Sunrise over the wheel house (yes I know there is no house, but that is still what it's called). The SEA vessel Robert C Seamans is a 134ft Brigantine sailing ship used as a floating classroom for undergraduates from all over the USA. It's being docked here in Hawaii for 6 months, as they've been hit by the recession, so had to cancel their spring program. SEA runs out of Woods Hole, so I know many folks who have done SEA, and over the last few months i've been helping put together a short cruise for Hawaii students, hopefully at the end of May.
We sat at at the 1000m depth line (about ten miles off shore) - as at this depth the tsunami would hardly be felt at all. There were lots of boats out, everyone who could left the dock. I was texting with some students who have sail boats and were also out on the water. At this point we decided it would be fun to turn on some of the science equipment, so we had some current meters going and a bottom sounder. We were all outside when "it hit", so we don't know yet whether it showed much, but it'll be interesting to look at that data later!
The moment "it hit". In reality, it was just a 2ft surge that hit Oahu, and a 6ft one that hit the Big Island, so a good thing, not quite a false alarm, but no major damage done. We did actually feel it which was amazing. For about ten minutes the water got choppy and confused, and then went right back to steady and calm. Eeeery.
Heading back in. I like that I live in the time that I do. We were not out of phone reception at all, so on my iPhone I could get emails and updates, so before we headed in I knew my car would still be there, and the islands had got off lightly. I can't imagine what it would have been like to head in to no news, not knowing what we would find. But I guess in that time there never would have been a warning in the first place, and maybe there would have been a few swept out to sea this morning.