Lightning Sensor/Alert

Folks, Ray Gauthier has made me aware of a nifty gizmo that picks up static electricity from LIGHTNING STRIKES as far away as 50 miles. It's shaped like a pager and can be worn on the belt easily. It's pretty sophisticated: gives a beep and shows distance with each strike and keeps track of previous strikes to figure out whether the storm is moving toward or away from you. Close strikes get more beeps. The device we've bought for our RC boat is called StrikeAlert, made by Outdoors Technologies, INC in Colorado Springs (www.strikealert.com). It cost about $70. (More sophisticated devices are available from other vendors that cost up to $1,000.) I think having one of these devices is a good idea if you're running races (or sailing schools) in a thunderstorm-prone area. We sail in an area surrounded by mountains which means that a storm can sneak up on us. And knowing that the thunder you hear is from a storm that's moving away from your area is useful, too. It's a big improvement from the old portable radio - static sensor. Good (and Safe) Sailing. Charles Buffington