Monday, August 23, 2010

TN River gorge - pictures of morning and storm clouds

Morning in the TN River gorge. It was a calm serene morning. Osprey and blue heron were fishing. I was amazed by the lack of boat traffic for a Saturday. We definitely found the nicest and least populated part of the TN River gorge, near Raccoon Mountain, about 12 miles outside of Chattanooga.

I took these pics with a cell phone, so they are not very sharp, (click to enlarge).

Later that day, I saw it coming.

The thing most boaters don't want to see on the open water: a severe storm... except me of course, I like storms. On the radar, it looked like it would be brief, so I didn't put up my full canvass, a mistake.

By the time I saw the wall cloud dipping down, seeming headed right for my boat, I decided to drop anchor and hide in the cabin.

The wind then started picking up and serious waves started hitting the boat. I could tell my anchor was slipping because the waves were catching me broadside. Not good. Rain was pouring in from under the top canvass and every time I went out to put up the side canvass, lightning chased me back into the cabin. At times the boat was rocking pretty violently with white caps slapping the boat around. Quite a ride!

I was OK after the anchor caught and turned the boat into the wind which I estimate to have hit 55 mph with near zero visibility in heavy rain.

It was a great storm.

I love the summer.

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