Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-14-2011, 01:23 AM   #1
Lt. Commander

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 152
Default 3/11 Tsumani Calif impact

Deanries was nice enough to contact me via private message to ask if we were OK after the tsumani, so I thought I'd post something here in case others are curious.

I live in Half Moon Bay, Calif, which is on the northern California coast about 1/2 hour south of San Francisco. When I got up for work Friday morning, I heard a voice that sounded like it was a radio in another room. I looked up to see flashing lights outside, and then saw a police car. He was announcing that there was an evacuation order due to a Tsumani! I woke up the wife and kids and they took our truck to higher ground, while I went to work over the hill (inland).

My wife stayed at a shelter (the high school) with other residents. She could see the ocean, and noticed it getting darker when the tsunami was due to hit, about 8 AM that morning. Luckily for Half Moon Bay, the damage was negligible. We had a low tide right around that time, and the peak of the surge didn't get much higher than a normal high tide. The marina down the street (Pillar Point Harbor) has a ton of boats, many commercial fishing vessels. It is well protected by jetties, so while they noticed strong surge and currents, there was no damage. My boat sits in my driveway so it was safe, even though we are close to the beach. Cresent City to the north of us, and Santa Cruz to the south, were not so lucky. Many boats damaged and/or sunk, and alot of docks destroyed.

I had planned on launching our boat yesterday, but decided it was not worth the risk after the tsunami. Instead we drove down to Santa Cruz to see how the harbor looked. The vast majority of the harbor and boats were undamaged, however at the north end, where the harbor gets shallow and narrow, there was some significant damage. One whole dock with 16 slips was gone, along with the boats. Actually there was one boat left, still tied to a section of dock that was still connected to one pier, and swinging freely in the current. A few other boats were underwater. Some sailboats where only the mast was visible. Boats on hydro-hoists were tipped over. A crew was working to right one of them. Sections of broken dock was scattered on land's edge throughout the marina. The coast guard and salvage companies were working non-stop to clear the debris and remove the sunken vessels. The marina, of course, was and still is closed due to the hazardous conditions. As near as I can tell, the boat damage occurred either when a great deal of water was drawn out of the marina before the surge (causing boats to bottom out) or when the surge arrived and slammed boats into docks and each other. Many boats ended up freely floating in the harbor and had to be corraled by VesselAssist and the Coast Guard.

There is alot of video available on the internet, as there was plenty of warning for this event. One of the ones that best captures the power of the surge can be seen in the link below. This was shot at the narrow section of the harbor. You might want to mute the speakers if kids are around.

__________________

iceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2011, 02:43 AM   #2
Admiral

 
seapuppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Everett Wa
Posts: 4,681
Default

Ice..
thanks for the report!!...we're so glad your boat wasn't in that maylay.......it's sad to see those other boats destroyed or sunk....this is truly a world wide event.....
do you know of any boaters either north or south of you??

SP
__________________

__________________
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
------------------------
SSN683 Association member
Par Excellence
------------------------------
2008 Bayliner 340 - "Wild Whim"
--------------------------------------
I live in my own little world....but it's okay-they know me here!!!

Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
Tap-Rack-Bang

Anyone that sez "Size doesn't matter" has never owned a boat!
seapuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
Lt. Commander

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 152
Default

SP, no I don't know anyone personally that had a boat in those marinas. There are a fair amount of liveaboards down in Santa Cruz. One guy was interviewed on the news who had lost his boat, that was also his home ... sad.
iceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 327
Lightbulb With 12 hrs notice, if you couldn't take the boat out, why not take the boat out??

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman View Post
SP, no I don't know anyone personally that had a boat in those marinas. There are a fair amount of liveaboards down in Santa Cruz. One guy was interviewed on the news who had lost his boat, that was also his home ... sad.
Of the harbor into open water, that is, I heard that it was safer out in open water given the choice of keeping it tied up or bolting. The last thing I would have done was nothing if I had a choice. Either yank it out, or take it for a long ride rather than watch it get destroyed??

Bella Sera 3300SCR
Bella Sera 3300SCR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 03:27 PM   #5
Lt. Commander

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 152
Default

Bella: I agree, there was plenty of warning, and it seemed safe enough to go out to sea for a few hours to ride it out. I'm pretty sure the commercial guys did that. I'd be willing to bet some of the liveaboads were not sea worthy, meaning that the engines might have been in disrepair. I know there's some of that in Pillar Point harbor.

