Friday, 17 July 2009


We took some beating going through the Bahamas. The hurricane season was getting close and the weather conditions was pretty wild. The squalls kept coming, with thunder and lightning and torrents of rain.

We got two hours of gale and then nothing. The water was still and purple. We were just waiting, wondering. Then another string of squalls raised its heavy head above the horizon. We got engulfed in rain and darkness.

I signed off before the worst hit us, and could go down below with a pleasing sensation of being the lucky guy.

Nina really got it this time. She was sitting with her head bowed, still as a statue in the back of the cockpit, with her hands withdrawn in the sleeves of the raingear. The rain came down so hard that she got kind of hazy. It's not wickedness, it's just mankind to get a look of your spouse through the slits in the hatches, seeing you're better off for once.

The boat heeled over. Bika started to pick up speed and I could hear water surging along the hull. I could hear the deep slow sounds of distant thunder. Then Nina opened the hatch and wanted attention. There was a waterspout outside.

We could clearly see spray and water churning. The waterspout got wider and we got some concerns about where it was heading. It didn's seem to move, though. Further away we could see a second waterspout forming; it started like a tiny corkscrew from the sharp lower edge of the cloud. It stayed like that for awhile, sort of testing, before it probed it's long finger towards the sea. It was a more lanky version, funneling without any real purpose.

During the next hour we saw several distant waterspouts. On the fifth we started to get blasé.