The last 3 days, it has been raining cats and dogs here in the San Blas. Every night we get thunder and lightning storms and in the day it’s one squall after the other. We are confined to our little home on the water and Twan and Gus can’t channel their energy so frustrations and aggravations are running high. Thursday is the highlight of the depression and we have stormy weather with rain pouring down and 45 knots of wind raging over the anchorage. Happy as ever with our Rocna anchor, we watch the chaos in the other anchorage from a distance. Boats dragging, ripping sails, cruisers coming in at the worst time trying to drop anchor, dinghies going back and forth in an amazing effort to help others in need and in the meantime getting soaked, “thank you”’s on the VHF from boats that were in distress, … It was quite a morning and I’m charmed by the helpfulness of the cruising community.
After a quiet afternoon, I hear heavy, low pitched roars in the distance and I know we’re in for another thunderstorm.
I put the boys to bed, Jos grabs a book and goes to bed as well, but after a frustrating and tiresome day, I can’t sleep. The weather is so unstable with building winds from the north and shortly after, no winds from the west leaving us bobbing around the anchorage in all directions. I’m worried about the wind, our depth, our changing direction, thunder closing in and lightning lighting up the nearby island like it’s daylight every 10 minutes. I pace around the boat going out to check our distance to the reef, and back in to check our depth and the winds. I have never in my life heard such a deep, loud, all-surrounding rolling thunder in my life, with eye blinding lightning bolts following so quickly. I get scared and put all electronics -ipad, iphone, handheld vhf, laptop,…- in the oven for protection, and wake up Jos while winds are quickly building back up.
Just as Jos and I walk on deck to double-check our surroundings, the sky and the island next to us flare up and I see a huge lightning bolt crashing down – just a few metres from Juggernaut. We hear a massively loud cracking sound as if the globe is splitting in two and a heavy bass that rumbles my belly and makes my heartbeat jump. I’m frightened, my scream wakes up the boys and my instinct tells me to go hide so I duck in our cabin under the sheets… A minute later, I feel silly and when I go back up I see Jos pacing around and checking out all our electronic instruments … the verdict is harsh : they’re all toast !
Another thunder rumbles, Jos curses, and when I see the bright light I immediately duck back down feeling like a scared little rabbit. I hate this. This is paradise at it’s worst !
Gus is crying of fear, so I go and try to comfort him the best I can and while we listen to the thunder and lightning slowly fading away, I drift off into a deep sleep.