kirrily gave us a proper test run. Again she tracked north, but much closer this time so full precautions were taken with all hands on the dock to get the job done:

  • On Sunday we made a start with taking down headsails and tying down the main sails to the boom. Cushions and life rings were removed.
  • On Monday we stripped clears, and biminis and plastic wrapped instrument panels.
  • On Tuesday we started the tie down of every boat in its berth, done with consideration for every boat’s particular layout, including pulling them forward in the berth to allow for movement back and forward and offsetting to ensure masts avoided any risk of collision. Using in excess of 5km of rope and 250 fenders the cross tying created a spiderweb of rope across the marina.
  • On Wednesday we completed the tie down, dinghies were dropped in the water and flooded, and the Regional Harbour Master closed the Whitsundays waterways at 7:00pm.
  • On Thursday we waited, walked the docks and tweaked lines where needed.
  • On Friday we rested

Once again, we were spared any significant impact, and the Whitsundays were again open for business on Friday morning. A successful test of our processes and an opportunity to congratulate our team on a mammoth effort well done. With zero flooding or disruption to accessibility, the Whitsundays are shining brightly with tropical balmy days and light winds.

With a mix of preparation, prevention, and a healthy dose of humour, we’re ready to face whatever comes each Wet season. Storms might do their dance, rain taps on our decks, and gusty winds can ruffle our sails. But we believe it’s a small price to pay for living in paradise.

We’re your go-to catamaran hire all year round, and the Whitsundays remain a boating haven. So, whether you’re seeking winter getaway or yearning for the balmy summer we’ve got the perfect bareboat waiting for you.