Glenn, I know what you mean. Santa Cruz Harbor has several actual experienced sailors, many of whom are fishermen. In fact, I'd bet that they're the majority. This isn't Marina del Ray: I've lived near that one, too, and it had way more boaters than sailors. From everything I read, the main problem wasn't only advance knowledge or even experience, but what you said--not enough room to properly anchor boats--plus not enough time to get them all out before the damage arrived.
Ann R Thryft; There is a difference between 'boaters' and experienced 'sailors'. I have met many boaters who mainly use the boat to drink (alcohol) while it is tied up at the dock. Or raft together on a lake and party / drink. As mentioned in another post, there isn't enough space in many harbors to properly anchor boats to allow the range of movement to ride out the storm and not hit something that will damage them.
People on the west coast knew a tsunami was coming, but we didn't know how it would affect a given harbor in a given way. I was reading the local newspapers, news sites, etc,. and no one was clear on this until after the fact, probably because nothing like that had happened here in living memory: the scale was totally different, and the quantitative differences produced qualitative differences. On this coast, living memory/recorded history/the history of taking modern measurements, etc. is a lot shorter than on the east coast. There was some talk of moving boats out of the harbor, but not enough warning time for a concerted, organized effort to figure out and complete that task.
Ann, nature doesn't care and anyone on the water had better understand that and what is needed or what happened will again. If one doesn't learn the problems they will face on the water will lead to loss of boat and even lives. It's the captain's responsability by law.
The danger was on the news day/s in advance which should have been heeded by anyone with a boat on the whole west coast. Didn't they see what happened in Hawaii?
I knew it here in Fla so it's rather lame to say those in Cal were not informed. There have been programs on just this danger and how many times it has happened before. So yes it was willful ignoring.
If a big earthquake hits anywhere in the Pacific one should keep track of it if one is on or even near the water.
Same thing on the east coast where when one comes, and it will, will take out far more like when the Azores underwater cliffs fell before Columbus came and wiped out much of the lower lying land just like Indoneisa had more recently.
I didn't get the impression that it was willful ignoring of the dangers: not at all. People here were devastated at their losses. I don't think people realized how much damage could be done, and which harbors would have worse damage then others due to different shapes. I learned about that after the fact, primarily through local news outlets, and I suspect others did, too. There was a surprisingly small amount of fingerpointing making those types of accusations. Our situation is quite different from the East Coast with its hurricanes and cyclones, meaning, we don't exactly get tsunamis every day here. This was quite unusual. That said, there was a lot of discussion after the tsunami about how to do things differently, but the shape of the harbor apparently is a big factor.
I live in Fla and I knew about the Tsunami danger to the whole west coast. So they should have as it wasn't a secert. Likely they willfully ignored it
The Hawaii damage from it should have been a clue to them if nothing else.
A real problem for Cal is there are so many boats and so few slips many times they are stacked 2-5+ deep and the only safe thing to do is head out to sea for most. The time of arrival was known well in advance to the hour.
The shape of the harbor is extremely important but again that was well known too by anyone who asked or just looked at the charts they should have had on every boat. As was the direction it was coming from. They were just making excuses for being too lazy to care for their boats and deflecting blame.
Thanks, Jerry. Those are the same variables that were discussed here after the Santa Cruz Harbor damage. The shape of the harbor and the way the tsunami waves traveled into it apparently made it more vulnerable than other, nearby harbors. But I also heard a lot of people saying that the boats either shouldn't have been tied up there, or should have been tied differently. Of course, this is all hindsight, and no one realized what was coming in time to do anything about it.
As they say Ann, that depends. And not just on the dock but the things around it.
It depends on the water they are in and how protected it is, how bad the storm is, how they are tied up, how much other things can get blown into them from around the water, how the other boats are secured, how much tide, surge there is, etc.
Thus why I seek a closed waterway like canals, mangroves, etc not too wide and able to put lines across it to prevent other boats that break loose from getting to mine, enough line length to allow for tidal surge without pulling the dock, piling up, out, a dock secured well enough it won't come loose and crush the boats, etc.
The pontoon itself is built for cyclone conditions. That doesn't necessarily mean it's built to protect boats during a cyclone. Having seen the $25 million-plus devastation of the harbor here in nearby Santa Cruz, CA after the Tohoku tsunami last year, I'd be surprised if any structure could protect boats under those conditions. Anyone know if there is one that can?
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