Sunday, June 29, 2014

Storm Chasers

From Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas, we elected to do a 25 hour crossing to the Fort Pierce inlet and then up the Intercostal Waterway (ICW) to Vero Beach, Florida.  We could have broken up the trip with stops at Great Sale Cay and the West End, but we decided that we had a good weather window.  Also, the timing worked better for making the inlet and the ICW in daylight hours.

The first half of our trip crossing the Little Bahama Banks was grand.  Perfect conditions for a crossing.  Wind was less than 5 knots and the waves were less than 2 feet.  At nightfall conditions started changing.  After 2 ½ years down island, we had mostly forgotten how severe thunder storms that form over large land masses can be.  Dodging container ships and large tankers at night while in heavy rain and strong winds can be somewhat stressful.  But, that was not our biggest concern.  Lightning bolts as big as Sequoia trees were!

Our radar displays the storm cells for us nicely.  The problem is trying to maneuver around cells building and moving at 25 knots in a 7 knot boat.  After a couple of unsuccessful attempts it became apparent we were storm magnets.

Motivator once again proved that she can take more than us and brought us safely back to the USA.  Unfortunately, our thunderstorm magnetism continues as we work our way north.