November 23, 2008
Sunday 23 nov: Drama yesterday. A thunderstorm developed over the north mountains in the afternoon and grew and blew and crashed and flashed and rained and then suddenly blasted us. For about a quarter of an hour everything howled and shrieked, water was blown off the surface of one meter high waves, (this in the lagoon, remember) and visibility was down to a few meters. Ready to start the engine if the mooring broke, but it held, although our two ropes were tight as wires. We held on tight too. Gradually things returned to sanity and no damage to Sea Eagle, her rigging, or us, but the wind generator had lost two of its three blades and was hanging from its cable. The book said that it was designed for 100 miles per hour. Ah well. (see picture)Later on, after a period of merely strong winds, during which John went for a snorkellswim to find blades and found the remains of the tailfin, conditions slowly deteriorated during the evening with the approach of a cold front, with lightning in the clouds all over the western sky. The wind gusted to at least 52 knots on the instrument, when we spared it a glance, the effects of local whirling spirals of wind and spray. Most dramatic. And wet. And noisy! The front withdrew gradually eastward and things calmed down enough by midnight to let us sleep. This morning we woke to brilliant sunshine, little wind, rolly swell and apparent all benign again.