Pabuk headed towards Hainan, and was forecast to dwindle to nothingness. But, it stopped, strengthened again, and turned around - and headed straight for Hong Kong as a tropical storm, hitting on 10 August; seems the rather hazy centre hit Lantau, before it moved off towards west, and weakened.
Led to hoisting of Number 1 and then, a couple of hours or so later, the Number 8: latter causing massive confusion, as people scurried home from work.
Here are views from Cheung Chau, as Pabuk approached (again!), and as it came close, with intense rainband.
I had to take a ferry. As I neared the pier, passed bicycles blown over by powerful wind, and this broken tree branch.
The ferry took 15-20 minutes just to leave the pier! - blown against it by the wind!
Even in the typhoon shelter, the gale to storm force wind was blasting small waves w white water. Here, took shot in pelting rain.
There were big waves - some 3-4 metres? - soon after the ferry left the typhoon shelter. The ferry took an unusual course, to avoid as much as possible the roughest seas towards Hong Kong - north past Hei Ling Chau, to pass near Peng Chau. Even so, once we were beyond the lee of Hei Ling Chau, the ferry rolled in big seas; a few times, rolled pretty far then hit by waves that sent spray to windows of middle deck (where I was).
I shot these clips, inc as arrived in Victoria Harbour.
Calmer in the harbour, tho some dark clouds moved over.
I arrived in Central to find large crowd of people, waiting to catch ferry to Cheung Chau. (and go home - not for holiday!) The Number 8 was imminent, or up already.
Took quite some time for ferries to arrive. When a small - two deck - ferry berthed, there was degree of chaos as people rushed along exit way, dashed onto ferry without paying, w much shouting. But then, gate closed behind them, and things quiet again: the ferry left, and I figured I was glad not to be on it, as surely would bounce even more than three-deckers (as I'd come in on).
There were tv news crews around, reporting on people waiting for ferries. (Maybe, too, on the storm - but in Central it was pretty quiet; hard to guess how rough the seas were towards Cheung Chau, and how strong the wind had been there.)
Later, I came back to the ferry pier - sure the Number 8 must go down soon, and wanting to take ferry home (as little to do in town after collecting my family; we'd had coffee, eaten, been to supermarket, waleked by closed shops, checked HMV, and now just waiting, waiting and waiting at the pier). Boring, tho the harbour looked attractive w reflections on water free of boats: rather frustrating to be waiting like this when the harbour was calm as a mill pond!
The piers were near deserted; a few others waiting for ferries and - as here - still a few news crews hanging on.