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“Dinghy drift tonight” was announced on the morning net.  The plan was to dinghy to the Sailing Club dock about 6:00 p.m. to join other dinghies from all over the harbor.  We’d tie ourselves together and drift around like a huge floating island, enjoying hors d’oeuvres, adult beverages and good company.  I borrowed an egg to make brownies and we selected a bottle of wine.

At the appointed hour, four dinghies met near the dock, including us.  We did not tie ourselves together.  Because everyone in the dinghies was fixated on the darkening skies.

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Light rain was ignored.  But a tremendous bolt of lightning sent us all scurrying back to our boats.  Fortunately, the boat next to us generously invited everyone onto their covered afterdeck.  We had our own mini-party in the rain.  Much of the conversation focused on boats we’d known which had been struck by lightning – as we sat there on a boat and watched the light show.

At one point, the wind died and the boats wandered aimlessly about on their moorings in total anarchy.

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Moored boats are supposed to behave in unison, lining up in neat rows and pointing into the wind, like this.

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But tonight, they were even facing in opposite directions.

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No one hit anyone, although on a previous occasion, we turned clockwise with a tide shift while the boat next to us turned counter-clockwise.  Our transoms almost touched.  Here is Goldwin, protecting our wind vane, which hangs off the back of the boat.

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Meanwhile, back at the non-dinghy-drift party, the sky was still lighting up, with lots of thunder to the north.  After we returned to our boat, just about bedtime, the wind picked up – and up.  Nearby Marsh Harbor recorded sustained winds of 30 mph with gusts to 50.  Rock and roll.  It lasted less than an hour and was quiet the rest of the night – as quiet as 20-25 mph can be.  The next morning on the net, various boats inquired about cockpit cushions, boat hooks, a dinghy seat, a solar panel, a solar shower and other windblown items which had escaped from their boats during the storm.   Fun times.

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