Despite the weather forecast of heavy rain, thunderstorms and risk for mudflows and landslides, we decided to get back to our lake Nong Thale Pron and to make an attempt to get at least a few cores.
We had found our old coring spot, where we had got about 10 m of sediment in January 2010, but could then not get deeper, because we did not have enough rods. This time we had brought enough rods, made much longer anchors, and were thus well prepared.
Kweku, Nut and Pare set out first to get a long surface core and came back pretty soon again with a nice, almost 1 m long core. Then it was our turn to go out to get the deeper sediments. Dark grey clouds were already in the sky to the east when we paddled out, but they did not seem too threatening. We got the first core, the second and the third core, and just as we had retrieved the fourth core, raindrops started to fall and the sky became darker and darker. Thunder and lightning were in the distance and we thought it would be safer to paddle back and wait out the rain.
However we were not really prepared for what was to follow! We just made it back to the shore when the heavy winds and the strong rain forced us into the shelter of the pickup. Moo and Kweku had still not finished sub-sampling the surface core and tried to protect it as much as possible from the wind and rain.
While we were sitting in the shelter of the pickup, watching the rain pouring down, the wind shaking the car, and the thunder roaring close by, our boats, although safely anchored, filled with liters and liters of water.
Finally the storm had passed. Should we dare to go out on the lake again, or would the next rainstorm be coming soon? We decided for another try, emptied the boats of all the rainwater, and paddled out to our coring location, but were soon forced to return once more back to the shore. More rain, more wind, and more thunderstorms. In the late afternoon, the sky cleared up finally, and some blue spots became visible between the light grey clouds. Even the sun came out for a few minutes. Now we felt safer and gave it another try. Indeed no more rain came and we successfully managed to finish coring one sequence before it got dark.