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  #11  
Old 06-08-2009
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2009
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Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough
We lived aboard down there for quite some time. There is no way to avoid them. It is just a part of the way of life. ABout 2:00 every day there will come the blackest green clouds your eyes have seen (with the exception of those lucky enough to survive the squall lines in Spring in Texas). The worst part is for about 15 minutes, then the wind dies down. Wind gusts in the 50's is not unusual.

Reef it all the way down when you see them. Start the engine. If you can get the hook down in time, great. If not, just close the hatches and realize it will be over with a couple of hours.

Now comes the hardest decision and debate: Whether to ground or not to ground your boat. We did not on our last boat, and though we took what we believe was a side strike, we never took a direct. It seemed (SEEMED) the grounded boats took the strikes more, but weathered them better. However, that is another discussion.

I believe Tom Neale used to sail with "Electrical Gloves" for when he was caught in the stroms. I never did - but probably will next time. Also, make sure you have a nice "safe" place down below that everyone can sit at during these storms away from Tie rods and other hardware that would conduct.

It is very frightening for a while, but you will get used to it until it is very common place. In the summer, when it is smoking hot, you may even come to enjoy them. Yes, there is a LOT of lighting, with strikes often every 10 seconds or so. But they come fast and leave as fast - leaving a beautfuland green island around you. It is worth it... but it does take getting used to.

If you have any questions, drop me a line.

Brian
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