Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Getting Ready for a Typhoon

It seemed to develop quickly. A few days ago, there was nothing, and now there is a storm developing and heading for us--tropical storm Kong Rey (where did that name come from?) It's predicted to grow into a typhoon sometime today before its closest approach to Guam tonight and tomorrow.

Because we live on a boat, people often ask Terry and I what do we do during storms. So now we're doing it. We spent yesterday, all day Sunday, getting the boat ready. Off come the sails which involves taking the big jib off the roller furling system on the forestay and getting the mainsail off the mast and boom. This takes a while and is a lot of work. The sails are balled up, tied into an awkward package with a line, and then swung off the boat using the main halyard. Then we take them to a grassy spot and fold them up properly and put them into storage.

Next, the one-inch storm lines need to be checked and the chaffing gear adjusted. I had to make a new, one-inch storm line for the port stern quarter which involves cutting off the old rusted shackle with a grinder and splicing a new thimble into the line and putting it all together with a new shackle.

The bimini and dodger come off, the sea cocks are closed, the shore power turned off and the power cables disconnected and brought ashore. The refrigerator is turned off and everything removed and either thrown away or brought with us to the friend's house where we will be staying.

Right now, I'm in my classroom at school. The island is scheduled to go into Typhoon Condition 2 at 2:00 this afternoon and we have been told we have to stay here until 11:15 a.m. We still have a few things to do like take the air conditioner off the main hatch and put it in the back of my truck and pull the boat out from the seawall a little more. Then, on the way to our friend's house, we'll stop at the store and stock up on typhoon party supplies. The weather man tells us that tonight and tomorrow will be interesting so we need to be ready.

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