We’ve made it as far as Chub Cay, in the southern Berry Islands since our last update. We left Vero Beach, FL on Monday the 30th of January and headed south. The farther south you go the better. When crossing the Gulf Stream in a slow moving sailboat one of the things you learn is not to fight mother nature. Use what she gives you to your best advantage and never, ever forget to respect her. Timing is everything and can turn a dream into a nightmare if you are not diligent. I start watching the weather for a week or more in advance but only trust the first 36 hours. One thing to consider is the direction of the wind, anything with a northerly component is not good because it blows in the opposite direction of the Gulf Stream current and builds the wave heights up very quickly. Winds out of the south are best. So we start our journey with winds out of the Northeast (NE) and head down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) toward West Palm Beach.
We decided to stop early the first night and anchored out on Hobe Sound where we discovered that the boat had developed a leak in the plumbing. We didn’t have the fitting to fix the broken one so we’d have to get it repaired the next day in West Palm. There are lots of bridges on the ICW and the next day we got stuck at one of the draw bridges for two and a half hours while they repaired a computer glitch. Not a lot of fun but Jane made the most of it by getting some great bird photos as I drove the boat in circles. It also put us late getting to the repair yard so we lost a day. After the repairs we decided not to do any more bridges. We would sail the rest of the way “outside” in the ocean. We anchored near the Lake Worth Inlet so we would get an early start. My client doesn’t like to sail at night so the 45 nautical mile trip to Ft. Lauderdale at 5 knots makes for a 9 hour day. With only 10 hours of daylight that doesn’t give me much wiggle room. We got to Ft. Lauderdale without incident and took off for Miami the following morning, again on the outside to avoid 18 more bridges.
Hello Miami! We stayed at the Miami Beach Marina, gotta love South Beach, really. We ended up staying there for a couple of days so my client could visit a spa and some friends. I ate lots of stone crab claws and drank my share of rum.
Tomorrow, the rest of the story and why it took two attempts to cross the Stream….