Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Winter Cold Front,Sanibel + Beyond

Days on cruise:  277

We’re clear that “winter” means different things in different places, and here in southwest Florida in mid-February it’s a whole lot nicer than most parts of the country. Nonetheless, the winter weather here is different than in other months, and it’s affecting our plans. Mostly in the form of wind!

We’ll leave Sanibel tomorrow morning, and until now, our plan has been to move along every day or two for the next 10 days, anchoring out in interesting places and exploring. The high temperatures for the next few days look great. But check out those night-time low temps for the weekend.

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Unfortunately this weekend is not shaping up to be a good time to either anchor out OR travel on the open waters between the Everglades and the Keys. There’s no protected waterway between those two points, and the shallow water, long fetch and high wind will combine to make the conditions worse than we’re comfortable with. Unless things change. Which they often do.

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Furthermore the winds from the North in this weekend’s forecast are known to blow the water out of the Gulf, dropping water levels a foot or sometimes two. While this would pose no problem in Puget Sound where we live and the water is usually 200-400 feet deep, here where water is often 6 feet deep, and our boat draws 4 feet, that’s a problem.

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So we’ll move to Goodland tomorrow, keep checking the forecast, and sit tight until the opportunity comes along to travel further south.

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We have friends from Seattle meeting us in the Keys on March 1, so we’re happy to be running a little ahead of schedule, meaning we can afford to absorb some weather layover time.

Friends Craig and Barbara on “Blue Heron” departed Sanibel today headed to Fort Myers. We were sad to say good-bye. Stephen and Charlotte on “Jackets II” are still here, and we met brand new Loopers on “Second Wind”, Mark and Allyn from Boston, who began their Loop four days ago! Mark had the use of a friend’s car for the day, so offered to take us along on his trip to the grocery store. We stocked up on heavy stuff that would’ve been difficult to buy on our bikes.

The six of us got together for cocktails on Jackets II, then moved to Second Wind for dinner, grilling and each bringing side dishes to share.


Cathryn, Bob, Stephen, Charlotte, Mark and Allyn, L-R. Fun evening!

1 comment:

Ken Shanley said...

Hi Cathryn,

What is the web site that you are using for the wind and tides?

Thank you,
Ken Shanley
MV Charis