"When I think of all the fools I've been it's a wonder that I've sailed this many miles." -Guy Clark

Thursday, May 20, 2010

have you ever seen the rain?

Brian's comment about yesterday's post - "Thunderstorm must have been hairy" - caught my attention. That squall really wasn't any problem but it did get me thinking about the storm's we've sailed through over the last couple of years. In fact I thought about it all day. Decided to go through the cruise photos and find the images from thunderstorms. Here they are. We've used some before on the blog, hope you don't mind me showing them again. We'll get some fresh photos in just a few weeks.

Above is from a solo sail on Pamlico Sound in the spring of '08. I had been anchored near Great Island the night before. As I sailed NE towards Wysocking Bay the next morning a storm came from the north. I was by myself and didn't quite know what to do. I sailed back near the island, dropped the main and the jib and waited out the storm. I like my foul weather gear. Thanks Mom!

This photo above is from Core Sound on the trip with Bruce in 07 after we sailed through the isolated thunderstorm shown in yesterday's post. It is a thunderstorm erupting off of the Core Banks. Pretty cool looking.

And I'm not sure where this photo above is from, I've got several like it. The typical summer rain in the south.

Above is the worst weather I've ridden out in a boat. Fortunately I was anchored at the time, don't know what I would have done if I had been sailing (well, yes I do know. I would have dropped the main and the jib and ridden it out under mizzen only and it would have been the longest evening of my life). I was in Cedar Creek on a solo sail. Weather radio went crazy with that "warning" sound. High winds, funnel clouds on the mainland. I moved the center of the creek, kept the mizzen up, raised cb and rudder and rode it out just fine.

And above is heading out of Wysocking Bay on Day 2 of the SkeeterBeater. A fast moving squall out of the north with Bruce, below, at the tiller.

And later that day we sailed near four other thunderstorms in the Swan Quarter/Rose Bay area. Dodged all the rain but felt the wind. It was a fun, exciting afternoon sailing under mizzen and jib at times.

And below we were heading out of Bath Creek, Bruce was photographing the ospreys. I've got to laugh at this photograph as I look at it now. You would have thought one of us would say "Hey, look at that big white puffy cloud in the background. What could that be?" But no....
It was, we found out 30 minutes later, a thunderstorm.

And there we are heeled over in that thunderstorm. Kept full sails up throughout the storm, Bruce at the tiller and me sponging out the cockpit.

And below is coming out of the ICW at Gale Creek on to the Bay River, heeled over in a storm approaching from the north. That was probably the biggest, darkest storm we've seen on our cruises. By then we didn't see storm as a problem, just an opportunity for more wind. We rounded up, tucked a reef in the main and kept on sailing.

The key is good foul weather gear. Bruce has a nice set from Cabela's, mine is from West Marine. They make all the difference in the world.

And later that same day coming into Oriental in, of course, the rain. It was just a light shower with no wind.

Most of the storms - I guess you could call them squalls or isolated thunderstorms - lasted less than 30 minutes. Some good wind, a little excitement and a change of pace from the typical day of sailing on the sound. Don't let this post give you the impression that our trips are rain soaked. Typically they are sunny and hot. Sometimes it is nice to have a little thunderstorm to cool things off.



Baydog said...

Sun is cold and rain is hard, I know. You just brought me back to high school. Thanks man.

West Marine for whatever you need, I know.

EyeInHand said...

Great stuff. Funny how any storm stays more fresh and vivid than most "good" days. Adrenalin is a great memory drug. It often takes a truly great day, or moment, to sink in as deeply.

Brian said...

Cool Pics again thanks. I have been busy on my boat. Pics tomorrow.
Heavy rain. What state do you mainly sail in?

Steve said...

I live in coastal Virginia at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. My day sailing is usually on the Elizabeth River in Virginia. Cruises are either on Pamlico Sound in North Carolina or on Chesapeake Bay which is in both Virginia in Maryland. Lots of area to explore!

S R Wood said...

Steve, I had to laugh at the expression on your face in the first image. It says that Things Have Become Serious.

These are great pictures, thanks for posting. Every time we get a tree-bending gale it makes me think of sailing. Somewhere I read of "the sailor's simple-minded love of heavy weather." Good to know Spartina has handled rough stuff with grace.