Challenges in the Chesapeake
Practical Boat Owner|November 2020
Challenges in the Chesapeake
Squalls, hurricanes and operations – there’s never a dull moment aboard Alisara, says Hermione Pattison
Hermione Pattison

Here in the Chesapeake we’ve been experiencing unusually hot weather. The days are scorching and the evenings… well, exciting! Clouds fluff up out of nowhere and give us the most incredible and vibrant lightning displays. It makes us humans feel very insignificant and I find myself in awe of the sheer power of nature.

One such squall appeared very recently. We knew it was coming thanks to the WeatherBug app, which has proved to be really rather accurate. We dashed off in the dinghy to go and collect our children who were playing at a friend’s house. On leaving their house, lightning had started overhead, so we decided to stay put. Keeping a close lookout, the wind and rain did not seem bad enough to cause huge alarm, and so we held tight for an hour until it moderated.

Walking back down the dock to our dinghy, Ladybird, we realised that Alisara was not where we had left her! Feelings of doom spread inside me, although I tried not to show it and remained positive as we climbed into our tender.

We soon located Alisara across the bay nestled between two private docks. Motoring quickly towards her, lightning still flashing occasionally overhead, Douglas and I were both separately running through scenarios in our heads. It would appear that our daughter was doing the same; “Muuuuuuummy, will Sweet Pea be OK?” miracle as a few feet either way and she would have wiped out docks and motorboats!

Stuck in the mud


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November 2020