A PERIPATETIC JOURNEY
not all who wander are lost
While in West Palm Beach, we continuously checked the general weather forecast, the wind and swell forecast, and the weather in the Bahamas so we could plan our crossing. Finally, it looked like we had a weather window starting in the wee hours of Thanksgiving Day. The forecast was for 5-10 knot easterly winds and 2-4 foot wave heights with occasional 5 foot waves. It seemed very manageable. So we topped off our fuel and water and traveled up Lake Worth to find a spot to anchor close to the inlet. Our plan was to leave at midnight, travel southeast for about 10 nautical miles, then tack to the northeast and head toward Memory Rock in the Bahamas. From there we would make our way across the bank to Great Sale Cay and begin our adventure in the Abacos.
We set our alarm for 11:30, checked the weather one more time, and got up to make coffee. The anchor was up by midnight and we headed into the inlet. The waves in the inlet were high and steep and it was a rough ride out to the ocean. Once in the ocean, it became clear that the forecast had not been very accurate. The wind was from the expected direction, but it was 10-15 knots higher. We continued on our planned course for a bit, hoping things would calm down. Despite the preventative doses of motion sickness medications, it wasn’t long before Marin was throwing up in the sink and Kendall was hanging over the lifelines. The waves were big and more uncomfortable the closer we got to the Gulf Stream. Finally, we decided to take advantage of the building east winds by turning toward South Florida. We had a great sail on this new course and arrived in Biscayne Bay by Friday afternoon. The crossing would have to wait.
We didn’t go to shore during our two-night/two-day stay in Biscayne Bay, but we did take the dinghy to a sandbar to snorkel. This was the first time we had been able to swim in clear, warm, turquoise blue water and it felt like a big milestone. Later, we explored the mangroves fringing the bay and found a narrow channel that was just wide enough for the dinghy. Before the mosquitos drove us back out, we saw some interesting fish in the still, clear waters.
McGlynn family 5 (Isla, Marin, Eoin, Kendall, and Brian) sailing Counting Stars