Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tomorrow We Go - Belay That No We Don't

Tomorrow We Go2011 01 19
Vero Beach FL

On Friday the 14th of January we moved from Melbourne to Vero Beach.

To keep our displacement low and our waterline high in the shallow waters of the Melbourne River we arrived in Vero with no water, no food and little fuel.  Each of these required remedy.

Forecast winds were out of the North so we saw no profit in hurrying with the provisioning. Strong north winds scuttle a gulf stream crossing.  Friday I jugged ten gallons of water from the fuel dock to Meredith to hold us over.  Saturday, a short hours bus service day in Vero, we did a basic grocery and spent the day working on systems checks and meeting our neighbours. Nice neighbours meant we did a lot more of the latter than the former.

No sooner did we get to work in earnest than a dinghy stopped by with Chris and Frank from Melodeon of Halifax the whimsical homebuilt steel junk rigged schooner we met at Vero last year.  Arrangements were made for a reunion.

Sunday morning the fuel dock was open and we took full advantage to fill with diesel, gasoline and water.  The rest of the day was spent desultorily working on systems, sleeping in and having fun.  An art show at the impressive local gallery (the building was impressive, sadly not much of the art joined it) provided an excuse to walk a couple of miles and the day was ended with drinks in the cockpit for both of us and a cigar for me.

We arranged with Enterprise to rent a car on Monday for the Grand Provisioning Run.  A word of advice here - if you book your car reservation online you always get a better price than if you call the Enterprise office.

Provisioning was done in good order.  The Budget Committee had a list and I was unable to augment her meagre estimate of foodstuffs needed for three months asea.  The BC always buys food as if her appetite were the governing factor.  This leaves me short rations by a factor of two or three.

Not that I have ever actually starved to death.

During the breaks in incessant conehead attacks on Sam's Club we did some weather planning.

Weather was great - a three day window from Wednesday to Friday.  How could you miss.

Here's how:

1.   On Tuesday morning a cold front was forecast for Wed night/ Thursday morning.  It was mild and winds were not to exceed 5 to 8 knots.  Following that however was a decent blow scheduled for Saturday.  North winds of the 20 knot variety attended the latter cold front.  Strong North winds kill a gulf stream crossing unless you are having shake and bake for dinner.  Lots of time from Wed to Friday to cross to Bahamas.

2.  On Wednesday morning the second cold front had advanced more rapidly than forecast 12 hours earlier and was now scheduled for Friday evening arrival.  Still lots of time if we left Wednesday or Thursday early.

3. By Wednesday afternoon passage of the cold front was pegged for very early Friday morning.  Winds were still predicted to be very strong during the passage of the front and remained out of  the north at uncomfortable velocities for an extended period.

Here's the kicker: after the front passed temperatures in the area we hoped to drop anchor were predicted to also drop - to the low 40s farenheit.

So now we had a medium to large cold front growing in intensity bearing down on us at increasing speeds and leaving our best hope to cross like mad to beat the front and hope we did not freeze to death after it passed.

Instead we will mosey down the eastern seaboard a bit further and see how the weather pans out next week.

Still hunting for warm weather.

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