Two nights before Cyclone Marcia hit us, I phoned my sister from the beach at about 10pm and told her that despite the fact that I was carrying chairs up a hill in the dark, that I loved my life – the excitement and adventure of it all, and that running an accommodation business and living on an island in the Pacific means that sometimes you have to run around in the night stashing furniture – but what the heck, I wouldn’t swap it for anything!
Two days later, we had all but exhausted ourselves and were sitting in the rental house watching 75 knot gusts rock trees and sending branches flying across the lawns. Cyclone Marcia was a Category 5 cyclone and the winds close to the eye, further up the coast would have been very strong and destructive, but on Great Keppel Island we were well away from the eye and only received a good dusting up and a good washing down. Still, it was pretty impressive.
After about 3 hours of gusts to 50 plus knots, and about an hour of gusts to 70 plus knots, we wandered around to inspect the damage. We were SO lucky! The lawns were all covered in broken branches and debris – but none of the trees that fell did any damage to any of the buildings. We feel very blessed, because it could have been a lot worse! We have two luxury safari tents and the amazing thing is that they stood through the blow and didn’t even get one single scratch – not even a tiny rip of tear! When you consider that 17m trees were blown down next to them – that is astonishing!