Freak Storm at Molokini
impressionist painting of freak storm at Molokini
Image © Alison Whalen
On a calm and perfect morning, we headed for Molokini in Captain Stevie's homemade16-foot outrigger sailboat. Midway through our sail, a fierce squall suddenly blew in through the channel without warning, and we were tossed like a tiny weightless bird by six-foot roller waves. The boat took on two feet of water, and the outrigger webbing began to disintegrate. Turning back was not an option. If we attempted to turn around, the waves would have capsized the boat. Our only choice was to keep plowing through the storm.

Our biggest fear was that the next wave would snap the mast. The temperature had dropped more than 20 degrees, and we were soaked with foam and salt. Our teeth were chattering, partly from the wind and the cold but mostly from fear. We focused on navigating the next onslaught of waves. The storm eventually changed course, allowing us to turn and head back to shore. The sun reappeared as we made landfall with our mast intact and our heart rates back to normal. This was the outrigger's final voyage.

Nature rules. Never trust the ocean.

acrylic on paper
actual image size - 4 1/4" X 7"

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