"...That I shall say good night till it be morrow."
Today: laundry, last-minute supplies, weather.
We'll miss Miami. In particular, the last two nights were beautiful. The three of four days previous, however, were gusty and crappy. The Dinner Key Mooring field is a world of extremes: flip-flopping between right awful and beautiful.
We are looking forward to leaving. We're excited about early summer in the Cheasapeake: 1000 nm away: a big trip.
We're thinking about late summer (July and August) in New England. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We have to get the the Cheasapeake, first.
Just read this in Salon, Sunday: "My generation, living on the road". Captures a great deal of the cruising lifestyle nicely. Replace "tires" with "zincs" and it applies to us.
We have three likely scenarios for our Voyage to the Chesapeake:
Steady winds plus Gulf Stream. A mixture of motoring and sailing at over 6 kt; we make the entire thing in four days.
L&V (Light and Variable) winds. We motor around the clock. We'll have to stop in Fernandina Beach for fuel. That will turn the voyage into two three-day passages. At least a week of elapsed time.
Sea-sickness. We're force to bail out in any of the various navigable inlets along the easy coast. That will stretch the passage out by one or more days.
The more days we take, the more likely we are to encounter the next weather system spinning off the Atlantic Coast. Currently, our weather window closes in Saturday. In which case, the trip could become three weeks.
Here's some locations tracked by WindFinder.com.
Departing on Tuesday: http://www.windfinder.com/forecast/fowey_rocks.
Wednesday, Cape Caneveral: http://www.windfinder.com/forecast/canaveral_east_buoy.
Thursday, (possibly) Fernanina Beach: http://www.windfinder.com/forecast/fernandina_beach_buoy.
After that, we're too far into the future for meaningful forecasts.
We're waiting for our daily email from Chris Parker at http://www.caribwx.com to (hopefully) confirm our Tuesday departure.
We create a fairly detailed float plan. It's emailed to a number of family members. The Venerable Great Aunt Diane is our designated worrier. She gets the Spot Tracker messages at noon and midnight. (There may be no displayable messages on our public page if we haven't moved in a week.)
She can also monitor our progress on our new Spot Walla trip page. We've closed out our winter migration southbound trip and opened a new northbound trip.
We've found that four-hour watches work for us. CA gets 04:00, noon, 20:00. I get midnight, 08:00, 16:00. It's a little difficult to take my after-lunch nap on the first day out, but it's really important for me to sleep from noon to 16:00 so that I get start the 4-on/4-off rhythm as soon as possible.
CA has been rearranging the galley. Cooking underway is quite different from cooking at anchor. She's decided to make some stowage optimizations. The fancy sauces and condiments are not what we reach for underway. The snacks and easy-to-prepare Rice-a-Roni variants are what we want.
We're going to empty the Nature's Head one final time and put in a fresh coir brick. We're also going to fill the water tanks. This is done by pulling into the temporary slip that the Dinner Key Mooring Field maintains for this express purpose. We'll do that Tuesday morning as we depart.