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datatime: 2022-11-27 03:35:06 Author:LpaVowvh

HEIDI AND fellow meteorologists at the NUMA center began hovering in conferences and studying the data on the latest system sweeping in from the east. They saw no slackening of Lizzie as she swept past longitude 40 west in mid-Atlantic, still throwing all previous predictions out the window by running straight with barely a wobble.

He decided to run a check of Max's systems first thing in the morning before sharing the report with Sandecker. He wasn't about to take a chance on Max somehow becoming misguided.

IT WAS NOON NOW, a crazy, wild, insane noon. The seas had built from a relatively flat surface to thirty-foot waves in what seemed to the captain of the containership, the Nicaraguan-registered Mona Lisa, the blink of an eye. He felt as though he'd thrown open a door to the desert and had a tankful of water thrown at him. The seas had gone steep in a matter of minutes and the light breeze had turned into a full-blown gale. In all his years at sea, he'd never seen a storm come up so fast.

HEIDI AND fellow meteorologists at the NUMA center began hovering in conferences and studying the data on the latest system sweeping in from the east. They saw no slackening of Lizzie as she swept past longitude 40 west in mid-Atlantic, still throwing all previous predictions out the window by running straight with barely a wobble.

Lizzie was also moving at a record pace westward across the ocean.

Early reports were far from encouraging.

Before night fell, a dozen other ships would suffer Lizzie's destructive violence.

Lizzie was also moving at a record pace westward across the ocean.

Yaeger sat there, totally lost, as Max vanished back into her circuits. His mind ran toward the abstract. He tried to picture an ancient crewman on a three-thousand-year-old ship throwing a bronze pot overboard four thousand miles from Europe but the image would not unfold.

Yaeger looked at her guardedly. "Which is?"

He decided to run a check of Max's systems first thing in the morning before sharing the report with Sandecker. He wasn't about to take a chance on Max somehow becoming misguided.

"When the glop is cleaned out from the interior of the amphor, you'll find a gold figurine in the shape of a goat."

Lizzie was also moving at a record pace westward across the ocean.

Yaeger looked at her guardedly. "Which is?"

Early reports were far from encouraging.

Lizzie was also moving at a record pace westward across the ocean.

There was no nearby port to head toward for shelter, so he steered Mona Lisa directly into the teeth of the gale in the calculated gamble that the faster he steamed through the heart of the storm, the better his chances of coming through without damage to his cargo.

Heidi took a few minutes to type a fax to her husband, Harley, at the National Weather Service to alert him to the hurricane's latest numbers.

An eighty-foot yacht owned by the founder of a computer software company, carrying ten passengers and five crew on a cruise to Dakar, simply vanished, overwhelmed by huge seas without time to send a Mayday.

Early reports were far from encouraging.

She turned back to the images coming in from the satellites. Looking down on an enlarged image of the hurricane, Heidi never ceased to be impressed with the evil beauty of the thick, spiraling white clouds called the central dense overcast, the cirrus cloud shield that evolves from the thunderstorms in the surrounding walls of the eye. There was nothing up nature's sleeve that could match the horrendous energy of a full-blown hurricane. The eye had formed early, looking like a crater on a white planet. Hurricane eyes could range in size from five miles to over a hundred miles in diameter. Lizzie's eye was fifty miles across.

Before night fell, a dozen other ships would suffer Lizzie's destructive violence.

What gripped Heidi's concentration was the atmospheric pressure as measured in millibars. The lower the reading, the worse the storm. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Andrew in 1992 registered 934 and 922, respectively. Lizzie was already at 945 and rapidly dropping, forming a vacuum in her center that was intensifying by the hour. Bit by bit, millibar by foreboding millibar, the atmospheric pressure fell down the barometric scale.

Heidi never knew who on what island coined the term hurricane. But it was a Caribbean word that meant "Big Wind." Bursting with enough energy to match the largest nuclear bomb, Lizzie was running wild with thunder, lightning and driving rain.

He decided to run a check of Max's systems first thing in the morning before sharing the report with Sandecker. He wasn't about to take a chance on Max somehow becoming misguided.

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