Saturday, July 20, 2013

Glimpse of death

On Friday, Max and I both went to the yacht club to have lunch with Hannah at noon.


We both went along with Hannah on the motor boat for the afternoon session of junior sailing, as I'd done the previous week.  It was a nice, sunny day.  When the kids started heading back to shore, we could see rain off to the left in the distance on the lake.  It's strange to be able to watch weather arrive out on the water.

Then the wind really started to pick up.  The kids were having trouble sailing back to shore with such strong winds, so we ended up towing the kids back to shore, one at a time.  Meanwhile the rainy side got darker and darker, and the darkness was getting closer to us by the second.  We were racing to get all the kids, sailboats, and buoys out of the water so we could get ourselves back to the dock.

Before I knew it the storm was only yards away, we could see it arriving on the water.  So strange that there was bright sun on one side, and a dark storm on the other:


Hannah rushed to get the motor boat tied up.  I freaked out when she stopped the boat for a picture, because the storm was coming fast and we were still out on the water.

Here you can see Hannah lit up by the sun, with the storm coming up behind her:


As Hannah started tying up the motor boat, all the pool kids and junior sailors were running to shelter.  Panic was in the air.  The wind was crazy, blowing everything around.  It was suddenly really dark.  

Max pointed out clouds just above us that were starting to move in a circle.  As soon as I saw those clouds, my heart started pounding really fast and I made a mad dash to the brig.  For years I've had nightmares every couple of months about dying in a tornado, so I was not happy to see those clouds moving in that fashion.

The brig was chaos with the instructors flipping the boats outside and picking up any loose things as fast as possible so the wind wouldn't take them.  The sails got thrown into a jumble in the brig floor.  Oh, and the power went out.

It wasn't raining very much yet, which worried me.  Were we in the eye of a twister?  

Max and I had biked to the club that day, so we both decided to make a run for it and head home.  We biked in the wind but didn't get very wet.  When we got to Hannah's house, we saw the wind had taken down a large branch of their front tree:


We threw disc outside for a few minutes, and then bam - downpour!  We ran inside as it poured and poured.  Hannah was trapped at the yacht club with her car; the staff didn't want her driving during the storm.  She made a run for it at some point, and got home 20-30 minutes after us.

I got worried that these storms passing through Montreal would affect Hermann's flight, scheduled to come in that night at 8:30 from London.  But all worked out -- it stopped storming and Herm's flight got in on time.

Next post: Weekend in Vermont
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