To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Ph. IV, day 20, The Conch Republic

Steadfastly moored in the Garrison Bight Mooring Field. Our location is 24°34.704′N 081°47.151′W.

You can -- in a way -- see the waves rolling through here. There are whitecaps. Which means the dinghy ride will be a Splashwater Kingdom water-slide. Except salty.

Waves in the Mooring Field
Waves Rolling Through the Mooring Field

The weather continues to be scary for the next few days. We are not attempting to rig the dinghy, and are playing quietly on Red Ranger.

Small Craft Advisories keep us out of the dinghy.

Here's yesterday's ("Wed20") forecast:

SW FL (between KeyWest and FtMyers):
ENE@15-24g30/5-7' today;
ENE@12-25g32/5-7' Thu21-Fri22;
ENE-ESE@10-22g27/4-7' Sat23;
ENE-ESE@10-20g25/3-6' Sun24

Nothing less than 3-6' seas for the next four days. We'll be moving to a marina slip on Tuesday, the 26th for water, laundry, groceries, and fuel. Until then, we'll be cowering out here in the mooring field.

We might try to venture ashore Sunday or Monday if it lays down. I'm optimistic that it will be much nicer then. I have a feeling we'll regret not leaving for the Dry Tortugas on Tuesday.

I think it's important is to have a full tank of fuel and full tanks of water before we go. That we, we don't have to sweat too many details of how long we'll stay and how we'll get back.

Ideally, with favorable winds, we won't use much fuel. On the other hand, our motor-sailing habits mean we'll burn a ton of fuel by waiting for flat conditions.

Waiting for Weather

CA asked how many days we've been waiting on weather.

Good question. Let's review by phase.

I. Chesapeake to Charleston. We started 13 Oct 2021. These phases ended 29 days later on 11 Nov 2021 in Charleston. Of those 29 days, at least 15 were waiting for weather. There's not a lot of sight-seeing here. A day in Belhaven, a day in Manteo, a few days in New Bern.

II. Off the boat.

III. Charleston to Key Biscayne. We waited for weather from 31 Jan 2022 to 7 Feb, before this phase really started. I called 8 Feb day 1 of this phase. We spent 10 days at New Smyrna Beach. Then 5 days in Jensen's Beach. The 19 days at Stuart aren't really weather days, since they're waiting for parts days. Of the 53 days, 15 were kind of weather, kind of sight-seeing. The other 19 were parts.

IV. To The Keys. This phase started 2 Apr 2022, and is going on until we leave for the Dry Tortugas. It's day 20, and we've spent about

There seem to be three aspects to this life.

  1. Moving the boat. This is less than 1/4 our time. It takes some care and preparation.

  2. Seeing the place we're in. This varies, and can be close to 1/2 our time. It requires a combination of fair weather to get to shore, or a dock, and a place to see.

  3. Waiting for weather without being able to do much else. This seems to be about 1/4 of our time. It's the most frustrating here in Key West where the shore is only a mile away.

The distinction between sight-seeing and waiting is nuanced. In parts of eastern North Carolina, there's no sight-seeing choice, since we were surrounded by wilderness, and couldn't go ashore. Also, in the Garrison Bight Mooring field behind Key West, the mile long dinghy ride is intimidating when there are small craft advisories and the wind is gusting into the 20's.

In other places, like the dock at Stuart or the anchorage in New Smyrna beach, land is close by and readily accessible, and we can frolic on shore as much as we want.