If we didn't still have a million things to do, we should leave right now. But. We still have water tanks to fill, laundry to do, and we need to take the truck to storage. So. Instead of leaving when the window opens, we'll leave tomorrow as it's starting to close.
There's only so much worrying that can be done. We can wait for another window, which is at least a week away. Or. We can take this window, knowing it's less than perfect.
Less than perfect means sailing into this prediction for zone AMZ450:
East winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 3 to 4 feet. A moderate chop on the intracoastal waters.
It's almost delightful sailing conditions. Almost. Predict Wind has this on the wave state for Wednesday in St. Mary's
E 3ft at 5s period
Since we're going S, wind and waves from the E means it can be a bit of a roll to starboard with each wave.
The waves start humping up Tuesday evening, and build overnight, so there will be growing unpleasantness on the four watches that include my sunset, CA's dog watch, my night watch, and CAs dawn watch.
Once the sun comes up again, we'll be able to see the horizon and it's not so bad on our tummies. We won't be out of the slop until almost noon.
From top-to-bottom we have the sky (moon and cloudy for a while), wind speed (generally 11-12 is green because it's nice) and direction (NE, mostly) The bottom three rows (in blue) are wave height, direction, and period.
The middle section has a blank row for rainfall, then cloud cover, then lightning.
The bottom section is pressure (millibars), temperature (14-15°C) and then the bad news: wave height, wave direction, and period of the swell. Below that is tide information. It's a 6' tide, so we need to make sure we have an extra 30' of scope.
I can worry. And I can plan for sporty conditions: some bashing around below decks for that one offshore night.
Because the departing forecast from Charleston has E winds 9-11, we can jib-and-jigger during the daylight hours. And maybe put the mizzen back up Wednesday morning to damp down the rolling a little.
We decided not to attempt it.
Here's the forecast from Chris Parker's Marine Weather Center.
Charleston-StMarys: L&V or S-W under 10k/2-3' Today; L&V<N-NE up to 20g25k/3-6' late Tonight-Tue1 morning; NE-E@10-20g25k/3-6' Tue1 afternoon-night; NE-E<SE@10-18g23k/2-5' Wed2; SE<S@15-23g30k/4-7' Wed2 night-Thu3; S-SW@16-25g33k/5-8' Thu3 night-Fri4.
Decoding the Wednesday arrival section, NE-E<SE@10-18g23k/2-5' Wed2:
Wind clocking from NE-E to SE — into our face.
Wind speed 10-18 is great. We like that.
Gusting to 23 is okay. We can cope with that.
Waves 2-5′. Nope. We're not feeling it.
It's not going to be horrible in St. Mary's.
Just to make it especially irritating, the conditions have settled quite a bit overnight. The forecast from predictwind.com suggests 4' seas, overnight wind 7-17 with no significant gusts. So. If the trend continues. we should have left this morning.
It's always 50/50 proposition on better than forecast or worse than forecast. And a marginal forecast means the a "somewhat worse than predicted" outcome is really unpleasant.
It's cold. We're using shore power most of the day to run heaters. Yes, it will be a bit warmer in St. Mary's, but an overnight low of 9°C (50°F) is really cold.
The next likely window will be Sunday or Monday; we won't be scrambling to top off water tanks or drop off the truck.