“S” is for Storm (June 5, 2014)

We stay in Beaufort for a day to recover from our ocean passage. On Thursday (6/5), we head to Bellhaven, NC in the ICW. Around 2:30 or 3 pm, Matt says there is a small fishing dock where we can pull over and avoid an approaching storm. My land-self thinks, What’s a little rain if we can make more progress today? I have no idea. We decide to push on and can see the storm behind us. Matt says he’s going to put on his foul weather gear. Really? I think. For a little rain? Isn’t that going a bit overboard (no pun intended)? The wind picks up and the rain starts to come. Matt shouts over the wind for me to get mine on also. Me? Do both of us really need to get wet? is what I’m thinking but not saying. I quickly weigh up my recent nautical errors versus contributions and decide that if I don’t want to be demoted and report to my six-year-old, I might just want to follow instructions. Sixty seconds later I’m glad I did. The storm hits with ferocious immediacy, whipping wind and pelting rain. I see lighting and immediately let go of the metal rail I’ve been holding. It’s our first storm.


Visibility drops to about 10 yards, the wind is pushing us 90 degrees off course (i.e., broadside to the channel), and Matt gets a mouthful of rainwater every time he tries to yell something at me. The wind becomes so vicious it rips the tough canvas bimini above Matt’s head (he estimates 50-mph winds).


There’s nothing to do but hang on and wait it out. It only lasts about 30 minutes but we are soaked by the time it’s over. And the boys? Blissfully napping through it all.


[And yes, I took a chance to grab my iPhone and capture it on film and no, the Captain didn’t see me do it or I definitely would have been demoted].