We went down to the beach around lunchtime yesterday and took up our usual position on our sarongs on the sand.
We chatted to our friendly beach-seller, Suresh, for a while and at around 1:30pm were lying dozing or reading when we suddenly felt water on our feet. The tide had suddenly come in very quickly. We grabbed our stuff and moved it a little way up the beach but seconds later another wave came up and lifted some of the bags and books up and started dragging them into the sea.
I grabbed the floating items and we ran further up the beach away from the tide, asking if this was a normal occurance.
We headed back to Ivon’s to dry out, and spoke to Martin, who thought it could just be a high tide.
We’d been back at the room for only a minute or two when my phone rang. It was Vic’s father ringing to ask if we were okay. “Funny”, I thought, “how does he know we just got wet?”
He had heard about an earthquake off Sumatra and that it had affected India and was obviously worried. Fortunately we were fine, and with Goa being quite far North as well as on the West coast the area wasn’t badly affected.
We put the BBC World Service on the radio and listened to early reports, and then went back down to the beach where the water had subsided. We started telling people about what we’d heard and as we watched the water came back up the beach, about 15 minutes after the first surge.
Further surges carried on throughout the day and evening, and the fishermen moved their boats back along the beach as a high tide was expected anyway as it was a full moon.
So we were very lucky. Some of our other future destinations were not so fortunate, including Kerala, Pondicherry, Chennai, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Our thoughts are with all the people affected, and their families and friends. Lots of people here in Arambol have friends who are in Phuket or Koh Phi Phi and are naturally worried for them.