“Ooooooooo! Un aguacero grande esta afuera!!!” Captain Cool calledwith excitement from the cockpit. It means that a big thunderstorm is coming. I was in our cabin reading and I popped my head out the hatch to have a look. The sky in the east was black as night. I put my sarong on and went outside to watch the storm approach.
True sailors know about the weather. We live on our boats full time therefore we are constantly aware of the clouds and what they may bring. We often have an unobstructed view as we wander off to places far from buildings, allowing us to see what’s coming from afar. It’s also a safety factor. If we’re sailing and a big storm cloud is approaching, it’s time to reef the sails and baton down the hatches. If you’re on anchor, time to get to your boat if you aren’t already on it and make sure your boat doesn’t drag or another boat doesn’t drag and hit yours.
I’ve always been fascinated by storms. I remember the magnificent Wisconsin storms of my childhood. When they happened in the middle of the night, I used to throw the covers over my head and wait for my Mom to come in and close the window. Meanwhile I would poke my head out to watch the brilliant flash of light as it illuminated my room. The roar of thunder used to scare me into a giggle. When I learned how to calculate how close a storm was by the delay in between lightening and thunder, I would sit and count. I was scared, but in the watching a scary movie kind of way.
Last July our boat was struck by lightening. Luckily no one was hurt. I’m still not scared by lightening. I find this marvel of Mother Nature a great cleansing and re-energiser. For there is an incredible amount of energy needed to create that wonderful light and drum show.
When we were sure the storm was coming, CC rode over to a friend’s boat, who was in the city, to close his hatches. I went around ours and closed all the hatches. Just before CC came back, the rain approached. On the east side of the boat, the rain was beating hard and on the west side an intense light show was happening. CC went in to turn off the electrics. The rain came pouring down and I shouted at with him excitement to quick come out to the cockpit. He stripped down to his boxer shorts and we hugged each other for some warmth. The rain was cold against our bare hot skin and as we looked at each other, we giggled like small children.
The marina in Cartagena is in a bay with sky rises on either side. This offers some protection from lightening and creates a beautiful sound environment. The thunder rumbled deep and loud, so much I could feel the vibrations through my body. The claps of thunder lasted maybe 15 seconds and when they stopped, the city played it’s own symphony of security and car alarms. I smiled and soaked in the beauty of the orchestra of thunder, the light display of the lightening and the cleansing cold beat of the rain on my skin. The sky was giving me a beautiful display!
The rain came harder and as I looked in the marina, the wind gusts and rain were making white shapes in the form of sheets. It looked as though they were floating over the bay. The boats 100 meters from us could barely be seen as they swung around in all directions from the strong winds.
I looked at all the boats around us. The boat next to ours is someone we’ve known for a while, he too was enjoying the storm outside. We all put our arms up to the sky and shouted “Woo hoo!” and laughed. There was a guy on another boat in his speedos taking a shower in the rain. Another boat had a clear rain cover around the cockpit and three guys were inside watching the show warm and dry. A couple of other boats had people in their rain gear scooping the water out from their dinghy’s to prevent them from sinking. It was so great to see so many people out in the rain.
As I stood with a huge grin shivering in the cold beating of the rain, I couldn’t help but enjoy this moment. I thought how great it was to have this privilege to act like a child even though my childhood is so far gone. I was in disbelief in how a community like this exists. Where people embrace the rain, not complain or hide from it because god forbid their hair gets ruined. I have chosen a lifestyle where we take advantage of everything nature gives us, challenging or beautiful. Mostly I was grateful that I have chosen a lifestyle where I can play like a child because I know that when I am ready to go, I will sit back, close my eyes, remember my life and enter a new plane with a satisfactory giggle. How beautifu life is when you focus on the good of every situation!