Halloween Tug-of-War

Until a few moments ago, the sea was completely clear. It looked as though it had absorbed the clouds. Under an almost full moon, sky and sea were one.

Until the breeze blew back in. ‘Sorry I’m late, guys.’ The sea spat the clouds out. It began to ripple.

I was glad to feel it.

It was deathly still and hot all day. We swam to cool off more than once. In the atmosphere, a small barometric war was going on.

On one side, a tropical wave was passing to our north. Just north enough we wouldn’t feel it directly. It wasn’t far enough north though, that we’d be spared of its effects. We were in the sucked-out wind section. Unfortunately, we’ve discovered this doesn’t mean calm in Bonaire.

Just south of Bonaire, a cell of thunderstorms were developing on the hook of mainland Venezuela. When it gets really still, Bonaire is just close enough and on the path of this weather outfall. If there are no trade winds, the thunderstorms come this way. A wind reversal is the result – a sudden storm and powerful sea swell from the opposite, southwesterly direction. It links to the old fisherman’s saying in Bonaire: if you see lightening in the south, go and hide round the little island adjacent to Bonaire, Klein Bonaire.

We didn’t though. We let a little out of the mooring lines to counter any upcoming swell. In the last wind reversal a few weeks ago, this swell caused much of the damage to the boats in the mooring field. With this in mind, we secured everything inside, as if we were going sailing, and sat down to wait.

At nightfall, there was a bit of lightening in the south. You could also see the clouds in the north too and the bits of breeze poking through. We went to bed none the wiser. We had explosions of rain during the night, but no swell.

We woke up to find there was also an explosion of moth wings on Quest’s cockpit floor. It looked like a storm-induced, mass moth love-making session.

The sky went bright red at dawn, and then started to bucket down. Quest did turn to face the south, but luckily we didn’t feel the swell. It was turning into a morning of catching rain water and putting it in the tanks. Some sailors have special channels built into their awnings. We don’t.

Lu and I waited until the rain ended, lowered Edna and went to Patrice’s yoga. It was our last yoga session before Lu starts school. Half-term is almost over.

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