The passage got worse before it got better. The wind went into fitful gusts then died completely and shifted 180 degrees about 25 miles out. We then entered a wall of water–one of the thickest downpours I have ever witnessed. It was a rain was so heavy I couldn’t see 100 feet in any direction. Wholly unamused, I pressed on without another option, feeling more like I was captaining a submarine than a sailboat. The winds came and went and pirouetted, but the rain held steady. The dim gray of the afternoon eventually faded into darkness and I feared the onset of the night’s explosive electric display.
“SURELY there will be lightning,” I thought preparing myself for the worst, “no doubt about it”¦”
But by 9pm the rains seemed to be clearing. There was lightning, but it was the ‘nice’ kind–the kind that stayed high in the clouds and lit up their fluffy tops. And this kind came without thunder. It merely widens my eyes a bit rather than palpitating my heart. Until the moon rose behind the clouds, the night was as thick as the rain had been. I crawled up from the cabin floor every 15 minutes to check the horizon. We crossed a cargo ship at midnight and another just after 3am. By the time eastern horizon glowed crimson, Swell and I both seemed to have found a better groove. Maybe I was just deliriously sleep-deprived, but I felt much livelier. I even had the fishing lines out before the sun came up. A morning breeze blew from the north and I turned off the engine. Swell lurched quietly into the new day.