I had heard the stories, but I had never believed them until I saw it with my own eyes…the squal… I was 16 when I first got told about it, I would say that I was another man then but the fact of the matter was that I was not a man at all…no…I was a young and naive boy, set out on my big journey to conquer the world. I thought I was invincible, I was so wrong.
It was the 22nd of February, our day duty had been calm and mostly uneventful so there was no reason to expect anything else for our nightly duty. At 21:00 we started our routinely clean up of the living area. We finished around 21:45 and when got up on deck we were met by a beautiful starry sky and a cool but refreshing breeze. The captain told us to bring our raincoats because there would be rain ahead, but little did we know that the next 10 minutes would be a fight for survival.
When we got up the second time it was not a beautiful night sky that greeted us but darkness. The sky had turned pitch black and in a matter of seconds we were drenched in rain. The wind had gone up by 30 m/s and the cool breeze had turned into a cold unforgiving storm. The general temperature dropped by four degrees and the rocking of the ship made it almost impossible to stand up straight. But all we could do was to wait, wait and pray that our helmsman would steer us to safety. We waited for what felt like an eternity but then just as suddenly as the squal hit, it was over.
We got lucky this time, all we can do is to hope that our luck stays until we reach Jamaica.
Elmer Lundqvist, Starboard watch, Signing off.