Monday, October 7, 2013

Remembering Karen

Karen was a tease. Drawing ever nearer, then dancing away, then disappearing altogether. The days of unrelieved anticipation were eerily reminiscent of my late, unlamented dating career.

We wondered last week which weather system would win: the strong cold front bearing down from the northwest or the tropical storm wobbling north. I'm hardwired to bet on tropical weather.

As late as the end of my watch Saturday, we were still expecting at least a little rain and some 30-knot winds from a tropical depression.

My faith in the National Weather Service led me to scoff publicly at the old mariner's rhyme:

Red sky at night, sailor delight;
Red sky at morning, sailor take warning

I scoff no more.

I got up early Sunday to see the wind and rain and was instead greeted by blue skies and a northerly breeze.

Shoulda known better. That rhyme, after all, has been around for a while. The Good Lord himself uttered something very much like it in the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:

When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.

And, man, was it red. The sun was red. The sky was red in every direction. The air itself was red.

We headed offshore this morning, and the promised delight apparently has an expiration date, because it was pretty bumpy and windy out there. It's an early preview of coming attractions in the Gulf, I guess.

At any rate, Karen was just about a perfect storm as these things go. We got some down time to catch-up on maintenance and paperwork, no one got hurt and no one lost homes, vehicles or places of employment.

I'll take the tease any day.

This one was for New England Waterman, who was whining that I needed to update the blog. You'd think the guys who drive those big boats would have better things to do than bird-dog my writing schedule. And thanks to my colleague Shawn and for the Hurricane Karen art!

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