Sunday, October 07, 2007

SPCA World Animal Day: Adventure at ECP

The carnival started out warm, sunny, friendly and verily furry as happy people trotted in all-smiles with their furry friends. We all had such a good time chatting with everyone who came by to say hi. By noon, I was absolutely exhausted. The duck dropped by with his massive camera as usual but that's great cos he took many furry pictures!
spca world animal day @ east coast

At ca. 1:15pm, a line of park-goers formed along the shoreline and I was wondering hey wth? Only to realise that they were all gazing in awe at the most massive mother of a water spout I've ever seen in my life. People were excitedly taking photos, posing, pointing and grinning like idiots, conveniently ignoring the dark sky looming above.

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Oh.... it looks beautiful in the pictures, but 5 minutes after everyone admired the large spout, a gale hit our tentage with such force it took so much of our stock with it past marine cove and into the carpark some 30m away.

The spout had actually hit the shoreline. As with all waterspouts, I expected it to die off as it approached the shore. But inspite of passing through the shallow intertidal, it spun past the breakwater and onto land. As it grounded just about 10 meters away from us, we could see clearly the swirl of salt spray as it hit the beach hut pub with patrons desperately scooting to the inside.

The wind blew 3 of the tent's legs off the ground and required like 10 people to hold each down!

Amidst the carnage, volunteers desperately tried to salvage our loot and move all our bulky stuff into the center of the tent. Selina called for the generator to be shut off in case people came into contact with the power units by accident.

People holding up the tent legs decided it was no use, and yelled for everyone to run out. Civil defence was called.

As we evacuated the tent into the heavy rain, we nearly fell from the strength of the gale. Standing under the meagre shelter of the Beach Hut pub of marine cove, we watched in silent prayer that the tentage would not be blown off. What if the pieces hit the restaurants and carpark?

The rain soon reduced to a drizzle and volunteers scooted back to view the wreckage. Things were soaked and blown across the entire area. We salvaged what we could and tried to ignore our soaked clothes and shoes.

Not to be called a wash-out in tomorrow's newspapers, organisers quickly decided to re-set the event to carry on for the rest of the afternoon.

As we took in the damage at ground zero, people quickly picked up the pace. Sort out what's wet, what's dry, what's too wrecked to be used, what should go into the garbage. How shall we waterproof our table since it's soaked through? It certainly was inspiring to see everyone in their washed-out appearances quickly working together. Our spirits were far from dampened.

What an adventure indeed. No sooner had we returned to the site to re-setup, did numbers of pet owners trail in to check out the water-soaked carnival. In between trying to set up the tables, we had to entertain enthusiastic members of the public. We seriously could not figure out where they'd all appeared from when just a second ago, the rain was so thick you could barely see 20 meters ahead.

3 comments:

Monkey said...

the people taking photos of the waterspout before it hits the shore sounds like the people who rush out to check out the tsunami when the water retreated from the shore.

although it's obvious a tsunami will hit the shore while a water spout like you said, normally would die off out at sea. this is a very interesting phenomenon!

Anonymous said...

and i stood at the window, holding hands with him tightly, and breathed with nervousness for that ship. and then when it hit in-land without dying off soon enough i had my heart in my throat for a second.

and the gale blew on.

- caterpillar

The Singapore Daily said...

Hi Kungfu Bunny, great pictures of the waterspout! You've been featured in The Singapore Daily [singaporedaily.wordpress.com]. Please help support us. Keep blogging!