Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fantastic Evening at Belmont Harbor

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the evening on Donnybrook Thursday night.  My chores included organizing the lazarettes, running through the Mac Safety Regulations, and putting new Illinois registration stickers on.

Excitement started when a Chicago Fire Department helicopter and all sorts of emergency vehicles--20+ including police and fire by my count--converged on Belmont Harbor.  According to the VHF several sailing school boats were capsized by a storm.  I hope everyone is okay. 

In the past I've witnessed small sailing dinghies such as the Vanguard 420 or Lasers will tip over--which is part of sailing--and well meaning people on shore call 911 to report someone in the water.  The response is quick--fire department at both north and south Belmont harbor, lifeguard, police, and fire boats, and the CFD Helicopter.  It's nice to know help is there when needed.  It's debatable if help is really needed or not.  I hope everyone is okay.  See this Chicago Tribune's article.

A few hours later while talking to Karen at home, the boat began rocking violently.  I real seiche (or storm surge) had hit!  You could see waves washing over the harbor entrance.  Water went up then down nearly 3 feet in about 15 minutes.  This was violent compared to what I wrote about in May.  See May's article here.

Shortly later I witnessed the most incredible lightning I've ever experienced.  I honestly felt the heat on my face as a bolt shot overhead.  I was legitimately scared, but awe inspired.  While below deck on Donnybrook, the hail hit and it was the loudest noise I've heard on a boat.  The hail was dime sized.  I wish I could have taken pictures but it was after dark.  I did a quick YouTube search and it sounded like what you hear in this video.

I had my trusty DSLR camera with me so I'll post some pictures later.

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