I was fortunate to learn early in my fishing career at the age of 21, that the laws of nature do not follow the laws of man. I was sailing on the 83′ F/V Edna May out of Sakonnet Point, Rhode Island, to haul lobster traps that were set along the Atlantis Canyon region of the Continental Shelf. These areas are known as ‘The Fish Tail,’ and the ‘Fathom Curves’- about 100 miles south of RI. This was late November – the 22nd, 1980 – the forecast was for fair weather all 3 days of our trip.
By early morning of the second day we began experiencing 100 mph early winter winds with mountainous seas. This storm was a classic example ofExplosive Storm Cyclogenesis-or Weather Bomb–a Storm that builds up to extreme intensity from nothing in a virtual instant.
Unlike in the story and movie Perfect Storm, where weather forecasters predicted the combination of storms that would create the Perfect Storm, this storm came out of nowhere, and showed the men plotting that nature follows its own rules. Bobby Brown of the Perfect Storm fame and his son Peter play a major part in this story.
Michael Tougias did a great job describing the unfolding disaster that went down as the day with the most distress calls in New England history- and it’s miraculous ending. Check out Fatal Forecast!
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