One thing above all else gives sailors the willies: the chance of running into a hurricane at sea. The advice that legendary sailor Bernard Moitessier gave to Bob was to stay away from them! That advice isn’t as glib as it first appears. Once you know how to recognize the signs of a developing storm and understand what actions you need to take to avoid it, you may be able to stay out of its way—or at least avoid getting sucked into it.
Regardless of those words of wisdom, we three sailors have all had brushes with hurricanes, or tropical cyclones as they are known generically. In July of 1982 Alan and his crewmates aboard Second Chance raced Hurricane Gilma to Oahu through seas as high as forty feet before the storm lost strength and veered off to the south. And just four months later, together aboard Ron of Argyll, we narrowly avoided Hurricane Iwa that pounded the Hawaiian Islands. We describe both of these events in Beer in the Bilges, Sailing Adventures in the South Pacific. Our next memoir will describe how Peter and crew cruise from Samoa to Fiji aboard Ron of Argyll between two developing cyclones with another forming behind them. Talk about timing! Continue reading