STORM CHASING DARWIN 2005

Travelled today: 34kms | Travelled so far: 2170kms | Allowance: 2200kms

Sadly, today was the day to return the hire car, settle the accommodation and pack my gear. My flight wasn't until late tonight at 1:30am, which was a mixed blessing... I'd have a full day here, but no car to chase any storms.

After returning the car I stayed in town and killed time keeping cool until as late as possible before my walk back to Stuart Park around dusk. In the evening I met my drunk neighbour, had a few bevvies myself, and took my time packing. My shuttle bus wasn't arriving until 12:20am.

The night went rather slowly until about 11pm when I saw flashes outside. How typical that a storm should fire up just before I'm ready to leave. Without a car to hunt down a decent view, I waited around to see if it would get closer. It did.

At around 11:15pm I was hearing big booms of thunder, with each strike successively louder. At around 11:30pm I grabbed my camera, tripod and umbrella, and ran out to the Stuart Highway and found a small park, which wasn't a great view, but it was better than being stuck inside or down a side street. Lightning was getting very bright and booms of thunder became huge cracks. It was now raining steadily and as I put my tripod down, I turned to my left and saw a massive bolt drop about 300 metres away. It burned it's image into my retina as I tried to steady the tripod and I knew I was in for a ripper of a sound. A second later it arrived and it was huge. Again, I felt like standing out here was possibly not the greatest idea I'd come up with, but I was gonna catch some of the action on film if it killed me. Well, perhaps that's not a great choice of words, but I finally set up the camera and was treated to some of the biggest and most spectacular lightning I've ever seen!

1200x900 1200x900 1200x900 1200x900 1200x900

It was now well and truly midnight, and with my shuttle bus arriving to take me to the airport in 20 mins, and some tricky packing to perform in the meantime, it was time to go. Having to leave mid-show was awful, but what a Christmas present and what a way to go out!

1200x900