Finally! We are out of here. We have been trying to get south but nothing is going our way. Things are not going as planned. But then again, they never do. Our travels are dominated by weather forecasts. We have time on our side and no schedule. They is really no reason for us to sail in conditions that are challenging.
We left St Petersburg just before Christmas and were both recovering from the flu. We thought we should sit still at anchor and wait until we were really healthy before beginning our trek south. Cindy’s flu developed into bronchitis and she had a treatment of antibiotics from the doctor she was finishing up. We wanted to make darn sure we were both 100% before leaving. The Monday after Christmas offered a nice window to get to Key West where we would pause before crossing the Gulf Stream. We decided to let this weather window pass for two reasons: First, we were both not quite up to snuff healthwise. Second, we wanted to spend a few days on the anchor to make sure everything on the boat was working. We have been tied to a dock for six months and not done much in the way of sailing. Little did we know this weather window would be the last one for a couple of weeks.
We are looking for east winds about 15-20 knots for our trip to Key West. West winds churn up the Gulf creating a washing machine effect making sailing very uncomfortable (ask me how I know this). South winds are on the nose and sail boats do not sail into the wind. For 10 days now, the weather has been unfavorable with one low front pushing through after another. We are seeing weather charts with 30 knot winds off both coast of Florida like this:
But, not to worry. We spent the time in a wonderful safe anchorage between two parks. We have met a couple of other cruisers while here. All of us waiting to get south. We met a couple from Sweden who have a massive Jurassic Park dog (Great Dane) and a couple who have just sold everything and are on a brand new boat headed to the Bahamas for the first time. We have enjoyed getting to know new friends and walking Pluto (the dog) in the park. During one of out hikes we had a couple of first: We saw wild river otters, a pink Ibis and a wild raccoon.
Our new friends decided a couple of days ago to push south. We didn’t like what we saw in the weather and stayed put waiting for the next front to push through. We have been rewarded and are looking at perfect weather now for our jaunt south. Or, so we thought. To be continued….