Funnel Cloud Off Port-Side!

This morning about 6am, a funnel cloud was spotted off the port side of the ship. The captain kindly made an announcement over the PA to let us all know about it, so that we could go outside to take pictures (or to just enjoy the moment).

Everybody who was awake and done eating their breakfast (and even some who hadn’t quite finished!) went out on deck as quick as they could to watch this amazing site.

The funnel lasted for long minutes, churning up the water at its base and (fortunately) staying miles away from our ship. It was bizarre and beautiful and not at all frightening.  The last surprised me.

I used to live in North Texas, at the southern end of what’s not-so-affectionately known as "tornado alley" in the United States, and I’ve never seen a funnel cloud on land — nor would I want to!  Just the sight of that strange greenish sky that often precedes a tornado is enough to strike fear in the hearts of many on land, myself included.  But out here, the funnel cloud seemed distant and contained.  Not so much a threat as a curiosity.

And as if that weren’t enough, a partial rainbow appeared off to the left of the funnel. Some days are just lucky.

 [Photos by Bill Crawford]