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Owner: Marty Wilson
Boat: "Karma"
Type: Nordhavn 62-15

This morning as I came on watch, it was dark…really, really dark. I hear a loud whistling sound getting higher and higher in pitch. Something like a helicopter rotor blade winding up for take-off. Then I notice the knot meter 33, 35 ,37 and climbing. My wife says this has been going on for a couple of hours.

I sat there and watched the knot meter hit 40 and flirt with 45. And I said to myself, "Something is not right. It just feels wrong." But I couldn't put my finger on what it was.

I checked the radar to see nothing but rain for 12 miles, switched to 24 miles - same thing, switched to 48 miles-same thing. That's strange…the weather was supposed to be benign. The wind is on the port quarter. I checked the speed. Wow, 10 knots at 1400 rpm. I'll take it, I'll take it. Wind direction has backed 90 degrees from where it was 3 hours ago. What's going on? Why am I feeling something is wrong? We have been in a lot higher winds than this…spent 2 days in 60 knots once, so what is bothering me?

Just then, there was a blinding flash. I couldn't see a thing. There was no light anywhere. What happened? I thought I could be having a stroke. Then a loud rifle shot 3 inches from my head. Aaaah, lightning. And it was really close. Finally the night vision came back and I could see the radar once again. I figured I had better get the electronics off line in case I got hit again and lost them all. After shutting down computers, radios, gps, radar, autopilot and unnecessary motors, I just sat and waited. The wind was still howling at 40 knots. I turned the big spot light on to find nothing but white spray blowing up the deck…or at least where the deck should be. No deck, no dinghy, no crane, no deck boxes. Just white spray.

The boat seemed to be handling it OK, though... no, better than OK. Actually, the motion isn't bad. The seas have got to really be confused because of the change in wind direction, yet there's none of the twisting or rolling that one would expect in these wind and sea conditions.

Then it dawned on me. The thing that has been bothering me is after 75,000 offshore miles, I expect the feel of the boat to be consistent with what I am seeing in the instruments and hearing outside. And it is not. The motion is not nearly as violent and sharp as it should be for these conditions. This is one time it is really great to have all that weight and momentum underneath you. To think all hell is breaking loose outside and I am sitting here typing this.

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