Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Night To Remember


We have been plagued on the last part of this trip with miserable weather. Frankly, I cannot remember when we last had a pleasant day. Apparently, a low pressure system developed in the Atlantic and parked itself over the British Isles. As I have written, we have had trouble docking, and our days have been windy at best, but generally cloudy with drizzle most of the time. So, why should our trip across the North Atlantic be any different?

During our stay at Waterford it was obvious that the ship was making preparations for a rough crossing. Everything that could be tied down was. All outside cables and lights were removed, and even our balcony furniture was moved into our room. So it came as no surprise that as we sailed from Waterford, the Captain addressed the entire ship about our upcoming passage across the North Atlantic.

Because of the low pressure system parked off Ireland, he could not navigate directly West as scheduled. Instead he was going to travel at high speed to the South in order to avoid the worst of the weather, and then try to make a turn towards the West. However, waiting for us in the North Atlantic were the remnants of Hurricane Katia. So only time would tell what was to come?

Our night out of Waterford was quite an adventure. Eventually we experienced winds of almost 50 mph and swells of over 20 ft. At times the bow of the ship would rise out of the water and then crash back with a deafening roar and pounding of the entire ship. The Captain has done an excellent job of minimizing the ship’s motion, but still the ride was pretty rough. Seasickness pills were being handed out like candy.

Eventually we made our turn westwards, but conditions are still pretty bad. Today the Captain informed us that generally when avoiding a hurricane it is necessary to stay around 325 nm from its center, however Katia was so large that he had to circumnavigate the storm by over 460 nm. We experienced conditions that were described as Gale Force 8, while had we approached the storm closer, conditions would have risen to a Force 11 situation.

While Katia is moving northward now at a rapid pace, she has left behind in her wake an extremely agitated sea which we must navigate to reach our next destination of St. John’s, Newfoundland. We have already been told that our arrival there will be late on the afternoon of the day AFTER we were scheduled to arrive. However, as the great Yogi Beara once said “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

The Captain also announced that he has some concerns about Hurricane Maria. Current forecasts show it is expected to reach the North Carolina coast only three days before our scheduled arrival into New York, which puts us right in yet another bull’s eye for bad weather.

So stay tuned – the adventure is far from over. I predict that the likelihood of our making all the remaining ports of call are very slim. After St. Johns, we are scheduled to visit Nova Scotia, Canada, stopping one day at Sydney, and the next at Halifax. After that, we would make port at Newport, Rhode Island and then end our trip in New York on the 21st.

So, from our small room surrounded by our balcony furniture accompanied by the thundering of the bow going up and crashing into the oncoming waves, I bid you good evening.


No comments: