So squalls are localised storms associated with lightning, heavy rain and high winds. You can see them quite clearly on radar.
Squall on the radar - lines 4nm apart.
They are usually quite small, only a few miles wide. On our trip to Sicily we encountered quite a few, most we managed to see on the radar and avoid, but one was huge - a line of squalls that was unavoidable. After trying to outrun it we made the decision to head into it at its narrowest point.
A squall to avoid
Sam set the autohelm to head into wind and we headed inside. We went out periodically to check on things. Inside we were glued to the radar. An hour later we came out the other side, no worst for wear – just some jangled nerves. The sea got quite agitated which sent Anastasia and Camille out of their rooms to sleep in the saloon … Maddy slept through it all! We were surprised to see when we checked, the wind had got up to a massive 60 knots. I think the fact that Maddy slept through the storm showed how well Hector handled it...not many people can say they slept through 60kts while at sea!
Thankfully the sea settled as quickly as it rose and we carried on… avoiding all other squalls. One of the issues with squalls is that they are very localised and almost impossible to forecast (other than to say that the conditions are right for squall breeding).
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.