Monday, July 18, 2011

Lake Michigan Storm Warning

Friday's weather briefing predicted the greatest risk of severe weather would be Sunday night... And they were right! The picture shows Todd's chartplotter with XM Weather and Donnybrook in the target of a large storm cell.

Our strategy was to drop all sails, start the engine in case we needed to maneuver, and let the wind push us under bare pole. We ended up averaging 4 knots down the channel during the storm including a peak speed of 7.1 knots.

There were around 15 boats within sight of Donnybrook as we were sailing through the Manitou Channel. We moved as fast as many of the boats.

We heard on the VHF two boats needing assistance, including one who reportedly lost a mast. Megan saw a boat get stuck by lightning. The boat glowed for a second after the strike then no lights.

Crew stayed below during the worst of it while the auto-pilot steered and admired the vivid lightning.

All are well, maybe a little cold and wet.

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