I was crossing Lake Livingston in Texas
in a Starwind22 and watched a thunderstorm start down the lake.
The thunder had been getting more and more ominous and I was trying to make it back to the marina but was about a half mile short when I got hit.
I had already tied down all the sails
, closed up the hatches and put on my big offshore
type lifejacket as soon as things started looking bad.
I was looking down the lake toward the damn and watched as that entire area just disappeared into a white mist.
The wind was now blowing so hard the waves were going flat. Just before the bulk of the white cloud hit me I turned the boat into the wind and firewalled the throttle.
An 8hp Evinrude
is not the best power source when you want to get anywhere in a hurry.
The rain had the finest drops I've ever experienced. It was like being in a really big garden sprinkler all of it pointed at your face.
I was trying to keep the boat pointed into the wind but was slowly starting to fall off to starboard and when I pushed the tiller to get back on course the boat fell off more. It was at that point I realized we were going backwards with the engine
going full throttle into the wind. I put the tiller hard over to port and let her come around to run with the wind.
She came round like a shot, almost on her beam ends but quickly stood back up and ran before the wind for a few more minutes until the wind slacked off to about 25kts.
I could once again see where the marina entrance was and I beat feet for cover. The lightening was now coming thick and fast and all I wanted to do was get off the boat and away from the mast
I flew into the marina and into my slip like a racecar coming to the pits. I jumped off, threw a single
dockline on a cleat and beat it to the marina store for cover.
The little blast lasted less than 15minutes but was one of the more scarey times I've had on a boat.
The anemometer at the dam clocked a 72mph flat line wind. I can"t say for sure how strong the wind were I was but I've never seen waves blown flat before and the ultra fine rain was as strange as it gets.
A lake version of a white squall maybe?..............m