i actually sailed by monserrat the day the volcano blew. i left nevis
at 3 am under a very strange, blood red moon with all the dogs
ashore barking like mad. i even mentionned mt st helen's to my partner at the time, as the dogs
barked in the same crazy manner that night and i guess i speak dog. the sun had risen when we reached monserrat. the smoke was very thick, couldn't see the bow of the boat, and i went below which was also full of smoke with my two little dogs, refusing my trick at the helm
for the first (and only) time in my personal history
because my partner refused to tack to the east coast
, saying that it was only 14nm or somesuch and we had the tack. big cargo ships were exiting the piers and i heard them on the radio
but couldn't see or hear anything; we were about 2nm offshore
. one said he was headed for antigua
and i was relieved he was going the other way. it was like sailing through a swirling ashtray and i was thinking the doggies were like canaries
in a coal mine. when we cleared the southern tip of the island, we could see again; monserrat was inside of a grey smoke bomb, chunks of rock plopping into the sea.
plymouth was such a great town.