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Heavy sea. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Storm and heavy seas

4 months ago
Written by Ronald Toppe
Life on board > Storm and heavy seas

Storm and heavy seas

4 months agoLife on board
Written by Ronald Toppe
Heavy sea. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Statsraad Lehmkuhl has been through the worst storm so far during the expedition.

This weekend we did not hear much from Statsraad Lehmkuhl, to no surprise. For two days they were in the middle of a full storm. At its worst, the wind reached 79 knots, 41 meters per second. The limit for hurricanes is 32 meters per second.

- Wow

Over ten meters tall waves crashed over the ship, and everyone who moved outdoors was strapped to ropes tied over the deck.

Waves crashing down on the deck. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Waves crashing down on the deck. Photo: Hanna Thevik

- Wow, what days these have been, both hectic and exciting and exhausting at the same time! But, what an experience it has been to sail in a hurricane. I have landed safely on my feet after triple thousand 360's, says our content producer on board, Hanna Thevik.

She normally sleeps in the cabin where she works and has her equipment, but had to move over to a hammock. They swing with the waves and you do not risk being thrown out of bed.

- We are all good here now, and strengthened by what we have experienced. It is possible to sit down to work again, she says.

Ripped sails. Photo: Hanna Thevik
Ripped sails. Photo: Hanna Thevik

Ripped

Several of the sails ripped in the storm. Statsraad Lehmkuhl is equipped with spare sails, and the crew know how to repair damaged sails, says sailor Janus Larsen. Below he, and sailor apprentices Christian Hetty and Victor Landsvik talk about the experience.

Between two pressure centers

A strong low pressure, and an equally strong high pressure created the storm.

In the map below you can see how they work together, and set up a very strong wind between the centers.

Wind and wave height January 15. Map: Earth Nullschool
Wind and wave height January 15. Map: Earth Nullschool

The ship is out of the storm today Monday, and is riding on a light gale from the northwest towards the Azores.

Wind and wave height January 17. Map: Earth Nullschool
Wind and wave height January 17. Map: Earth Nullschool

- With a north-westerly near gale and average speeds under sail at around 10-11 knots, we are able to let the propeller function as a dynamo to charge the ship’s main battery. Tomorrow we should be able to resume the hydrophone recordings of the sea life below us. We are back on track again and all is well board, writes Captain Marcus Seidl in his daily report,

If they manage to keep up the speed, the ship can ride in the northwest for several more days.

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