Literally and figuratively.
Last night we anchored through our first thunderstorm. We were in the cockpit when the lightning started and Hans was counting the seconds between flashes of light and thunderclaps.
"It's two miles away." He announced with confidence and within seconds the storm was on us.
I scrambled to close the hatches and Hans started up the engines which was a very smart idea because if our anchor hadn't held we'd have smashed into the wall behind us. A 40 knot gust of wind hit us and our brand new grill cover went whipping away (just a sick reminder of losing our sun pad on the first day out!).
We stood in the cockpit under the bimini while again and again we were slammed with wind and rain, and the sky was alive with lightning. Wilbur stayed right with us and was a very good boy. Chlorox hid in her litter box.
Then with one final ear shattering boom of thunder directly over our heads that literally shook my fillings, it was over.
That's when Hans decided to take the dinghy out in order to retrieve our grill cover that we could see bobbing happily along some docks (probably trying to find a better home, like one without a dog and cat!) a few hundred feet away.
After picking it up out of the water with a boat hook and emptying it of what he said felt like a ton of water, he was back. I had been feeling guilty about it blowing away because I was the one who'd cinched it over the grill. Then I saw that the plastic slider that holds it in place was twisted and actually ripped apart.
That's how strong the wind was!
Wow, we thought! We survived a big blow, and to celebrate we sat back for a well deserved beer (Hans) and bourbon (me).
Then the police showed up.
Hans and I were puzzled but Wilbur, with tail wagging glee, was very happy to see Mr. Policeman and wanted to give him a big smooch.
Mr. Policeman informed us that Mr. Landowner in one of the houses on shore said he watched Hans dumping garbage into the river from our dinghy! We explained ourselves and after Mr. Policeman informed Mr. Landowner of what Hans had really been up to we were exonerated.
As we sat in the cockpit and discussed the accusation I suddenly realized that in order to see Hans all the way across the creek picking up our grill cover, Mr. Landowner must have been using binoculars and I was appalled!
"What kind of sick person does that?" I exclaimed and fed Wilbur some more bourbon soaked ice cubes (they soothe his itching).
The more we thought about it the angrier we got. "Honestly, sailing people are some of the most upstanding people in the world! The best! Probably even better than the best!"
And then one of our Knotty Cat's seedier relatives sailed into our anchorage.
Our boat is one of 40 built by Bob Johnson back in the 90's. It's the only catamaran he ever designed, and has a very distinctive look to it. This is the first time we've encountered a 'sister boat' and wouldn't you know it had to be last night.
"Hey!" The captain hailed us. "You have a cool boat!"
"We have a cool boat!" He shouted.
"Wanna party?" He called out and headed our way with what I'm sure were intentions of rafting up, and that's when I realized he was drunk.
I hoped Mr. Tattletail Landowner wasn't watching with his binoculars, and prayed that the air conditioning was going full blast in his house and he couldn't hear us.
"You don't want to anchor here." I called out. I then gave him some vague police story, and that this wasn't really an anchorage, and then I lied and said we'd need to leave in the morning.
"You have a cool boat!" he yelled again. "A really fucking cool boat!" And a girl on the bow called Mr. Landowner an asshole.
They finally motored away and I'd love to know how one anchors a boat in the dark while totally trashed.
And while Mr. Landowner might think Hans and I are The Beverly Hillbillies with our towels etc... hanging from our lifelines with clothespins, he ought to thank his lucky stars that the Deliverance Crowd decided to darken someone else's shore!