The day started out warm, sunny, and promising. At 9 am we were out on the water, by 10 am the swimming and the cannonballs and the synchronized diving (attempts) were in full force. By noon the burgers were grilled...
By 2 pm the boat hopping had commenced, the cat-naps were in full-force, the second-round of snacks were being passed around, and then someone said, "Was that a sprinkle?" And before we knew it we were looking at this sky...
Who turned out to be this guy:
Immediately we lifted the anchor and started driving top speed towards the marina. As we drove, the storm rolled in like a freight train and we were nowhere near the dock.
As the boat flew towards safety we all shuffled around the deck, putting our shoes on, picking things up, packing our bags, organizing our goods, making sure we each knew where our phones were, etc. We called folks on land and had them watch the news and despite all signs pointing towards: we're about to drive into a really bad storm and this is going to be difficult, we kept smiling and laughing nervously and pretending we weren't scared. But we were.
And then it hit. I'm not kidding. It was INTENSE. At the beginning of the storm the lightning was still "3 Mississippi's" away. I thought to myself, "Okay, I can deal with that... it's still pretty far." And then before we knew it there were no "mississippii's" left and as we raced towards the shore, lightning was striking all around us. I scooted away from the metal railing and made a pathetic attempt to surround myself with as much rubber as possible. Not exactly sure what that would even do, but it seemed like a decent idea at the time :) The rain was so rough, the winds were so high, and the water was so choppy that we were all huddled together in the middle of the boat, secretly praying that our friend driving (major props to Jonny Insogna) was somehow blessed with miraculous vision... after all... none of us could see anything but each other... everything 4 feet away from us was a gray blurb... and yet we kept moving forward... quickly.
Folks, if you've ever been on the deck of a boat when a severe storm rolls in and you can't get to shore, it's an experience. You're in the middle of the driving rain, getting completely soaked, and desperately aware that you're the tallest thing in the water... oh, and that you just happen to be made of metal. When we finally docked, the storm was at its peak, and we quickly abandoned everything on the boat and ran into a tiny floating boat-house as lightning continued to strike dangerously close. We were joined by about 50 other folks (also fleeing their boats) and we waited it out packed in like sardines.
Eventually someone looked outside and realized one of the docks had just broken away, leaving a group of folks stranded. Awesome. And then someone said, "ugghhh... looks like we need to distribute the weight a little more evenly because the right side of this building is sinking." Oh... even more awesome. Despite the crazy circumstances we were still having fun though... Nothing like surviving a severe storm on the deck of a pontoon boat to pump-up your adrenaline.
As soon as it let up (even a little) we ran back to the boat (in the rain), grabbed all of our stuff madly, and raced to our cars. We didn't even say goodbye to one another.
All in all, boat day 2012 was a huge success though. We may not have been able to relax in the sun for the remaining two hours of our day, BUT we were given a story we'll probably be telling ten years from now AND I left my friends feeling relaxed, refreshed, and so thankful I had gone.
How was your weekend?