The crew of Miss Lone Star headed off to spend a few nights aboard the boat. It was a sunny day and only 40% chance of rain. Wind was 5 knots from the North. We arrived at a wind-protected cove and enjoyed the day. We enjoyed a nice dinner of salmon and asparagus. It rained a little so we went below deck. The weather passed and it was bright outside so we went out to play.
We made a warm beach fire with some driftwood and we got three lines in the water. The kids caught some big fish that we put on a stringer to clean later. I noticed that the first mate was dozing off in her chair basked by the warm yellow light of the fire. Bianca was snuggled in her lap while Blake was in mine, carefully watching the poles. Onyx, the dive dog was anxiously walking around.
The dream of staying up all night to catch a dozen fish was shattered when the wind gusted to about 20 knots at our back and blew stinging sand onto our bare skin. Blake shrieked and mom when to get him a sweatshirt from the boat. The fire flared with the strong wind. It started to rain and the wind picked up the sand at a furious pace. Blake stood up and the chair blew away into the abyss.
I handed mom the boy child like a football as she ran into the water to get him secured on the boat. Bianca stood up and the wind almost pushed her headfirst into the fire before I shoved her back into the chair. It was raining really hard at this point and only about 30 seconds had passed since Mom took Blake towards the boat. I saw pea sized hail as they bounced from the sand from high above. I realized that it was time to go and I grabbed Bianca and covered her with my body to shield her from the stinging hail. The sky opened up.
I set one foot in the water and then heard the pounding splashes of the golf ball sized hail hitting the water. I got her to the boat and Mom came to shuttle her in. I gasped with pain as a few balls of hail hit me in the head.
“Where’s the dog?”
Onyx is part of the family and I didn’t think they would let me in the boat without her. I was starting to get beaten badly and I feared that the hail size would continue to increase. Luckily, the dog appeared at my feet and I scooped her inside the boat to safety. We rushed inside as we passed the destruction of the storm, which was our beloved boat.
We were all out of breath and the hail beating against the boat made it too loud to talk. I heard Bianca telling her Mom, “Call 991!” I’m sure that the storm was pretty traumatic for the kids who were huddled under a blanket safely with their mother. We felt the boat moving and I remembered that the winds really picked up as we seemed to be in the center of an unhappy storm.
The pounding turned to tapping from rain and I went topside to see if things were OK. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees and the once sandy hills were now white with hail. There was about 12 inches of hail on the deck. The wind caused us to pull anchor and moved us about 200 yards from where we sat before the storm. I took the time to laugh a little and take some video of the epic thunderstorm that we were in and the lightning that surrounded us.
Then I noticed the boat. The side, front and back canvasses were all ripped away completely and nowhere to be seen. The top canvas was hanging loosely and collapsed with under the weight and force of the hail. Glass instrument gauges were shattered along with pretty much anything plastic on the decks of the boat. Our beloved BBQ grill had hundreds of dents. Our electric windlass wasn’t working anymore but I was happy to pull the 50 lb. anchor by hand so we could right the vessel.
Ominous fog covered the water and the rain stopped completely. Aubrey handed me a dry sweatshirt that I was happy to exchange for my sopping wet T-shirt. I decided that enough was enough and we needed to go back to our dock. We set off using the flood light to navigate because the navigation lights were all broken. That’s when I saw the large boat dock that had two large boats and a few jet skis floating past us. I figured that it would be a poor choice to run into more of these accidents waiting to happen and went back to the cove to rest for the night.
I went below and the kids were already asleep in their warm bed with the dog. Aubrey was looking over the hail marks on her body, cuts and scrapes. She laughed at me as I turned to the side, exposing the outline of my cranium. It looked like I got the worst end of a tire iron a few too many times. My back was worse but I still slept well knowing that my family was safe.
We have good insurance and the damages will be repaired. Everyone is fine and we made it back to the dock safe, save some sunburns we accumulated the day after the storm. Everyone except me wanted to stay another night on the boat. I had Rudy’s BBQ in mind. We watched the season premier of Naked and Afraid from the safety of our bedroom with no bad weather to report.