When night and day are just as dark

7 October 2015
Femke Lobach

DSC04912Being the El Nino year weather can be very unpredictable. More and more we feel the consequence of it.

We are planning to leave for Vanuatu and we feel a bit anxious about the weather. We checked the weather on various sites and they all agree; the sea-state will be rough and the wind will be between twenty and twenty-five knots with gusts of thirty. The charts for Vanuatu are not accurate and can be a few miles off; it does add to our anxiety. But all the sites assure us it will not be worse than that.

Alas that was not about to happen…

The night is pitch black, clouds are dark and purple, rain comes down horizontally and feel like needles, the wind is above thirty knots with gusts of over forty. My vision is restricted to a few meters. I try to steer with the waves; it takes all my concentration and effort. A side wave forces me to make an angle of forty degrees and I have a hard time getting her back on track again.

Suddenly I hear a distant rumble; jeez it must be a breaking wave. The sound becomes louder and louder and I still can’t see a thing. I focus on my steering but the sound distracts me. All of a sudden I see a big white wall coming at me. A huge wave breaks on Kings Legend and I am soaked from top to bottom in water. I am alone on deck surrounded by darkness and water. There is no turning back we can only go forward away from the storm.

DSC05220Finally; it seems like days but it is hours later, the wind is decreasing, sight improving and the waves are calming down. We enter Port Resolution a bay on the island of Tanna, in the last lights of the day and settled weather; the ordeal is over. We are salt, wet, relieved, incredibly hungry and on anchor in a peaceful bay.

Courage is not to know no fear but to conquer it. Nelson Mandela

9 comments to “When night and day are just as dark”

  1. Anna Groot says:

    jee Fem, wat spannend zeg. Goed dat ik hier in Nederland niks vanaf weet. Ik deed geen oog meer dicht.
    Liefs, a n n a

  2. Olga van Liebergen says:

    Wat een avontuur, en wat moet je sterk zijn om hier mee om te gaan, zowel fysiek als mentaal. Knap gedaan femke

  3. Peter Mainsheeter says:


    Again, I love your blog so much, becaus reading it, is like standing beside you. And thats the reason why I got a litte bit afraid this time.

    I wish you both the very very best and hope, to meet you some day again in a worm and dry bar, to listen to your Storys with a bottle of beer in Hands.

    Good Luck and go on!

  4. Stein Thorstensen says:

    Well done! It bring my thoughts back to 1990 when we sailed Kings Legend for 7 months in Carribean waters. We sailed her back to Oslo via St. Thomas, Bermuda, Azores and Southampton. In the North Atlantic west of the Azores, we was hit by a full storm/hurricane with winds above 65 knots and 15 meter waves for approx 2,5 days. We was knocked down by freak waves several times with the rig in water and severe difficulties to handle all the time. “The King” amazingly go true all the difficulties thanks to a very strong construction from Nautor. It’s an fabulous lady with an extremely good karma!
    Wish you all the best and fair winds!
    Br Stein :-)

  5. Els says:

    Lieve Femke,

    This sounds really terrifying, Keep the steer in your hands, never let loose.

    You’ll be the best sailingcoach ever, a new career is there!

  6. diederik says:

    wowowow, dat is avontuur, geweldig stoer!

  7. Karin says:

    Wauw fem!
    xxxxxx k

  8. Coen says:

    mooi verhaal weer en avontuur voor in de boeken!
    al je verhalen zijn trouwens te gek!