Voyage of Egret Forums

Jan Hawranke, Montreal, CAN asks:
Hi Scott and Mary,
Bon Voyage

First of all, I am completely fascinated and absorbed with your long distance voyaging and stories of the people you meet and places you visit. Together with all the pictures you are taking, your adventure would make a really great book (hint)!

Although currently with no experience with boats, the life and travels you are experiencing are pulling at my heart. (so, I'm beginning to make plans...)

My question is regarding what you do if you are caught in thunderstorms? I'm thinking of both yourselves and the navigation equipment, with possibility of lightning strikes. I imagine that a boat with aerials would be a target for a strike? What's the drill?

Wishing you a continued safe and wonderful voyage! Jan

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Jan, let the tugging begin. It will change your life. DO NOT be intimidated by the perceptual enormity of what you may think it takes to become a boater. Boating all begins with baby steps, not pounding out offshore miles. I doubt very few ocean capable boat owners started their boating careers as mechanics or seamen. None of us are any more special than you or the thousands of others who are boating today, power and sail.

To answer your question, lightning is a worry. We are modern electronic boaters. All of our offshore miles started with first loran and later, GPS. For contingency we carry quite a lot of backup electronics. We have 4 different GPS's, all capable of running laptops with navigation software. Two are handheld sitting in brackets. Three of these GPS's, our spare Iridium phone and two additional navigational laptops live in the stove and microwave during lightning storms. We also easily remove our radars from the dash and unplug the antennas, 12V wiring including the ground. So far, so good, however we have yet to give it a nearby or direct strike test. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

A book is not planned but I will say I was thinking of a tabletop book of Egret's voyage from Turkey to New Zealand. We spent some time in a Chilean Channels anchorage with a real writer, 5 books to her credit, and learned a great deal about the boating book market. Bottom line is we aren't going to go back to work to earn a dollar a book. VofE is something we enjoy doing for free to help and inspire others. The Nordhavn folks are good enough to allow us the use of their website.

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