Thunder Storm

Thu 4 Dec 2008 12:27

Position: 16:34.080N 035:39.707W


            We have had empty ocean for the last few days and tonight as a thunder storm flanks us to the north and a ship closes from the south I feel hemmed in even though there is plenty of sea room between all of us. The sea is very confused and sea has built up as quickly as a Dublin apartment block to 4-5m. The headsail shudders as we slide off the waves passing beneath the hull and the bow pitches unpredictably in a 30 degree arc. This is like sliding sideways towards a junction on an icy morning in a small car, you know you are going to get there but what happens then?


At the moment we are headed for Rio the only place the wind wants to bring us too right now, later it becomes the Falklands. I think it was dark until a huge black cloud appears from nowhere, overhead he scowls down at me and I reef in the headsail quickly. One foot bracing me at an angle, that, should I be in the kitchen at home it would be on the sink. Bank manager tension develops somewhere between my collar bone and shoulder blades but the cloud passes with just the glare.


The thunderstorm continues to the north, it is the most prolific I have seen, really non stop flashing across a vast expanse low lying flat cloud. The flashes seen clearly above this horizontal band.


I cant make out the wall of water behind us until the white fingers claw over the crest of it like tips holding on to a ledge. They reach from the blackness towards Cerys’ stern. She lifts at the last minute and they fail in their attempt to grasp us, passing underneath and destabilizing us for a while. The next one is not far behind but invisible yet. White water passes from bow to stern as we lurch. The oncoming wave flips the angle of the white water, velvet like in its capacity to change tone and texture with a stroke. Then its gone.


The mast head light sways and points skywards from constellation to constellation now that the black cloud has passed. Wave over the top. My book is wet. A once off I think. Makes a change from this afternoon with feet dangling over the guardrails in an attempt to catch passing and cooling waves.


As I get comfortable with this and take out my book I recognise that we are only spectators at this game, and with that, with a good stand ticket. The game is being played to the north in those flashes of light.


Still time for todays limerick:


Jeanots finished baking the bread

Its better than mine’s what they said

They better be wary

Things could get scary

They’ll be getting the boom on the head