Join Date: Jan 2011
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My pet fear
In another thread, someone was discussing the fear of being knocked down, a fear I have now managed to control. However, my pet fear is thunderstorms. I think my fear is fairly rational considering how nasty they can be here in FL. Even if you know the direction the storm is moving, the direction of the wind is often unpredictable from one minute to the next. Wind speed also changes radically in a very short period of time.
Add to all that, lightning. I am totally convinced that lightning will eventually kill me as I have been nearly hit several times in spite of doing all I can to avoid it. A lone sailboat in a thunderstorm has a fairly good chance of being hit.
Fortunately, you can often avoid them when you can see them coming. Next, they are mostly short lived, an hour would be a very long one.
How do I avoid them? Mostly I don't sail in the summer it is too hot anyway. When I hear thunder, I come in. I won't even go out in my 20' powerboat when I think they are likely except I might go out in the morning when they are less likely. If I cannot avoid one, all the sails come down engine goes on , the anchor is gotten ready, everybody puts on lifejackets no matter what, instruct everyone not to touch rigging, rails, etc.
I'd rather be anchored in a thunderstorm because then I can deploy my lightning ground, a 2' X 2' sheet of copper bolted to a 20' length of 00 guage tinned stranded wire that is then bolted to the mast up high near the boom to avoid much bending of it.
Do I sound paranoid?