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Indrek Lepson

 

elmo

 

Püha Elmo on vanast usust meremeeste kaitsepühak.


Lisatud pilt on ainult näide, kuidas mastide ja raade tipud hõõguvad Elmo tuledes.


Paar merendussõna seletust:


"Truck" on laeva mastide tipp. "Spreaders" on mastidel ristpuud, mis hoiavad vandid mastidest kaugemal.

 

“Vandid’ on vaierid, mis lähevad mastist reelinguni.

 

Ülemine vant tuleb masti otsast ja on kinnitatud ristpuude otstele kuni reelinguni, ja teised vandid tulevad ristpuude alt, mis hoiavad mastid püsti.

 

Paremini ei oska seletada.

 

"Ssb antenna" on kesklaine raadio antenn.


"Shrouds" on vandid.


"Close hauled" on purjetamine nii tuule poole kui võimalik.


"Trysail" on väike tormipuri, mis on kinnitatud tagumise masti ja poomi külge.


"Jib" on kliiverpuri.

 


There is an area between Fiji and the Solomon Islands that is renown for fierce squalls, pitch black nights, and electrical storms.


Having left Suva, on our way to Honiara, three days before reaching our destination, we were caught in this phenomenon.


The squall was as fierce as any that we had encountered.

 

We were shortened down to a storm jib and trysail, the sea quickly rose to a steep chop, and the spume flew all the way aft, as we were close hauled, facing the squall.


The frequency of lightning bolts was relentless.

 

There was barely a moment of darkness, it was like a laser lit disco ball, shooting flashes of light all around us; we were as if in a noisy, fiery cauldron.


Lightning bolts would strike a wave close by, but none struck us, even though our main mast was 77 feet tall, topped with a five foot ssb antenna.

 

As a safeguard against that possibility, the antenna was grounded, by way of a cable lashed to a shroud, which led to a bronze mesh fastened under water to the hull.


There was an odd sort of "otherworldly" sensation that we felt, and as the electrical charge around us built up, the tips of the spreaders and masts started glowing with an eerie green light, increasing in intensity, and size, until a bolt hit a wave close by, apparently discharging the built up electrical energy around us, turning off the glow at the spreaders, and the sensation, as if being inside an electrically charged chamber, left us.


In a little while, starting with a faint glow, the process was repeated.


It's difficult to describe. One simply has to experience it.


Barbara recalls that there seemed to be some sort of a buzzing heard during quieter moments.

 

I only remember the shrieking of the wind in the rigging and the crashes of thunder.


It must have been a terrifying sight indeed to the superstitious sailors on a square rigged ship, lit up like a Christmas tree, with lights at the ends of the yards and trucks.

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