Clouds and sea merged in slate gray torrents,
Hemorrhaging into sea, shrouding light, winds
Advancing faster than we could run. We scarcely
Had time to haul in nets, secure hatches, and
Range the opaque curtain by radar to plot
Impending collision as time and distance
Running not an option, we turned and plowed
The gauntlet of white-crested waves that
Delineated fair seas from howling storm,
Turned hope to despair, bow-breaking waves,
Rain gushing gunnels, we secured all hands
And fell victim to lightning and foam-streaked
Boat versus ocean, a contest we fought, where
Survival equaled winning. We struggled to keep
A true course, electronics and the lights aloft.
Confronting danger, we kept the faith in pitching
Seas and pummeling rain that flooded leaking
Compartments and kept the bilges pumping.
Then came mariner’s dread, not the pallid fear
Of death, that fate soon enough we’d see. Seafarers
Bemoan losing their ship and a lover’s longing arms.
Yet in weighted doubt we persevered, mustering
Courage in blowing rain and breaching waves, to
Revel again in broad sunlight, glories of another day.
With throttles forward, we returned the ocean’s
Pain and made white water as we defied the tempest
And slipped past scudding clouds. Burying fears
With the bow, we made good time, measurable
Headway, bursting white-capped waves to spray,
Triumphs and camaraderie only found at sea.
A tough night and day of torrential storms along the Virginia and North Carolina off-shore waters out to Hatteras Canyon.