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Old 10-03-2012, 07:41   #16
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

A couple of years back we were hit directly by a waterspout in the middle of the night at the tail end of a thunderstorm. Went right down the center length of Boot Key Harbor in the Keys. We were on a mooring ball. Heard the typical "freight train" sound first then it hit! We went over maybe 45 degrees then back up, then 45 degrees over the other way (feels like 180 degrees!). Others said they took a full knockdown. Those with recording anemometers recorded 117 mph winds. Only lasted a minute or less (felt like 2 hours!!!!). The boat beside us broke its mooring lines and went adrift. Lots of dinghies levitated, turned over with OB in the water upside down. Anything not secured littered the harbor.

Nothing you can do but have sails down and lashed, things tied down, and HOLD on!! :-) It will be over before you can react or finish the prayer and promises to God! My atheism returned within minutes. The word "waterspout" is now prohibited from being even whispered on our boat !!!!!!!!!

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:14   #17
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Re: Riding Out Thunderstorms

During the day you can dodge visible water spouts and even tornadoes if you are out sailing. I had to dodge a couple in the middle of Narragansett Bay one time. You see more in the Chesapeake, Florida, and in the middle of the Gulf Stream. Ones I have encountered tend to travel in one general direction so you can travel at a nice right angle to that direction while taking down sails, etc.

Kettlewell Cruising
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