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Where’s a snowshovel when you need it?

12 Jan

Epic snow (for Portland), with overnight accumulation of nearly a foot! Poor Tango sank down several inches below her waterline, and the bimini and trampoline have new stretch marks.

Need to shovel off the snow, but don’t have one waiting in the forward hold? Why would we – this is Portland after all. We thought our days of bitter, snowy Maryland winters worrying about de-icing, shoveling, winterizing engines and buying bubblers were behind us. 

No worries! A dust bin, a collander and a squeegee will also do. Sailors can find many uses for an item, or necessity is the mother of invention, right? 

With Tango a few pounds lighter, some of the crew took a school break to throw a few snowballs and bound with the crazy dogs. Some of the other crew just hid under afghans and wished for warmer weather. 😊

Fogust has arrived

30 Jul

This week we do the weather dance, trying to pick a favorable window for the Strait, the coast, and the bar. Very early Wednesday was looking promising for a while until the fog rolled in. August on the coast here is often referred to as Fogust…cute. On its own, fog is not a show stopper as we have AIS and radar, but with gusty (even gale) winds on the Strait on Tuesday night, we decided to wait. No need to bash around blind in shipping lanes!
We have also become childless, as the girls decided to go camping in Bend with family for a long weekend instead of sailing with us. Deserters…

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Fog hides the breakwater and the mountains of Vancouver Island

Weather plans

21 Apr

Originally we had planned to sail up to Fort Lauderdale over the weekend to stay downtown on the New River for a week or so. On Friday we changed our minds, and decided to wait a few extra days, as the weather was going to be a bit unsettled. Not crazy bad weather…but since we aren’t in a hurry why not wait for fair sailing conditions? Peyton grinned and said that she’d wished something would happen so we would stay here longer.

Glad we did, because this is what woke us up early on Saturday morning! Great time to be sitting under a 55 foot metal pole, right? Yes, it is spring time in Florida.

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The red means heavy thunderstorm activity, tornado warnings, etc.

Remember that trimaran I mentioned a few days ago? Just when the storm died down we were all jolted by a bump as it ran into our starboard hull. No damage to either boat, thankfully, but we and a fellow cruiser boat stayed out in our cockpits keeping our eyes on that skittish vessel for a while. It didn’t come back for a second round, and the winds settled out after dawn.

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With no weighty keel, this trimaran slips all over the place

Later when we got to shore we saw a sailboat being brought to dock by Seatow. Turns out that the storm had broken it off the mooring, and grounded it on the small barrier island between us and Biscane Bay. Poor boat still sits at dock with its mooring bridle and chain hanging off the bow. Would not want to be the mooring staff making that call to the absent owner!

Easter was a beautiful and clear day, and we enjoyed the lovely weather with a Thai food brunch and some bubbles off the sugar scoops. Clearly it’s a hardship on all of us to hang out in Coconut Grove a few extra days.

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Ronald McDonald feet

1 Nov

So, the plan was a nice(ish) outside run on moderate seas overnight to Miami. We got out through the channel in Fort Pierce into the ocean and discovered that the swells weren’t the predicted two to four feet, nor were they moderating down as also predicted. Over the morning, they continued to increase. After too many hours bashing rising winds (up to 22 knots), and seas increasing to six to eight feet, we pronounced uncle.

We ducked in off the ocean through the St. Lucie inlet, and are now continuing down the ICW to the north end of Lake Worth. The weather isn’t supposed to moderate for a gulf stream crossing again until later next week, so we are toying with doing the ditch AGAIN or doing a coastal run on Saturday down to Miami and waiting for things to calm a bit. This is why you never cruise/sail with deadlines, as the weather doesn’t care, or follow any predictions.

The harbor master in Vero Beach laughingly told us that the measurements for sea state aren’t measured in standard feet, they are measured in Ronald McDonald feet. How true!

Here is one of the calm moments.