Saturday, December 18, 2010

South Pacific Survey 18th July 1951

The day broke cold and stormy with the seas pounding the reef not far away from our quarters and some concern was felt for the old Catalina at moorings down the far end of the lagoon.

After breakfast went up to the meteorological office and from the rather meagre information I was able to gather, and a signal which came in later it was evident that we were in for a rather bad blow.

I estimated that there was a depression to the east, not far away and it would cross Aitutaki. The barometer was falling and the wind rising, so I suggested to take the crew down to the aircraft to ensure it was secure at the moorings.

The rain was torrential, and we pushed out onto the lagoon and after a 50 minute run, we arrived at the Catalina. It was too rough to go alongside with the launch, so I swam over and climbed aboard.

The old Catalina was riding the weather well, and after putting on another rope as a precuationary measure, pumping the bilges dry, turning the engines over once again, closed all hatches and then leapt into the sea and swam for the launch.

The storm abated in the afternoon and after frittering most of it away gathering some shells, went off to bed.

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