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The Squall

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Oriental, NC
The Squall
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Log Book: Hoebucken, NC - June 19, 2004

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Oriental, North Carolina

With our six day long Ocean passage deeply engraved in my memory I was ready to do some old fashioned day sailing. Do your average forty miles, drop the hook, cook some dinner and enjoy the sunset kind of a deal. Since on my way South with Johannes I have already seen the Virginia Cut I opted for recommended by other cruisers scenic Dismal swamp route, which was unavailable to us before due to low water levels. But before we got there we had a small adventure awaiting us in the sound.

After leaving Oriental we came across dozens of sailboats participating in the regatta. Tobi was at the tiller when I noticed all those sailboats doing sudden bow, leaning in unison on one side. I quickly realized what that meant and yanked all my sails down in a hurry. A massive squall hit us in seconds with sheets of rain and impossible wind gusts. It was quite a unique weather phenomenon. Visibility was drastically reduced and the sound was whipped up into quite a chop. I thought we would loose our canvas bimini in this thunderstorm, but as quickly and as violently it came upon us, equally as fast it cleared up and we were up again and on our way. In the confusion of this weather some of the boats in the regatta begun to follow us, which was pretty funny, since we were going in a completely different direction. Some of the crews were still trying to recapture the headsail sheets that they let completely out. Nobody seemed to suffer any significant damage. It quickly cleared up and all these strayed boats got the hint that we were of different sort and bare off to rejoin the regatta.

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