On the night the 8.9 earthquake hit Japan I was kept up all night with constant phone calls from friends and family alerting me to the disaster and probable visitations of tsunami remnants in my marina.  I can’t decide if the surreal quality of yesterday was due more to lack of sleep or the weird power of nature stepping out of her natural path.

We mocked the media in the early morning. They were hyping up the expected 2.5 foot waves into circus proportions.  By around 9:15 we were suitably impressed however.  Here is video taken by Captain Richard here in the marina.  Normally the water in here is like glass.  Berkeley tsunami surge video 1 and video 2

Mind you this was after the really big surge that broke part of a dock, took out a piling and submerged half of the yacht club guest dock.   Dock lines snapped, power cords got ripped out of their shore sockets, and the wildlife was thrown around.  One little coot, a kind of small black duck with a white bill, got caught in the onrush of water and could not get free of the press.  It would fly a few feet to get away and was instantly thrown back where it started, smooshed up against the docks.  It finally took refuge behind someone’s rudder until the surge paused to change directions.

We don’t have any beach here for a crested wave to splash on so the water just sloshed in at high speed and then sloshed out.  Like a tide, but instead of lasting four hours, it took five minutes between incoming and outgoing, and kept it up all day long.  It was like having a slip on an indecisive white water rafting river.   A mere fraction of the raw power poor Japan experienced.

Tsunami 2011.  Japan was shaken and we were stirred.


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