And then the storm hit.
How it blew. I mentioned the wind speed and the power cut in the previous day’s blog, so I needn’t dwell on them here. The morning after, I had to go into town to provide transport for a friend who had been in hospital. Since all trains were cancelled (the sea had carved a significant hole in the ground under the tracks), all ferries were cancelled, no planes were flying, the conditions were always going to be interesting.
Since my path took me past Petone railway station I took the first four passengers in the line for the buses and dropped them in the city. I think they were just happy to be out of the chill wind.
Out in the harbour, the ferry Kaitaki had broken its moorings the previous night, and the tug Toia had spent a very long night helping it stay in the open water of the harbour and not bump into things. As dawn broke it was still on duty and still pulling. You may get a sense of the vicious wind from the spray even in the comparative clam of the inner harbour. This was taken from Oriental Bay.
The road around the coast was in a mess. Very little asphalt as visible, and there was a lumpy layer of sand everywhere, and the odd lumps of driftwood. Roadside signs mounted on solid steel pipers were flattened to the ground. Trees were uprooted, and small buildings were demolished.
In Lyall Bay, I looked across to the seawall at the end of the airport and you can see the big swells hurling themselves a hundred metres or more down the runway. It’s as well that no planes were flying.
From the Moa Point side, you can see a closer view of the thunderous clash of big seas with solid rock. That dark rock in the left of the image is the top of the seawall at runway level.
Near Houghton Bay. The swells had diminished from their recorded peak of 15 metres, but were still very large and carrying a lot of power.
Around in Island bay, a small yacht had taken shelter inside the protection of Tapu Teranga Island but in a sea of this state the poor wee thing was having a rough time. However, she seemed securely anchored and despite the gyrations, she stayed put, more or less.
More aftermath tomorrow.