Safety Tips For Summer Storms
Let Our Story Keep You Safe
I recently posted a video going over an offshore fishing trip, my GF Brook, My buddy Stevhie and I went on about 3 years ago.
The video was a mix of footage from an absolutely insane storm cell that basically came out of nowhere and engulfed us in minutes. Luckily nothing went wrong and we made it safe, but things could have gotten very dangerous lighting fast.
"We tried to pull up Radar maps on our phones and see if the storm had any direction, but its radius was just growing larger in all directions"
Here is what happened and hopefully my story makes you think twice about taking Summer Storms lightly. We went out of Jupiter inlet around noon, greeted with flat seas and clear skies and weather forecast projecting less than a 10% chance of rain. We had managed to get the kites up a little later in the afternoon, as we got a light afternoon breeze and hooked up to a sailfish pretty shortly after. My GF Brook caught and released the sail, and we were back to watching out kites.
"The seas went from 1ft to 2-3ft to 3-5ft in a matter of minutes"
Out of nowhere one of us noticed the sky over land had started to look dark and like a small storm was brewing. Well that "small" storm got about fifty shades darker in a matter of 5 minutes and had extended about 5 miles north and south as well. At this point we knew we needed to head in but running into a storm seemed like a rather stupid idea at first. We tried to pull up Radar maps on our phones and see if the storm had any direction, its radius was just growing larger in all directions. The storm was coming straight at us, and running further offshore, would have been a horrible idea. We had already begun to reel in the and clear the lines, when out of nowhere a 20-30 knot wind had made its way offshore. At this point the wind was so strong the kite could not be reeled in against the force of the wind so we had to chase the kite while reeling. As we finally managed to a hold of the kite we noticed it was torn apart and not even worth fixing, so we quickly cut the kite line and threw it in the boat. It was full speed into a now 35 knot dead west wind with us headed straight into it.
We were heading into the biggest storm any of us has ever seen...
"There were so many things that could have gone wrong, but we were truly lucky"
The seas went from 1ft to 2-3ft to 3-5ft in a matter of minutes, the rain was piercing you sideways and made seeing and navigating nearly impossible. Not to mention the clouds were so thick and dense they had managed to almost completely block out the afternoon sun, making it very difficult to sea. It got so bad that at one point my buddy Stevhie, who has spent more time on boats, than on land told us where the Eperb was. Now my GF is in tears as lighting strikes every minute within a mile or closer to us and we are headed into the belly of the beast.
It had taken us around 45 minutes at full throttle to go in 5 miles, on a run that normally takes anywhere from 10-15 min.
It was one of the most hair raising experiences I have ever been through and I wish no one ever go through what we experienced.
"Do not take these storms for granted... the sea takes no prisoners, just lives"
There were so many things that could have gone wrong, but we were truly lucky. From losing power, or having an engine failure resulting in us being swept miles offshore and possibly even capsizing. To being struck by lighting or hitting a submerged object or other vessel, as the visibility was so poor. The real danger in capsizing or having a dead boat, lies in the fact that the Gulf stream, which we were in not only runs North up the coast, but also further East. So say we had managed to get our life jackets on and stayed with the boats, the chances of a boat finding us in the open ocean hundreds of miles off the coast is a very risky situation.
Please be safe out there and do not take these storms for granted. They could very well take your life. The sea takes no prisoners, just lives.
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