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The Storm | Part 1

It was a beautiful late-August evening out on the water. A Friday, so traffic was a little heavier than usual around dinnertime. There was enough of autumn on the breeze to make me want to wear denim and a t-shirt over my swimsuit, rather than the usual light cotton cover up.

We double-checked the weather (per usual) before we left land and there was a 15% chance of rain for 20 minutes or so after departure, then the chance went down to practically nothing.

Slowly putzing over toward the uninhabited section of Bull Run, we passed some skiers, two sailboats, and a fair amount of fellow 'tooners headed in for the day under expansive blue skies filled with happy puffy little clouds (who knows that Bob Ross reference?).

Turning off the engine in a quiet cove, we dipped in for a pre-dinner swim. The water was a bit cooler than usual, and we lamented over our swimming days drawing to a close for the season. Once we were back onboard and halfway dry, we got dinner sorted. Tacos. A touch messy for boating, perhaps, but hit-the-spot-delicious!

As we were finishing up our first shells, the sun suddenly disappeared. The wind turned sharp and icy, and we heard thunder in the distance. Our land contact messaged us a storm warning: a cell had popped up out of nowhere and there was lightening within 4 miles - rain expected at our marina in 15 minutes. We gave our location, and they thought we might just get lucky and clip the very edge of the system - it seemed to be rapidly moving away from us at the time. There was no way to make it back to the dock without heading directly into the path of the storm. So, we stayed put.

The dark clouds gathered and grew - quickly out numbering the patches of clear sky. We could see thick downpours in the distance. The wind was howling. We battened down the hatches, stowed the rest of our tacos, and prepared to ride it out. A few other boats were doing the same. No more thunder or lightening, thankfully, so we stayed on the water. But then the storm shifted, and all at once the clouds started to envelop our cove…growing darker and more ominous by the second.

We saw what we thought was a break in the general direction of our marina, but the storm was still dumping heavily over our path to get there. - Another break in the clouds, and we decided to head over toward Highland Pointe to see if we could outrun the rain that now seemed imminently headed our way.

I took the helm as the resident boat-park-er of the crew as we rounded the entrance to the Highland cove. It started lightly sprinkling. By the time the slips were in sight, it was coming down in heavy sheets - pummeling the bimini and our faces alike. Visibility was down to several yards now, as the waves were rocking us quickly into the tight alleyway between the covered boat garage and the public slips…

To be continued...

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