[A serious storm hit the island. No one knew that it was only the first of many, or that they would get worse every time.]
…Inside a solid building one hears strong wind whip around the corners and whistle through certain fissures when it turns just right. In a tent one hears the wind blowing around the tent, the tent fabric shifting and billowing, and every sound from outside as well. We couldn’t see the source of each noise, so every bump, crack, and rustle was a mystery.
One specter startled us like a noisy ghost. A rhythmic thump and rumble drew closer, quickly, from the direction of the bay. We all leaned that direction, straining to hear better. I for one jumped a foot off my cot when something suddenly pushed into the side of the tent, shoving the wall in a good foot.
I got volunteered, since I was up anyway, to go see what it was. I took one of the two lanterns we had lit and sloshed out into the rain, down off our wooden deck which had indeed stayed dry so far. Shortly I was standing over a rough wooden spindle, three feet long with 30 inch diameter rims. Someone had left an empty cable spool laying around and the wind took it. We had a new table.
Other tents were not so lucky. By daylight I took a quick survey and found many fellows wringing out their belongings, while their tent mates re-tied guy lines or added more heavy stakes. A few fellows walked by with borrowed shovels, looking to do their own drainage improvements.
A short convoy of an AMTRAC full of supplies, an ambulance, and a recovery vehicle ambled by. Several small units were out on maneuvers when the storm came. Some of them hadn’t been heard from. While scouts drove out looking for them, this ad hoc team was assembled to take out what they might need.
I for one am glad we got in a decent storm while many men are still here in training. If one hit in combat we’d be much less prepared.