Living on Lord Howe Island


Tropical Cyclone Sandra

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cyclone track map 1

We’ve had a few close calls over the years – TC Pam in 1974, TC Yali in 1998 and TC Wati in 2006, but TC Sandra is, well, here. The first big gusts came through at lunch time, and we’re expecting conditions to worsen over the next 12 hours. The eye of the storm is just off to the east of the Lord Howe, so we won’t experience any dramatic changes in wind direction. Instead, we’re expecting gusts up to 150km/hr from the south. Also, the swell is forecast to peak at 8m tonight with ‘abnormally high tides’, so the Ned’s Beach shed may get a wash.

The start of more serious weather on Lord Howe Island

The island community is well prepared. Pinetrees guests are all reading books, playing board games and having a long lunch. There are a few sore heads from Rockfest last night, where the Freshwater Ukulele Band entertained pre-cyclone revellers until midnight. They’re due to play again tonight, but I suspect only the very hardcore fans (and band members) will venture out.

It’s amazing what you see with your “cyclone preparation” hat on. This Bunnings $9.95 gazebo (and remnant beer jugs) from last night’s festival was an odd thing to be left on the oval. I can only guess that the manufacturers have commissioned some product testing for a ‘cyclone rating’. It’s a competitive market out there, and every bullet point on the product packaging helps. I think I know what will happen when the wind gets above 10 knots.

 Let's move inside!

This guy is a (very) keen bird watcher. When I asked if he needed a lift somewhere – anywhere – he said “no thanks, the cyclone’s not going to spoil my day”. And bravo for him. Pity the birds have sought shelter away from the interpretive sign.

Adventurous bushwalker on Lord Howe Island 

We’re house bound now so it’s time for some pink play dough, The Sound of Music and maybe some storm watching. I’ll get another post online sometime tomorrow. Stay tuned for more details…

Meanwhile, at home

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About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 75 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance? When I'm not writing, my lovely staff do it for me - they see more of the island than I do.

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