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Inclement Weather in the Kawarthas; Boat & Explore Safely

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Inclement Weather in the Kawarthas; Boat & Explore Safely
This summer, in South-Central Ontario, we have seen some unseasonable weather. High winds, heavy rainfall and common thunderstorms have made for most of our cottaging and lake-lounging months. With September around the corner, we plan to spend the rest of August enjoying the last few weeks of sunshine. What we don't hear about often enough, however, is the necessary precautions to protect ourselves from inclement weather. An important topic for us this summer, since we have now experienced several tornado warnings this season alone.  And the best way to handle inclement weather? By understanding key indicators of potentially poor weather.
 Possible Signs of Rapidly Changing Weather
According to the Coast Guard and National Weather Service, you may be able to anticipate potentially threatening weather changes from the following:
1.  A sudden drop in temperature
2. Flashes of light across the horizon (signifying potential lightening in the distance)
3.  Pick-up in wind speed or change in wind direction 
4. Thick, heavy static on radio
5. Darkness spreading across clouds, clouds becoming thicker and lower in the sky 
Recognizing incoming weather is only half the battle. As weather is capable of changing rapidly, you and your family may already be out on the water when some of the signs are noted. In the event that you are on the water during the onset of, or in the midst of, a storm, you are encouraged to follow the steps below (courtesy of Transport Canada)
Handling Inclement Weather if Caught on the Water
1. Ensure all passengers are wearing life-jackets
2. Attempt to maintain bilges free of water
3. Turn on navigation lights during periods of reduced visibility
4. If appropriate, turn off engine during periods of heavy, thick fog where visibility is reduced, in order to hear potential fog signals
5. Never attempt to jump a wake; if you must alter your direction, reduce speed, approach the wake with caution and cross the wake at a 45 degree angle. If operating a  personal water craft (seadoo, jetski, etc), reduce speed and cross the wake at a 90 degree angle to maintain lateral stability. 
 6. Remain calm & anchor the vessel, if necessary
From your friends at Town & Country Marine, please continue to exercise safe boating practices for the remainder of the season.

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