Friday, August 7, 2020

Lightning update- 6 weeks in

"I am so happy to advise you that your claim has been approved for settlement"
Raccoon in the marina. (Nothing to do with the story, I just like the picture!)

This sentence made me a very happy camper! We had been waiting for over a month to hear these words. Our boat was struck by lightning on June 26th, and all of our navigational instruments were no longer working. Based on what our adjuster said to us in a telephone conversation we made the decision to order the new parts and put the charge on our credit cards. Then the words of others started playing in my head. People who had  their boats struck by lightning had horror stories to tell us about their interactions with insurance. People had to hire lawyers to complete the claim, people  had their insurance companies deny their claims, and people  had their insurance cancelled. All of these tales flooded my head, particularly at three in the morning.

The silence from the insurance company was killing me. I was sending emails, leaving phone messages, and hearing nothing. This was not a case where I accepted that "no news means good news". I was ready to take my claim up the next rung on the ladder when I fired off one more e-mail:

The silence is killing me.

That seemed to work. I got an email back from our adjuster assuring me that she was working on our claim and she had a meeting about it that morning and would get back to us. That afternoon she emailed us and said she was waiting on one last signature. I started to relax a little, but still had some trepidation.

Two days later we got our approval. What a great sense of relief. The lightning strike would not necessitate a long battle to avoid a huge financial blow after all.

Now the work has begun. We have had the boat hauled, inspected and returned to the water. No lightning damage to the hull was discovered. Old instruments out, new instruments in. 

Starting at the top of the mast and working down, we have a new antenna, new wind instruments, new radar and new lights. In the cockpit we have a new chart-plotter, new sailing instruments, new VHF radio and a new autopilot. Each one of these comes with a manual and quite a learning curve to understand the intricacies of what they can do. Every piece of equipment is newer than what we had before, and seemingly an improvement. 

To prepare for the new equipment and batteries many of the storage areas had to be emptied, and that means piling things on the seats and on the table and on the beds. It makes me feel very claustrophobic. Add the  workers on top of that and it makes a very crowded boat. At one point we had ten people on the boat trying to get things done. Not very easy to maintain social distancing in these circumstances!

Currently the instruments are mostly installed and new batteries are soon to follow. We hope that most of the work will be completed next week so we can take Rhapsody out for a sea-trial. This is where we will see if all the instruments will talk to each other and where we will continue to learn what they can do and how we want to best configure them to suit our purposes.
So far, so good. Glad to know that we are near the end of this part of our adventure.  We are looking forward to moving out of the marina and back into the anchorage outside of Panama City. Life is good.

We love to hear your comments.

Barbara Gooby said...

I'm charged to hear of your positive updates!
~Barb Gooby

Andrew Holyoke said...

Since we’re punning here, your post lightens my mood as we wait to see how this Covid thing pans out.

Suzanne said...

Excellent news! Things are looking up. Be well & stay safe. Cocktails in Curacao seem like years ago.

Anonymous said...


This could be a photo finish ... after failing to "light up" after two separate service calls (replacing both the circuit board and the LED lights), a replacement refrigerator for the June 30 purchase is scheduled for delivery next week.