Thursday, June 15, 2023

Hilton Head Island: tornado alert; re-Torqeedoed; two moon poems

 Unexpected drama last evening.

I was reading in bed when at 7:50 my phone and my iPad Pro began sounding like fire engines.  When I picked up the phone it stopped making noise and displayed a tornado alert, advising me to move immediately to the safest part of my home, away from windows, and shelter in place.  It stated a tornado had been sighted at a location west of me and was moving east at 45 miles an hour.  The alert was in place until 8:15.  Sunset here is around 8:30 pm now, but the sky was already black.

I got up.  Got dressed.  I had long ago decided that the safest place in this condo in case of a hurricane is the walk in closet in the guest bedroom, which is farthest from the outer walls of the building and the extensive amount of glass on the side facing Skull Creek.  I took a few bottles of ice tea, an already opened bottle of wine, and some RX bars there, then turned on YouTubeTV on my phone and found as expected that the local Savannah stations had interrupted network programs for weather updates.  Radar showed the last location of the tornado and a narrow cone of its probable advance.  This condo was near the center of the cone.

I went to the living room and looked out.  To the west profound darkness and distant thunder and flashes of lightning, but the Spanish moss just beyond our deck was hanging limp.  

I was prepared to make a quick retreat to the closet, but it proved unnecessary.  At about 8:15 the front reached us with a violent burst of wind and torrential rain.  The TV station said that the tornado had touched down only briefly and seemingly dispersed.  I went back to bed.

The Midwest where I grew up and where Carol still mostly lives also has tornados.  The sirens went off once when we living in Evanston, but I have not been exposed to one for a while and last evening caused me to remember that one of the differences between tornados and hurricanes, is that while hurricanes can abruptly intensity, you usually know for days when one is out there and have time to prepare.  With tornados you have only minutes.

This country has a very tough climate.

More thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon and as I look up the completely overcast sky is darker beyond Pickney Island.  However the storms today are not expected to be as severe as those yesterday.  Rain is in the forecast for every day seemingly forever, but at smaller percentages over the weekend.  I would like to go sailing to test the new Pelagic components and perhaps I will have a chance Saturday or Sunday.

I biked down to GANNET at 8:30 this morning to spray another coat of the Gorilla sealant on the compass and while there I pulled the Torqeedo from the space aft of the starboard pipe berth and fit it to the transom.  Several days ago I brought the two Torqeedo batteries to the condo to charge.  One of them is dead, but the other charged to 100%.  When the outboard was assembled, I pushed the start button and it started.  I am impressed.  It has not be used in more than a year.  I left it on the stern to use when/if I ever get away from the slip.

Serendipitously yesterday I read these two poems, one from CLASSICAL CHINESE POETRY by Tu Fu who lived 712-770 AD and one from THE SEASHELL ANTHOLOGY OF GREAT POETRY by Percy Bysshe Shelley who lived 1792-1822.   Two poets look at the same moon parted by a thousand years and half the world.


Rich Pereira said...

Hi Webb, glad to hear you had no issues in the storm! Thanks for these two poems! They really resonated for me!

Webb said...

I am pleased to learn, Rich, that at least one other enjoyed those poems.