I got my four mile walk in this evening before the thunderstorms reached us. A few light sprinkles on my last lap of the neighborhood, now I'm hearing thunder. This will be the first severe thunderstorm of the very young spring. The seasons are battling it out. Thunderstorms tonight, rain likely tomorrow, clear friday and a good chance of rain saturday and sunday.
I do not like day sailing in the rain - notice I said "day sailing". I don't like rigging the boat in the rain, I don't like unrigging the boat in the rain. I don't like to put my sail covers on wet sails, I worry about mildew. And it is a pain to dry the sails. If I'm lucky the rain stops towards the end of the day sail and the sails dry themselves off. One time the rain ended as I got to the ramp. I hauled the boat out, pointed the trailer into the wind and raised the sails in the parking lot to let them dry for almost an hour. Other times I have had to spread the sails out in the garage to dry them off with two or three fans.
But on cruises rain is a whole different story. There is Bruce above on day two of the Skeeterbeater. That was probably our rainiest trip. We got caught leaving Wyesocking Bay in storm. A lot of rain, some pretty nice wind. Later that day we sailed between three small storms, great wind all the way. By day five we had come to enjoy those storms. Hey, more wind! With good foul weather gear, rain is not a problem. I wear Third Reef gear from West Marine, Bruce has a set of foulies from Cabela's. We see the storms coming, slip the gear on, maybe take in a reef and keep on going.
Thunderstorms are another story. I don't mind the thunder but I can do without the lightning. Above you'll see some lighting glowing in the distance south of Caffee Bay. Those cells are pretty common on Pamlico Sound in the summer. I like to see them, but only from a distance. Last June on Core Sound I did get a little buzz from a storm overhead just before the lightning crackled above. I still don't know what to think of that.
The driest cruise I have had was last fall on Chesapeake Bay - eight days and virtually no rain. By day five Spartina was crusted with salt from the spray. No rain to clean it all off. I never realized until then how sponging out the fresh water from rainstorms kept the boat nice and clean.
Rain, while no fun for day sailing, is no problem for cruising. Enjoy it, enjoy the wind, dry out and keep on sailing.