With the economy, some people have even abandoned their boats. A few weeks ago I noticed some boats that were close together stuck in shallow water close to the shore. The harbormaster told me that they were abandoned and delinquint on the slip fees. The State of Calif has a fund for this, and basically the boats were demolished.
iceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 05:23 PM   #6
Moderator

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,558
Default

I was initially very hesitant to 'arm-chair quarterback' on this one. However, I too had very similar thoughts. It is absolutely safer to be out in deep water when a tsunami hits. Even underway in a bay, bow into the seas, under power probably would have been fine. Notice the majority of issues are the result of boats taking waves beam-to and beign tied/restricted in their movement. A majority of damage appears to be the result of impact to/from docks and other boats. I'm sure most of us have seen far larger waves underway.

The warning for a tsunami can be very short. Obviously the folks on the north-east coast of japan had very little notice. Notice is certainly shorter than the days prior to a potential hurricane. The folks on the west coast of the US had a bunch of notice. Probably too short if you're out of town or far form teh boat. However it hit on a weekend in daylight. I could have made my 2 hr drive to move the boat.

I'm not completely clear what folks were expecting. A towering 50 ft. wall of water? Did they underestimate it's ability to travel that far? Were so many simply out of town?
__________________
Leave me alone, it's Boating Season!!!
shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 06:31 PM   #7
Lt. Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 139
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella Sera 3300SCR View Post
Either yank it out, or take it for a long ride rather than watch it get destroyed??

Bella Sera 3300SCR
Have you not seen the original Poseidon Adventure, and the remake? I'd be heading to the neighborhood bar, right after calling my insurance co. to verify my policy still intact! j/k.
__________________
Prior boat: 1999 Maxum 2400SCR (I loved that boat but the wife made me get bigger). Current: '96 Carver 325 aft cabin.
Tommyfmu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 08:38 PM   #8
Moderator

 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,558
Default

They don't quite work like that. Tsunami's travel long distances, yet would go relatively unnoticed in deep water. It's only when the large wave reaches shallow water that they stand up. Take a look at the accounts of divers and fishermen who were out at sea when the big tsunami hit Phuket Thailand. Reports from those out at the time indicate they had no idea anything was going on until they headed back to shore and saw the devistation. I recall seeing an interview with some divers who felt an odd surge underwater, then the water got very, very murky. When they came back up and headed in they realized what had happened.

I had originally thought it was because the wave travels across the ocean floor, though after doing some reading, it seems that "When the wave enters shallow water, it slows down and its amplitude (height) increases."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami
__________________
Leave me alone, it's Boating Season!!!
shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 09:10 PM   #9
Lt. Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 139
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrew View Post
I had originally thought it was because the wave travels across the ocean floor, though after doing some reading, it seems that "When the wave enters shallow water, it slows down and its amplitude (height) increases."
Surfing is so poor here on the US East coast because the continental shelf breaks down all the waves so far out. Yet on the West coast and HI, waves can travel intact right until they get to shore, then break.
__________________
Prior boat: 1999 Maxum 2400SCR (I loved that boat but the wife made me get bigger). Current: '96 Carver 325 aft cabin.
Tommyfmu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2011, 10:07 PM   #10
Admiral

 
seapuppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Everett Wa
Posts: 4,681
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommyfmu View Post
Surfing is so poor here on the US East coast because the continental shelf breaks down all the waves so far out. Yet on the West coast and HI, waves can travel intact right until they get to shore, then break.

in hawaii and calif...it's because the shape of the shore stays deep until it gets right up close and that's where the wave comes up and breaks....in Fla...they get relatively small waves that aren't great for surfing unless there's a storm out to sea....then the waves build from way out and are huge until they hit shore...

SP
__________________

__________________
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
------------------------
SSN683 Association member
Par Excellence
------------------------------
2008 Bayliner 340 - "Wild Whim"
--------------------------------------
I live in my own little world....but it's okay-they know me here!!!

Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
Tap-Rack-Bang

Anyone that sez "Size doesn't matter" has never owned a boat!
seapuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.