Just in the last two months, I had occasion to sail in two storms of 40+ knot
winds (maybe even 60 + knot
winds), and massive driving rain that was like a fire hose.
One was inside the break wall near Navy
pier in Chicago, and the other was the infamous storm during this years' Mackinac race
. The first lasted about 40 minutes, and the other had 3 of what seemed like 20 minute bursts over a period of a few hours.
The question is this. What to do about seeing? The hardest part was seeing the instruments, compass
, and chart plotter during the worst of it so that I could keep the boat on course so as not to hit any thing. Being inside the break wall, I had no sails
up, but was in close proximity to navy
pier, and the break wall, so it was important to establish a course that wouldn't hit anything.
During the mac race
, we had the full main up and were running at 12.6 knots. In both situations visibility was next to nothing. The one during the Mac was at night.
I found the helm compass
the most valuable instrument on the boat once I figured out where I needed to be. To read the chart plotter, I had to almost press my face up to it and hold one hand shielding it from the driving rain. At the same time, I am trying to keep the boat under control, etc. The rain is driving so hard, that my weather
with the little brim was much more trouble than it was worth, so I just let it dangle and was showered with the rain using one hand to shield it the best I could. Combine all this with managing the chaos of the lightning
storm and not knowing what is going to happen next that is already unnerving enough.
Does anyone use any type of goggles in this situation? The rain pelting one in the eyeballs was pretty hard to deal with. What to do? I would like to be just a tad better prepared for it next time.