FPB 64 GREY WOLF’s morning after LUSI…

Apr 2, 2014 | General

The storm has passed. Cyclone LUSI has been and gone without inflicting too much ruin, at least not on board GREY WOLF. All is now calm and the sun is peering through the clouds. Last night and much of yesterday we were all sat here glued to the weather readings. The barometer ranged from 1015mb to 998mb which doesn’t sound too much if you sail the English Channel in winter, but there were some dramatic falls over short periods and it really did blow.

The morning after Storm LUSI

The wave-rider buoys at the mouth of the river were recording 8 metres and a fair bit of chop came washing in here. It was like being at sea tucked up in harbour. If we hadn’t put out high-modulus lines to the other side to hold us off the dock our fenders would never have taken the strain, but everything held, the barometer bottomed out and we began to believe it would pass.

Swell Height from Storm LUSI

The Barometer - How Low did it go?


While all that was going on, I kept thinking ‘Good thing we aren’t at sea.’ I couldn’t help but wonder what it must have been like a hundred years ago for the crews up on the yards of the giant four-masters running their Easting down in the Southern Ocean, facing the wrath of the elements with no technology except a compass. They’d no comms at all, so no weather routing and nothing to help predict what was coming except a barometer and the skipper’s experience. For us there’s every hope things will be slightly more sedate. We’ve got serious weather info. Also, GREY WOLF’s a motorboat so we can head where we like within reason to dodge the worst of the weather. We should be setting off soon, but there’s another storm system developing in the Pacific. Once it’s sorted itself out, we’re in with a chance of a clear run to Tahiti.

Let’s wait and see…


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