This may be Australia’s worst cyclone ever! Yasi has crossed the north Queensland coast and is starting to unleash the upper range of its violent 290km/h winds.  Please pray for these Aussies, for their lives and safety. We love them dearly!

Gunter and I spent an extra year of our circumnavigation in Australia, although most of our coastal cruising was done in Queensland. When in Darwin, preparing for the Sail Asia Rally, we visited the museums there. The worst cyclone in Australian history was Cyclone Tracy. Here is an audio of that disaster: http://media.news.com.au/multimedia/2011/02/yasi/audio/cyclonetracy.mp3

I describe in my book “In Search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss: MAIDEN VOYAGE” how we were delayed in Puerto Vallarta by the first hurricane of the Central American season, Hurricane Adolf, in May of 2001.  There, I learned from an expert sailor/weatherman how to track hurricanes on the internet. When it appeared that Adolf was turning out to sea, we decided to head out for the passage to Cabo across the Sea of Cortez, only to find out at the fuel dock that he had changed course yet again! We returned to port (one of the few times we did that during our entire eight-year circumnavigation) and took the Escape Adolf Tour to Tepic instead.

Needless to say, I am now using my skills to track Hurricane Yasi, from the comfort of my San Diego home. (I’m also tracking yet another ferocious storm plying the U.S. Midwest).

As I write this, the eye of the storm is approaching Dunk Island, where Pacific Bliss anchored before heading into Cairns the following morning.

For satellite images, go to http://www.goes.noaa.gov/sohemi/sohemiloops/shirgmscol.html

For the latest updates, go to http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/

To go to Cyclone Yasi’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cyclone-Yasi-Updates/159989674052293

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