Photo: Although spectacular, lightening is a deadly peril for sailors
The late round-the-world sailor Sir Francis Chichester once said that most long-distance sailors fear lightening more than they fear anything.
'Battling atrociously big seas and gale-force winds comes with the ticket,' said Chichester. 'With storms an experienced mariner can ready their vessel and take precautions, experience will then generally see them through. With lightening at sea or even in harbour, a sailor can do nothing. A lightening storm is a truly frightening experience, because you can't do anything to prevent it.'
We ourselves have come across many sailboats, a large number of them multi-hulled catamarans, that have been struck by lightening. A lightening storm at sea is a frightening experience, it has always been our own greatest fear.
Bahiá Del Sol, in El Salvador, suffers its fair share of ferocious tropical storms during its wet-summer season, further north in Mexico and Guatemala they generally manifest themselves as Pacific hurricanes. Even so, a tropical downpour in this rain-forest and mangrove wilderness is something you won't forget.
At the back end of August both the Dutch catamaran Madeleine
were struck by lightening whilst moored in the Bahiá Del Sol. Madeleine
was severely damaged, ourselves less so but damaged nevertheless.
They say lightening never strikes twice, it's the second time that Madeleine
has been struck...
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