At first, Duluth's harbor cams captured a scene one City Pages staffer accurately described as "freaking cute."
Posted to Facebook by photographer Dennis O'Hara, the fast-motion video from Wednesday shows a Duluth Yacht Club sailboat race, with the tiny vessels scootin' around like 20-foot fiberglass ducklings. We then see the boats dart out to Lake Superior from underneath the Aerial Lift Bridge, and tranquil viewers are left with one thought: nice.
But, as temperatures dramatically nose-dived from 81 to 48 degrees in just 20 minutes, the wind picked up speed -- spiking from 9 to 25 miles per hour to 38 mph, according the National Weather Service. That's when things turned from "freaking cute" to "fucking calamitous!"
As you'll see below, one sailboat lost control and was swept back into the harbor. The lift bridge happened to be lowered at the time -- SNAP!
"Oh shit! Oh shit!" one onlooker shouts in another Facebook video of the incident, posted below. "That sucks!" his pal concludes upon seeing the bridge splinter the boat's mast. Also accurate!
Thankfully, things "turned out OK" for the four sailors, who avoided being toppled into the icy water, O'Hara reports. When reached for comment, Lake Superior seemed unapologetic about the dynamic weather switcheroo.
I don’t want to name names, but yeah, I sought a little revenge today. https://t.co/cQCpCnDuFU— Lake Superior (@LakeSuperior) May 17, 2018
Semi-related: Here's video of a gnarly 1,000-foot freighter whipping a sick 360 last year in Duluth. Back on land, we've got this recent photo slideshow of downtown Duluth's freshly/fabulously renovated NorShor Theatre.