November 25, 2012

Seismic Bella

Law and Order plays in the cockpit and over the deck speakers. The bimini is down and the stars are above us. Graham is taking this opportunity for a snooze below. I have just scanned all around us for lights and checked the charts. We are snuggled beneath blankets and life seems pretty good.

and then....

Loud piercing alarms, so menacing sounding they rattle you. I jump to the helm and see that 2 of our 3 instrument panels are flashing strange warning messages. The screen in front of me reads "Seismic Bella" and Bella is in large letter. I click "Ok" hoping the alarm will stop. I am panicking. I think seeing the word seismic made me think "under" and maybe we were passing over something?? I diverted course 90 degrees and was shaking now. I am yelling at the kids to "get Dad, get Dad." The second screen is still blaring "Dangerous Target" but displaying a message I had never seen before. I click "ok" and finally the alarms stops when Graham reaches the cockpit.

At the point he could see how shaken I was and after surveying the surrounding waters he took me in his arms and told me everything was going to be ok and it was most likely a technical glitch. He rubbed my back and waited patiently for my heart rate to return to normal.

ok...I lie...:-)

He sat calmly at the second helm and asked what was going on. I was still panicked thinking that something was underneath us. The kids and I all were talking over each other trying to explain what had happened. I kept muttering "Seismic Bella, Seismic Bella" over and over until finally Graham loudly says, "You haven't made one word of sense since I sat down." I then try again and say "do we have a sonic sounder reader or something under the boat." I laugh as I type this because at the time in my head I sounded sane and asked if our depth sounder had an alarm that may have been triggered but this is definitely NOT what I said.

We had words back and forth until finally he has assessed the situation and still sees no risk and wonders why we are bobbing around going in the wrong direction. My heart rate is returning to normal. I can kind of see the situation from his perspective. Awoke from his sleep to a crazy crew with no real issues. He returns to below but not before asking, "Did mom swear during all of this?" Amelia perks up and says, "Nope and I was keeping track." lol

The 3 of us laughed for a while over my "Seismic Bella" blabbering. I still don't know what the heck it was? It was a strangely flat calm night and we could see boats on the AIS from over 400nms away! Perhaps like the captain said it was just a glitch or perhaps ol' Mr Fear felt he had spent to much time in the hallway the past few days.


  1. I googled seismic bella for you. All that came up was your blog and Millie's blog :) LOL
    Congrats on not dropping any f-bombs!

  2. I also googled it and could have something to do with a minor earthquake at the bottom of the ocean.
    glad all is well now and you are enjoying tv from your boat. nice to hear from you each day.

  3. From what we found when we did a google search is that you may have been over a seismic sensor. You are fairly close to the coast.
    Love Dad and Cheryl

  4. I have thought about it and decided you passed over a top secret submarine or a large sea monster. you have given us all lots to think about A mystery at sea.....

  5. Sounded terrifying to me. Maybe you were on top of a whale! I would have freaked to Julie. Bet it took you a long time to calm down after that. How are the waves have they settled? Glade to hear you are able to keep in contact with everyone being so far out. Love trese