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Come to Florida, they said. We’ve got all the sun of California and MORE!

The lightning bolts add that special sauce. Note to self,  don’t get under a tree even if a mile offshore.

Gerard Van der Leun // 1692 Mangrove Ave Apt: 379
Chico, CA 95926

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • PA Cat August 18, 2022, 9:21 AM

    That’s just Ron DeSantis warming up some whoop-ass to release on Disney and the Florida Dems.

  • John Venlet August 18, 2022, 9:30 AM

    Also, if you are a mile offshore, in a boat, where trees may be scarce, put away your graphite fishing rods.

    • captflee August 18, 2022, 10:59 AM

      Used to work with a guy that towed an orca looking balloon trailing an advertising banner up and down the county’s beaches behind his boat. Minimal cost operation, just him. Got caught out one day by a sudden thunderstorm, and was cranking his winch in as hard as he could when the inevitable occurred. Blew his ass out of the boat and into the drink and parted the wire, sending the balloon soaring away and the boat slowly circling in his vicinity. Eventually he recovered sufficiently to catch and re-board the idling boat by snagging the bitter end of the parted balloon wire. He was at work the next day, though it was apparent that lightning doesn’t play around, and I don’t know if he ever made it fully back.

      Watched lightning blast a radio antenna atop the mainmast of my little oceanographic ship to ten million shards one stormy Port Everglades day. Impressive! Glad to be fifty yards away in a car, though.

  • captflee August 18, 2022, 11:43 AM

    After a bruising morning driving a tired and beat up 4wd pickup across the lunar landscape of the Vieques Naval Training Range, in and out of craters, dodging unexploded ordnance, to get a navaid back up and occulting, I was having an afternoon cocktail at the Roosevelt Roads Yacht Club, watching the clouds brew up out in the channel, eventually attaining sufficient rotation to spawn a goodly waterspout, though not quite as powerful as the one in the vidya. Thing wandered about a little, then took a steady bearing on your humble narrator and picked up speed. I pointed this out to the klatch of regulars there, but could not draw their interest. At about a mile, I’m excusing myself and looking for shelter to run to when one old guy said, “Sit down. kid. Don’t shit yourself. Thing will never make it much past that buoy there.” At about a half mile it was steaming along just as evil looking as ever, and three seconds later it was gone as if it had never existed. Apparently some local microclimate thing.

    I’ve since seen dozens and had to dodge a few of those (there are times when being able to gin up 30+ knots fairly quickly can be your friend). I’ve heard of spouts inflicting damage to even large vessels, so avoidance is the best policy.

    • Dirk August 18, 2022, 12:14 PM

      Capt, I want to experience the above.

  • Jack August 18, 2022, 11:59 AM

    I love NW Florida, Destin and P’cola, particularly being able to fly fish on the gentle days, right from the beaches. I’ve picked up a lot of good pomps and redfish doing that in the early morning.

    I got a text vid a couple of days ago of a large hammer head blasting through the surf in P’cola chasing rays. Of course the vid was taken by a pack of local southern hillbillies who narrated the thing. Wish I knew how to share it on AD…it’s an interesting vid.

  • John A. Fleming August 18, 2022, 12:09 PM

    Hah! There was a waterspout in LA Harbor about 5 years ago, right off Cabrillo Beach and inside the breakwater. Once or twice a year, an unstable air mass elbows its way into SoCal and they get their fair share of fireworks.

    What’s Florida got that California doesn’t? Liberty. CA is a messed-up State, but there’s a tremendous amount of ruin still to be had before it becomes obvious. It’s because it started out so wealthy.

  • Dirk August 18, 2022, 12:10 PM

    Love that stuff, Mother Nature IS the ruler of this place. I get to go to someplace named Diamondhead Mississippi, in November. Our niece excepted a job with the Southern Mississippi University. She’s a PHD, will be working with NASA in that area.

    This will sound weird to most. I want to be in that area when a class five hurricane comes thru. I’ve been thru typhoons, never a hurricane.

    I want to experience Mother Nature in all her glory. One time! Should check that box.

    • John Venlet August 18, 2022, 12:25 PM

      Good luck with that, Dirk. Best I can do is relate experiencing 15 to 20 degree rolls in the Bering Sea, in a submarine, at a depth of 300 feet in a Beaufort Wind Scale Force 10 sea.

    • ghostsniper August 18, 2022, 1:42 PM

      Dirk sed: “I want to experience Mother Nature in all her glory.”
      I did that 3 times in a row in 2004 starting with hurricane Charley.
      The power behind such a thing is overwhelming.
      I stood out in the yard as it approached and no shit, had to lean WELL into the wind to get back inside. If I had not went inside when I did I may have been swept off, it was THAT powerful.

      As the thing swirled over the house I was fearful the 12′ wide bank of sliding glass doors across the back of our living room would give way. The wind buffeted the doors and I stood there, leaning against the against the doors with my hands and I knew I had to do something. I ran out into the garage and grabbed some 8′ long 2×4’s and my Paslode cordless nailgun with 3.5″ spikes and commenced to X-brace those boards by nailing right into the drywall and furring strips behind it. The storm eventually passed and the doors were unscathed. I’m glad to have that experience but I can all see the treachery that might have happened.

      I had lived in Lee County, Florida since 1966 and during that time (to 2004), 38 years, a hurricane had never hit that area.

      • Dirk August 19, 2022, 8:23 AM

        Awesome, the only storm I’ve experienced was a typhoon, while living in Olongapo City Philippines. We lived in a tin-roofed and sided apartment, downtown. Was wild, yet tame, regarding what I wish to experience.

        Apparently, my niece and her husband purchased a house yesterday, well put in an offer. 495.000 it’s a fricking mansion up on a hill. Overlooks a bay. If I’m reading the family email right has sliding storm shutters for all windows and doors. Has a 17kw Gen and propane to run it, and a well. Huge swimming pool.

        Excited to be going to Mississippi in a few months.

        GV, when I was stationed at COMNAVPHIL in the PI, I rode a sub, I’d befriended a SEAL Platoon, and went on a training gig. The sub had a hangar the team guys were doing submerged launch and recovery training for their IBS rafts. For some reason, I thought I’d be able to watch the launch recovery cycle. I obviously could not.

        Was a fascinating day for me. My hat’s off to you, no way I could have done that sub thing for a tour.

  • Flannelputz August 18, 2022, 1:12 PM

    25 years ago when anchored off a reef in the Florida Keys we spotted a Huge water spout headed our way. It was a monster. As it was coming straight for us we went to start the engines on our reliable boat and neither engine would start. After trying for several minutes with the waterspout approaching, we gave up on the engines and started putting on our scuba gear with the intent of diving to the bottom and holding onto rocks while the boat was taken. A few minutes later the water spout dissipated and after half an hour the engines started right up and ran for months with no problems. The problem was determined to be a sudden drop in air pressure which rendered the carburetors on the V-8 engines in operable. Never heard of such a thing. It happened.

    • ghostsniper August 18, 2022, 1:44 PM

      Always good to keep a can of ether close by when dealing with combustion engines. Cheap security.

  • Elaine August 19, 2022, 8:10 AM

    That’s my weatherman! Everyone in Alabama loves James Spann. He stays with us during tornadoes, lol. I should also add, can’t live without my daily dose of American Digest. The comments are icing on the cake. Thanks for your hard work Mr. Vanderleun.