|Preparing to Face the Weather|
We had only been out a week and were already waiting out a second storm; first at Block Island and then in Cape May. Our southward journey continued with stops at anchorages in the Cohassey River, Turner Creek, Back Creek, Oxford Marina, Tred Avon, Spring Cove in Solomon’s Island, Deltaville, and a couple of days plugged into heat the Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth, VA. We had the opportunity to visit with friends along the way which is the best part of the trip. We are finding that boats have emptied out of the harbors, leaves have mostly fallen from the trees, nights are chilly, and daylight hours are too brief.
Each time we set out, we never know how the trip will feel or what our attention will drawn to. We struggle with the desire for each sailing adventure to be new and unique and try to avoid repeating prior experiences – even though we’ve visited wonderful places and met lovely people. This time, our focus seems to be about how difficult it is to leave family and about the weather patterns arriving this fall. The easier of the two to deal with is the more complex one, weather. We make decisions based on how much risk/discomfort we are willing to endure, whether the wind will carry us in the right direction, or if it’s time to just sit and wait for more favorable conditions.
|Murray Finding his Own Seat|
Having accurate weather information to base our go/no go decisions upon is essential and we currently have series of resources that we are pretty happy with. We use Passage Weather Offshore for weather routing and departure planning, WeatherNet to download GRIB files (small maps), and a range of text based reports, NOAA (National Weather Service) for its mammoth data-base. Recently, we contracted with Chris Parker, a marine meteorologist who emails a detailed, region specific analysis of the weather for the area that we are sailing. We highly recommend his services!
We are settling back into the boat way of life. While we miss our family in New England we are moving every day closer to our Charleston family. We are anxious to spend December at Charleston City Marina near Jason, Meredith and Liam before we leave them too soon and sail to Florida. Our good friends, Anne and Tony who “buddy boated” many miles with us aboard S/V Argosea, will hop onboard in Miami and we’ll make our way to Key West where we wait for a weather window to make the passage to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for February-March.
While tied up in Portsmouth/Norfolk, we rented a car and drove to visit our good friends in Richmond for a few days. Spending time with them is always a highlight of our trip south. Today we move through the Great Bridge Lock while trying to keep warm during this cold front passing through. We saw snow flurries yesterday which is great motivation to get moving south. Today we inch our way toward our destination.