The weather had been nasty all day, so it wasn’t a huge surprise yesterday to look up and see a waterspout.
They’re not common, but we’ve seen a few of these before. Eli is our official historian and he says four waterspouts in the last three years. So our initial response was more of the “oh, cool” variety. Usually they don’t last very long and don’t head our way. But this one was doing both.
We were anchored off of New Plymouth at Green Turtle Cay and the waterspout appeared to be in Black Sound. It would have to cross land to get to us and at that moment I was cherishing a belief that waterspouts can’t cross land. But this one was doing an admirable job.
The swirling cloud of dirt and debris was quite mesmerizing. We even saw it pick up what looked a whole lot like a roof. It was about this time that we began to think “oh, crap”.
There are two kinds of waterspouts. Most of them are non-tornadic. They’re relatively weak, relatively stationary, and have a very small area of influence. Not that you’d want to be in one, of course. They’re just not as deadly as their land borne tornado cousins. The second kind of waterspout is.
This turned out to be the first kind fortunately, but it was kind of dicey for a while. It eventually dissipated over land, but the weather was really weird for the next 10 minutes. A 30 knot wind came through the harbor and spun all the boats around 360 degrees.
And then it rained.