Thursday, September 15, 2011

Say It Isn't So

Map picture

This quick blog is to give everyone an update or our ever-changing situation. When I awoke this morning, the ship was so still that I thought we must have stopped or something. For the last several days the conditions on-board have reminded me of what it must feel like living in a washing machine. I looked outside, and just as the Captain had forecast yesterday, we were in calm seas and shrouded in a very thick fog. In fact, what awakened me was the incessant howling of the ship’s fog horn.

By mid-morning the fog had lifted and we had a mostly cloudy sky, but the barometer was rising and the winds were light. I started to believe that all this talk about another hurricane was going to prove incorrect. In fact I went online to CNN to see if there was any mention of hurricane Maria, and nothing was written as part of the current news cycle. A quick search did find a two day old reference to the hurricane season in general, in which it mentioned that Maria was no longer a threat to the mainland, and was passing harmlessly out to sea.

Well, all that changed when the Captain addressed the entire ship around noon today. The good news is that with the calmer seas and lighter winds, the ship is now making better time and we are proceeding at full speed towards the port of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The bad news is that we are in a race to get into port; if at all possible, before hurricane Maria hits the area tomorrow with winds of 70 mph or stronger and driving rain. Right now Maria is 300 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, and moving rapidly northward directly towards St. John’s.

If I understood the Captain correctly, he is hoping to reach St. John’s before the storm becomes so bad that it would be unsafe to enter the little harbor there. He stated that the harbor has no tug to help if things started to get out of hand, and he implied that we might well have to ride out the storm at sea. For now I can see the barometer starting to fall, and the winds increase. The fog is back, and the temperature is much colder, but the sea is still relatively calm. The Captain has indicated that he will address us again in the early evening about the rapidly developing situation. As he somewhat jokingly said, this type of weather is not only outside of his control, but also somewhat typical of the North Atlantic this time of year.

So, stay tuned. I figure as long as the Johnnie Walker Black holds out, I can pretty much handle anything.


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