By Dean Whittaker

While sailing this summer, we unexpectedly encountered an enormous storm.  The speed at which the storm was moving was stunning. Usually, one can see a storm forming and make plans to be in a safe port to wait it out; however, this time that was not an option. The storm formed right in front of us. Checking the radar to look for an opening in the front proved to no avail. The entire radar screen was black, indicating no weak areas to head towards. I watched as my sailing buddy uncharacteristically turned into the wind and dropped his sails. Knowing this to be unusual, I followed suit by turning into the wind, dropping our sails, and starting the engine.

I radioed over to my more experienced sailing buddy and asked for recommendations to prepare for what might lay ahead. His response was less than re-assuring. He said “secure your hatches, make sure there is no loose equipment that could become a projectile, and put on your foul-weather gear. Within a minute or so after heeding his advice, we were hit by 40-50 knot winds and 4-6 ft. seas.  Perhaps, the most frightening aspect of all was the speed at which the storm was coming toward us.

The forethought that had gone into the design of Serendipity came to mind as the boat easily handled the storm. The fact that someone had considered that there would come a day when this boat would be in heavy weather and that it should be designed for that occurrence was a relief. During the most intense moments of the storm, I kept reassuring myself “this can’t last forever…this can’t last forever.” And low and behold, it didn’t.  After a disconcerting two and a half hours, the storm passed over us and there was blue sky and calm water with just enough wind to resume sailing. Again, I was reminded of the recurring nature of things and not to think in a linear fashion in a cyclical world.