The fleets were about 6 days out or so when the skies grew dark in the distant skies. The commander of the British fleet, Admiral Matthew barked "Furl sails and secure the lifeboats,". The fleet hauled to close reefed topsails and awaited the gale. The storm hit fiercely and with almost no warnings. The ships were blown about and sails flapped loosely from the yardarms. As the flags were hauled down, Redcoat's fleet was having troubles 400 miles away too in a storm of their own. They had run into a tropical cyclone west of India and now the Black Serpent was in danger of sinking. Mercifully she did not, but it took 3 hours before the hurricane finally passed. Finally, after being blown way of course, the fleet of Matthew regrouped in the Indian ocean with sails in tatters. The ships were formed into battle ranks, and repaired sails were slowly set anew. But trouble was about to strike anew. High in the mainmast of the sloop HMS Rosethorn a lookout spotted the red flag of the Red Cutlass on the horizon. "Pirates! 2 miles off the port bow, Captain, run up the signal flags!" Captain Timothy Hawkins acted promptly and soon a white flag bearing a blue cross was raised to the bowsprit. The fleet rallied around the flagship HMS Red Stag, which drew alongside the Rosethorn and prepared for battle. Redcoat's fleet drew nearer, and soon they came within 600 yards and became clearly visible. Pirate flags flew from the masts of Redcoat's fleet, and the crews of both sides stared at the strength of their opponents for the first time.