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Caught in Hurricane Aaron

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  Caught in Hurricane Aaron

Speaker: Deborah Collins
Interviewed by daughter Amanda Collins
February 16, 2004
South Ridge, WI

AC Hi. I'm Amanda Collins. I'm interviewing my mom, Deborah Collins. So tell me a little bit about yourself.

DC Well, I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I grew up in a family of eight people. Pretty much played music most of my life with my parents. Right now currently in school, going to be a pharmacist some day, working at the library school, plus I work at a Pharmacy and I sing in the band.

AC So have you ever been in a major weather storm?

DC Actually I have. Back in 1995. I was performing on the Carnival Cruise Line in Florida playing on the M.S. Fantasy and we were about five weeks into the gig when we got caught in Hurricane Aaron.

AC How bad was the weather?

Larger image of track

DC Pretty bad. The boat was pretty rocky. 144-foot waves. Hit the side of the ship, broke a stabilizer. People were sick. We were confined to our rooms, weren't able to go aboard the ship. They didn't want us wandering the halls. Pretty much for about three days we weren't able to land, to dock, do anything. We circled around the eye of the hurricane 180 miles out and it was not a fun ride.

AC Did you get sick at all?

DC I was very sick. I ended up having to go to the ship doctor. Got a shot. Knocked me out for two days.

AC Where did this take place? Where exactly in the ocean were you?

DC We were right outside the Bahamas. We traveled back and forth to Nassau and Freeport. And pretty much we couldn't land. It destroyed Freeport. And did pretty good damage to Nassau. So we weren't able to dock much.

AC Did they ever notify you when you were on the ship that you were heading into a storm?

DC Actually they did. I was down in my cabin and the director called me and said there was a bad storm. We had to go in to the club we were playing at. We had to take down our gear. We had to rope off our gear so it wouldn't go all over the floor, all over the club, pieces wouldn't be destroyed. And when I asked what kind of storm are we getting into, because we had been in thunderstorms, they said that it was going to be a pretty rocky storm. And they finally told us that we were heading into a hurricane.

AC Thank you.

A satellite view of Hurricane Aaron on August 3, 1995


Sponsored by:
Wisconsin Arts Board CIMSS UW Folklore Program