“There is only room on the back lot of the yard,” Karin said. “And Nisha has been downgraded. Are you sure you want to haul out now?”
“Yes.” I replied. “I’m here, so let’s just do it.”
The crew hauled Swell and transported her to the back of the yard near the street.
…Nisha passed with only 30-35 knot winds, but right behind another depression was lining up. ‘Tropical Cyclone Oli’ was gaining size and heading east for French Polynesia quickly. Panic broke out among the sailors as time ticked away to prepare for this next storm. Other boats begged for the yard to take them out of the water, but there wasn’t time. I rushed around Swell, stripping off the mainsail and the jib, the spray dodger, the solar panels, jerry cans, and surfboards. I loaned out my anchors to other sailors and used all my heavy lines to tie Swell to anything strong.
The morning the cyclone arrived, my hands shook as I descended the ladder for the last time with a waterproof pack of my most important goods. The wind was already ripping over us from the north. It was predicted to get stronger all through the day and into the night. I glanced back at Swell—she looked like a spider, with her ‘rope legs’ tied in every direction. I sighed and walked away, knowing I’d done all that I could do. I would stay with my Italian friend, Simona and her son Franchesco, until it was safe to come back to her.