We started off from remote Tambisan on a clear day, but as we neared our destination a squall developed, rapidly turning into a storm with gale force winds.
We’ve sailed a lot of miles through many a lightning storm, but this was our biggest and longest in 13 years of sailing Esper. It was relentless, at times the lightning bolts were coming every 10 seconds.
As the rain came towards us and the speed climbed to 25+kts, we took it straight on the nose.
Jamie didn’t like the darkening skies, so he took a look at the forecast to discover some big weather coming in from the west. Fishing vessels, large and small, arrived from deeper water, dropping noisy anchor chain and crowding into the anchorage behind Ko Tarutao’s high hills. He told the others to prepare themselves for some potential big winds.
While the boys played in 15 metres of water for 45 minutes, following fish, admiring the coral, playing with an eel and finding their lost equipment, Alicia and Liz stayed on the beach. The silk-smooth white sand only appears at low tide and they wanted to make the most of it.
When the first murmurings of this year’s SW monsoon came rumbling in, we cancelled our plans to meet friends in town and stayed aboard. Squadrons of clouds hurled lightning across the sky at each other for two days, while we sheltered in the cockpit and collected rainwater in buckets.