Wednesday, July 25

Mother Nature

I grew up in southern California with very mild weather for the most part.  Craig grew up in Michigan with blizzards and afternoon thunderstorms and he lived through hurricane Hugo in Charleston. We lived in the bay area of northern California where the weather is just about perfect (in our opinion).  We moved to Seattle for 9 years and had some exciting weather like snow.  Since living in Texas and experiencing some very dramatic weather (tornadoes, violent thunderstorms and hail the size of golf balls), I feel like we have pretty much seen it all.  I love the weather.  I check it all the time and get a bit grumpy when a good thunderstorm goes around us or doesn't deliver (at home that is).  As we have taught the girls, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit".  That will be my motto onboard.
When we are sailing, we are really at the mercy of mother nature.  We have to be diligent and on guard all the time.  We can't take shelter in a nice sturdy house where you feel very protected.  On the boat you feel very exposed (and the thunder is VERY loud).  We are acutely aware of any small changes in the wind since we anchor 99% of the time.  We have been through a couple of thunderstorms since we started our adventure but nothing that we couldn't handle (yet).
While in Block Island this past week, we had a freaky weather situation.  See pictures below.  We knew there was a system headed our way, we were expecting it because a cold front was moving through.  The wind started picking up, white caps filled the harbor.  We got the ear piercing beep on our VHF radio from the National Weather Center warning of the approaching storm.  We battened down the hatches and stowed or tied down everything that could blow away and we waited.  By this time, the wind was really howling through the rigging.  The sky grew dark and we could see the clouds changing.  Then we saw what we thought was a wall or shelf cloud (pretty common in Texas with severe thunderstorms).  We couldn't hear any thunder yet...hmmm, wonder why?  This white 'wall' cloud was moving fast and was really low.  We hopped on deck to check it out and take pictures.  Everyone else was on their bow looking at the same phenomanom.  It stretched in a perfectly straight line as far as the eye could see.  We were all mesmerized.  Then, when it was almost on top of us, we scrambled in the boat bracing for the worst.  It rolled over us as quiet as could be and then it was gone - past us - moving over the island.  The wind died almost instantaneously, from 20 knots to absolutely nothing.  No thunder, no lightning, no wind and not even a drop of rain.  What was that thing??  Everyone around us in the anchorage was scratching their heads trying to figure it out.  Craig thinks it was just a cloud.  I think it was a 'roll' of fog.  It rolled over itself just like San Francisco fog.
The rain finally came that night and we did have an impressive lightning show and thunder, loud thunder!

A fellow Austin Texas boat bracing for the blow

Here comes the cloud

What do you think?? of the many activities we have onboard for rainy days

Maggie's car - meet Sam.

1 comment:

  1. GOOD LUCK ON YOUR TEST, CRAIG!! Loved all the pictures, looks like fun all the way. Love to you all from me and Schroeder