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Old 05-22-2006, 08:59 AM
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Default Waterspout Stories

Danny got this idea moving in his "Wind Blows" thread. Anyway, many of us that have spent time in in waterspout latitudes have a few stories accumulated over the years. So, let's hear 'em!

I'll start off ...

We were anchored on the Coffins Patch, a patch reef off Duck Key in the central Florida Keys about eight years ago. It was a sunny day, with the odd cloud floating by.



I had a couple of moms and a bunch of kids in the water snorkeling or just swimming around. I was parked on the safety line down current of the boat doing four year old retrieval. They would just keep floating down stream in life jackets.

All of the sudden I noticed a half a dozen boats up'ing anchor, powering up and ripping away at high speed in all directions. Hmmm, started looking around and off to the WSW, I saw something like this:


From: http://www.gotouring.com/razzledazzl...lphoto044.html

It was about 2000 ft. high, about 80 ft. in diameter at the base and was a lot closer than the one shown above, perhaps 1000 ft. away. It was moving towards us, and you could see the funky "vanes" orbiting around the base such as shown in the image below.


From: http://www.vastormphoto.com

Anyway, it was moving towards us fairly quickly. I had just managed to hand the last four year old aboard and shouted to one of the moms to fire up the outboard as I climbed aboard and ran forward to deal with the hook. I thought about abandoning it but was able to up anchor rapidly and get out of Dodge fast. If the waterspout hadn't changed course it would have run over the top of us.

I guess you get wet in a waterspout and some light stuff might get picked up and blown around, like four year olds? We'll never know, fortunately. Lots of spouts in the Keys to be sure.

I have a few more stories, but what have others experienced out there?
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Last edited by RickI; 09-09-2015 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:32 PM
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Was crew for a 31 foot sloop rigged sailboat on a weekly regatta at Davis Island in Tampa .. this was about 2 or 3 years ago.

It was a bit stormy out and we were having a good time. Our boat always came in last.. but we always had the best looking women and the most beer. A winning combination in my opinion.

A few of us started making comments on how the clouds looked like they did in the movie Twister and my girlfriend even said "ooooh I think we might get a waterspout"..

Sure enough.. not more than 1 minute later the clouds started to twirl and we all saw the damn thing form ...

it was on the far side of the bay.. probably 1000 yards.. maybe more. maybe less.. I am not good on judging distances (case in point.. my new waroo in a tree just last week ..ugh!!!!)..

I guess it was far out enough to where I didnt feel like it was going to be an issue with us but was more in awe of what I had just seen.

A few of the passengers on the boat didnt see it that way. At least 2 ladies ran downstairs and began sobbing and crying that they didnt want to die. The captain was getting ready with the motor in case the thing looked to be moving closer.. it seemed that it was going away from us.

As quickly as it has appeared a few minutes later it faded out and was gone. Everyone on board had a few extra drinks toasted many to the gods of wind for protecting us.. and again.. we came in dead last in the Regatta.
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Old 05-24-2006, 02:54 PM
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7-8 years ago I was in Virginia key and saw a 'spout form in Bear cut, it was moving south so we were safe then it cut across the northern tip of Crandon park mangrove area and out to sea

Luckily we were wind waitin' so no one was out on the water
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:09 PM
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Yeah, once every year or so u will see minor sprouts in the biscayne area.
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:10 AM
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Good stories guys, there must be more out there. Here's one that came along last weekend off Elbow Cay. Can shelf clouds toss off waterspouts and tornados in addition to strong gusty wind? We saw a number of shelf clouds pass over that morning. The folks flying out of Marsh Harbor at the time of this weather event had some particular entertainment.

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Old 06-02-2006, 01:15 PM
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We had 4 simultaneous ones 3 years ago here in Tampa Bay.
I even caught them on film. Let me look around for it. It was funny, we had Zack Kaplan kiting in the foreground (for all of 1 minute).
Funny shot. The funnels were about 3 miles behind him.
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyway Scott
We had 4 simultaneous ones 3 years ago here in Tampa Bay.
I even caught them on film. Let me look around for it. It was funny, we had Zack Kaplan kiting in the foreground (for all of 1 minute).
Funny shot. The funnels were about 3 miles behind him.
Please see if you can find it, it sounds interesting. I am reminded of a similar situation that I fell into at Crandon Park a couple of years ago. I was playing with a skimboard for the first time with an 18 m kite in fairly light wind. Still, it was easy to get up and going. The sun was out and it was partially cloudy. I was trying to edge offshore with a nearly onshore breeze and was concentrating somewhat. Paul Menta was on the beach with an instructors class. He called out to me and said I should look behind me. I did, there was about a 1000 ft. high waterspout roughly 1/2 mile offshore and moving our way. Whoops!

It vanished before coming close to shore, still it isn't like these things necessarily ring bells before they move in. Sometimes you just have to see them. It is a good idea to always be looking around, no matter how distracting your activity might be. Live and learn.
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:28 PM
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ima try kiting w/ a skimboard...
Close encounter, i shoull say
-Danny
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:12 PM
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Just came across this clip of impressive footage of the massive waterspout/tornado that hit Miami in August 2003.



and another impressive one from May 1997. There is some incredible downtown-funnel cloud footage:

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Old 07-03-2007, 11:04 PM
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im speechless...
now i have to increase my coverage on my house insurance...and medical...and car...and....
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