1.2 in 1,000 are the odds of a sailboat being struck by lightening based on the Boat US Insurance department (no we don’t have insurance, yet) and yes Wanderer was hit while at our dock during a server lightening storm. Wanderer is ok. We were in the comfort of our apartment and heard a loud boom, we looked at the boat as best we could from our place with flash lights, the lightning lasted over half an hour long with torrential rain. All looked in order, we assumed it was a telephone pole or transformer that was hit (pretty common here in the Keys), we went to bed.
The next morning after coffee we took Riley out to go for a walk, jokingly I said “well at least our mast is still standing” (this being funny and true because we have been swapping out new chain plates one by one, and the thunderstorm had high winds.) As soon as I made the joke we both looked up and noticed our windex was missing…this lead to inspection, which lead to us determining that yes our boat was struck by lightening. I guess Mother Nature just wanted to give us her own blessing before we head out.
When you discover your boat was hit by lightening your heart sinks and you explore every nook and cranny looking for any and all damage. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it happened, I couldn’t believe how well she handled it; our batteries were ok, our new solar panel survived! She wasn’t sinking or burning, but still I was in shock. Wanderer feels like an old friend to me already and the fact that she’s ok, that brings a huge smile to my face.
I am so thankful we were not onboard, so very thankful Bill had put two of the new chain plates back in the afternoon before the storm and reattached the grounding wires, that we were still near friends (thank you Mark and Nick) for helping us fix her, and that we still had easy access to replacement parts.
The Damage Rap Sheet:
- A non existent radio antenna and windex (explosion we heard?)
- Navigation/Running Lights not functioning
- VHF not working
Not all items are fixed yet, but we are working on it.
The feeling of shock settled in next to thankfulness because it really could have been so much worse. I always wondered what would happen if we got struck by lightening, now I have a better understanding. Wanderer can handle a bit of light in her life (thank you Wanderer.) Also I made it more than halfway up the mast (soon I will get the nerve to climb to the top) and replaced our spreader lights! I’m taking my shock and frustration and spinning it into a learning experience. So, thank you Mother Nature and Wanderer, two extremely tough chics.