Well, hellish winter storms for all our friends up north. Just chilly here in Vero Beach.
The Whitby sandwich is great because our friends are right next door. Want to chat with the neighbors? Bang on their hull.
But the last two days have been rough on Red Ranger.
The piece of string on the left side, holding the flap of steel? That's a piece of Red Ranger that has been broken off because we're bouncing against Dream Ketcher.
We had already taken quite a beating on the starboard side. Now we have to take the repairs a little more seriously.
We've been looking closely at the weather since Monday. We're not postponing the trip south, we're waiting for optimal weather. We don't have to be in Miami until Tuesday, the 18th. We can leave as late as Monday and still (barrely) make it.
The Friday weather looks good to us. But not to the crew of Dream Ketcher. We'll defer to folks with more experience and wait 24 hours.
The WindFinder.com weather is a bit more accurate. This link, in particular shows some details the that National Weather Service omits.
Saturday shows slightly more wind than Friday, but a flatter sea state. They predict 3-4 feet with a 7-second period on Friday. A slightly nicer 2-3 feet with a 10-second period is predicted for Saturday. A longer period means less "jerky rocking and rolling" and more "slowly rising and falling."
The NWS forecast looks like this for a Saturday to Sunday trip down to Miami.
This is the Saturday departure (AMZ555) zone.
Saturday: West winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 3 to 4 feet. A moderate chop on the intracoastal waters.
Saturday Night: North winds 10 to 15 knots diminishing to 5 to 10 knots after midnight. Seas 3 to 4 feet. A light chop on the intracoastal waters.
Sunday: Northeast winds 5 to 10 knots. Seas 3 to 4 feet. A light chop on the intracoastal waters.
This is the Sunday arrival (AMZ651) zone.
Saturday: West northwest winds 12 to 17 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Dominant period 4 seconds. Intracoastal waters a light chop.
Saturday Night: Northwest winds 6 to 11 knots becoming north northeast 5 to 10 knots after midnight. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Dominant period 5 seconds. Intracoastal waters a light chop.
Sunday: Northeast winds 5 to 10 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Dominant period 0 seconds. Intracoastal waters a light chop.
It will start out a bit sporty on Saturday, but then settle down by Sunday to really fun sailing conditions.