We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
While out on an anchorage Sunday we were awakened by thunder and hailstones + heavy rain on the roof around 11:30 pm. It was pitch black outside and we realized with the lightning flashes that the other three boats in the anchorage had fled to some safe port. Oh, and it had been such a mild sea breeze that we had left all of the hatches and eisenglass windows open.
It was a dramatic hour or so on the water for us.
We have some serious boaters who read us. For them, stormy nighttime navigation is probably easy. I have been a day-boater, salt water, most of my life (sail and power), but I am not used to this sort of overnight thing away from port. We have to up our game but I guess that midlife requires new things. Decay, or grow.
Another problem I have with overnight boating is that I like to get to the gym early. It straightens out my brain and body. On a boat, at 5 AM, there is no escape and nothing to do but sit or eat, neither of which I like to do very much.
That hailstorm hit here, and was indeed dramatic. That may be the hardest rain I have ever seen. Top three, anyway. Out on the water would be worse. For many friends who were camping in nylon tents it wasn't great either. For me, safe on land in my own house, I actually got up, put on shorts, poured myself a generous glass of wine and went outside just before midnight and lit the candles and lamps in the screenhouse to enjoy the experience. Context is everything, isn't it?
Assistant Village Idiot
I make it a practice to do a 7-day weather lookahead every day. This comes from long years running offshore operations in the tropics, where big storms meant evacuations and suspending operations have to start days ahead. I would go on the NOAA Tropical Weather site, Hurricane Center / Satellite imagery, and look at the whole-hemisphere satellite view to see what disturbances were coming. Usually we would go on alert a few days before disturbances started getting official notice.
Night sailing was a dice roll I normally avoided with my boat, just too much junk in the water. No amount of lighting is sufficient, unless you're coming alongside at low speeds. You probably don't have radar but if your sailing is mostly salt water, you might be considering it. These have gotten pretty affordable. I'm guessing you already have fish-finder/depth sounder/GPS. I envy your time on the water and hope you're having great fun.
Thanks for the comments. We do have radar and a nice new Garmin system to display side by side or overlap with chart. Unfortunately, there was nothing to do in this situation but wait it out at the mooring. Unnerving!