We had a simular experience three years ago... Worst storm i've ever been in. We thought we were goners because the lightning was huge and everywhere. We took the boat as close as we could get to shore and swam the last 20-30 feet in mid storm. It was absolutely insane. I've been sailing my whole life so i thought i knew a lot but that storm is what promted us to take the US Sailing Basic Keel and Red Cross certification classes. We wittnessed another boat get hit TWICE by lightning. The mast lit up like a filliment in a lightbulb and this was no small boat. We notified the Coast Guard but they had already got the news. We found out later by the owner of the local hardware store that one of the crew in the boat died from the strike... so it could have been us. I'm so freaked out by lightning that to this day if there are storms forecast i usually stay off the boat. We did ride out a storm during navigation class which scared the **** outta me again but atleast we were at anchor and the boat was grounded. Not that it makes a huge difference. I put a dissapator on our new boat but it's not higher than the VHF so probably useless the way i configured the masthead equipment.