‘I was praying all night’ says island caretaker
MIDDLE Percy Island caretaker Cate Radclyffe can now see the ocean and other parts of the island following the passing of Cyclone Marcia but on the night of February 19, she was praying for her life.
Ms Radclyffe and two others were hunkered down in a specially prepared cubby beneath the high-set homestead on the island as the fierce storm raged around them.
"I was praying all night of the cyclone for protection from God," she said.
The eye of Marcia passed only about 20km away and wind gusts blew to more than 200kmh.
"I am very grateful that the houses are okay and we have power and water still," she said on Thursday.
"Just trees down and damage every way one looks. We find the views have been opened up to the sea and other parts of the island now.
"We will need helpers to clear up the sand from the Tree House and A-frame (beach house) and old telephone shed.
"The fences have massive trees fallen on them and the orchard needs clearing up and trees pruned or removed.
"We have been set back in our garden, of course. We have got more water in the creek though for filling the large tank, which is a blessing. None of the bee hives were damaged or the majority of our important infrastructure, so mightily blessed that way."
On Monday the L'Austral, a cruise ship operated by the French cruise line company Compagnie du Ponant, called in at the island and 190 passengers went ashore to see the aftermath of a cyclone.
"The ship's carpenters came ashore and put the roofs back on the sheds while they were here," island resident John said.
Ms Radclyffe said the passengers from the cruise ship enjoyed the novelty and interest of the West Bay beach.
"We are so grateful to national parks for helping clear the main track and hope they can return for further clearing soon," she said.