As mentioned, often the tides and
winds changed the leaf and vegetation mulch washed down.
Next day when we arrived, first I bogged
the 4WD tractor up to the axles as the tides and leaf matter
had changed again and a further mountain of this vegetation was
everywhere, it was so soft under the sand with this mulch like
vegetation you could hardly walk as your feet sunk to near your
With 2 yachtie friends plus 6 prisoners
on work release we struggled to walk the rest of the way to TRIAD.
The boat could hardly be seen, it was covered in this leaf matter,
and vegetation again, only worse than before.
We worked hard and dug a lot out, the prisoners
did a great job with shovels and by hand until lunch time. We
found damage under the wings, where my bunk was, there was nothing.
The underwing area collapsed, Id fall straight through
to the sand, or into the sea if the tide was in.
The 2 yachtie friends helped me and I rushed
to town buying sheets of ply and sikaflex, screws etc. We worked
covering all holes and complete underwing deck until after 4pm
with the tide rushing in to complete the fix up job to keep water
and leaf matter from coming in again.
Next day I returned and it was all washed
away, all the materials and work, money spent, all was wasted.
You cant beat the forces of nature, TRIAD was open to the
elements where it was washed up. From then on I concentrated
on removing anything I could salvage.
Three times I had approached General Peter
Cosgrove who promised help, but unfortunately neither the army,
nor any of the other services were able to help in time. The
Volunteer Marine Rescue boat was still stuck washed up into the
mangroves, where later these mangroves had to be cut down to
extract their V.M.R. Boat which was then taken to Cairns for
At high tides the waves and swells came
in over the sand bar, bashing TRIAD against mangrove trees, some
large which by then had broken branches, some I had cut off,
but the remainder and stumps did all the damage gouging holes
into TRIADs main hull.
I first removed the drums off the new winches
so they wouldnt be stolen again.
Removing the winches was a tough job. Trouble
was I did too good a job with epoxy on the bolts and nuts after
previous winches were stolen. So I tried a chainsaw, trying to
cut out that section but the original builder had installed stainless
steel bars between the ply to strengthen the winch area, which
didnt help the saws chain.
I had to chip away at the epoxy to undo
the bolts and nuts to salvage the new winches.
Next the whole stern broke off, just behind
the rear cross beam. Then the whole bow broke off just under
the front cross beam.
Another day I came at low tide to find
the whole cabin and roof was wrecked, blown apart like a bomb
went off, with the roof upside down lying on the sand.
The centre of the main hull with diesel
motor is now buried under sand, cannot be seen. The 2 main crossbeams
are still intact which shows the strength of them, even though
they have been bashed around, and part of the bow is about all
that can be seen of the wreckage.
So this famous racing multihull yacht TRIAD
is TOTALLY DESTROYED!!!
TRIAD was uninsured as few insurance companies
insure tris and ferro yachts.
During the storm, my mooring didnt
move. Basically the front big anchoring bollard on TRIAD gave
way, bent large ¾ inch stainless bolts that were through
the bollard and deck into an S shape and the nuts/threaded
part of the bolts on top disappeared.
There were many boats damaged or wrecked
by cyclone Larry. A Trawler sunk at the town main jetty. Another
trawler sunk in the river, ended up near where TRIAD was moored.
A large power cruise boat was washed up over the bank near the
town slipway and destroyed. The Mourilyan harbour Volunteer Marine
Rescue boat was blown up on shore into the mangroves.
Almost every second building in Innisfail
had major damage or roof lost.
The friends I drove to town with for shelter
at 4:30am on the morning of the cyclone lost their house, wrecked
by the cyclone. They may not have survived if they stayed in
that old house.
Then working in mud and debris trying to
clean up after the cyclone, I came down with Barmah Forest disease,
and, just for a double dose, also Leptospirosis (which can be
fatal) this affected me for months where I couldnt do much
One day I may buy a catamaran to replace
TRIAD, not considering another tri due to insurance hassles and
cruise further north to Lizard Island or beyond as I intended
sailing TRIAD to Lizard Island last year but cyclone Larry destroyed
all my plans.