Sunday, August 15, 2010

Would You Care for Some More Typhoon Tea, Vicar?

Whilst Norman has been waiting at Laoag in the Philippines for permissions to continue his journey he has been able to write some words for the Blog about the ‘moderate chance’ of a Typhoon passing through the area next week. He has included a weather chart that he hopes will get some interesting feedback from weather/aviation aficionados.

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From the Pilot, Norman Surplus

I have always been fascinated by extreme weather, many a time growing up (and still even now!) back home my Brother, David and I would be excitedly following the weather forecast for days as a big, deep, low pressure system would roll in across the North Atlantic towards our home. Picking the best moment of converging high winds and “storm surge” high tides we would don our foul weather gear and go out to do battle with the elements along the shore line. It’s only by physically standing out there, almost being literally blown off your feet, that you can really appreciate the awesome power of nature.

At times like these you are getting close to the edge of man's (self assumed) dominance over his built environment and the fabric of our cosy existence starts to slightly rip and tear at the seams. We then have a child like fascination to be out there whooping and hollering at the madness of it all, getting soaked and blown about until it’s time to return home for a nice warming cup of “Typhoon Tea”.... It is as well that these severe episodes are very short lived, lasting a few hours or days, before the “big clean up” can put things back into some sort of normality again. This is “extreme” weather in the UK and although we like to think of it as extreme, by comparison to the rest of the world it is quiet tame really.

Real Typhoons (and Hurricanes) are very different. These can be very destructive and very dangerous and would have no problem at all blowing you off your feet. The life fabric really gets torn, shredded beyond recognition in some instances and it takes much longer than a few days for the big clean up, sometimes years or even sometimes never... Nature really does win in these battles and all we can do is monitor, be aware and hopefully be out of harm’s way as and when the next one is being fought.

I have often thought that if you wanted to go outside and experience these sorts of conditions as we do in Larne, my brother and I would have to forego the foul weather gear and hire ourselves a Tank from the Army (coincidently, we actually have a friend in Larne who has a whole collection of vintage tanks and landing craft he uses for film work so perhaps we could borrow one for the occasion - but I digress...) Safely inside the Tank we could then trundle about the deserted streets at the height of the storm, once more whooping and hollering at the madness of it all, bits of flying debris, building masonry, roof tiles, uprooted trees could all fall on the tank like so much confetti at a wedding and we would trundle on unhindered...stopping only to enjoy the flask of hot typhoon tea that we would now, of course, be able to bring with us!

Weather Chart for The South East Asia Region

All the best from the Fabulous Philippines


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Norman also sends his thanks to The Popular Rotorcraft Association (PRA) who have been of great assistance to Norman during his flight. He sends these words that also have a thank you to all who follow him on his various sites.

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I just wanted to thank everyone in the PRA for the tremendous support I am receiving now that the restart of the circumnavigation is well under way (albeit I am stalled a while at the moment awaiting permission to enter Japan) It has given me time to catch up on emails and read up on the various website reports on the expedition. It really gives me a psychological boost to know I am not alone up there!


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The photo shows Norman proudly displaying the PRA logo that is now firmly attached to G-YROX in pride of place.

Norman next to G-YROX displaying the PRA Logo
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  1. The weather forecast certainly does not look good for the region you are in at the moment.
    As you say the storms and gales we get at home are nothing compared with typhoons.

    Just remember you cannot borrow one of John's tanks where you are at the stay safe.

  2. A wonderful description of the differences in the weather us Brits are used to and what you have to face on the other side of the world! I wonder how many people from different countries worked out the Typhoon Tea metaphor?
    But, keep up the rate of miles you mangaed across Malaysia and the Philippines and it won't be long beforeyou will be enjoying a cup of real 'Typhoo Tea' back home.