After several days of watching the guys reconstruct the mast and rigging of S/V Lotha it was time to sail toward our next destination; Ft Lauderdale.
The weather remained chilly with extremely uncomfortable winds. There would be no coffee today. We went for a strong espresso and foul weather gear.
**It’s not always paradise out here. It gets wet. It gets windy. It gets cold. Salt life. It’s still worth it.
Winds were predicted over 20 knots with gusts up to 35 knots today. We opted to stay in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to have a less choppy day of sailing. Our next inlet will probably be bypassed as well, due to the winds and wave chop in the ocean.
As I stand in the cockpit trying to get warm and motivated, Tom yells “Are we having fun yet?” Of course, let’s do this! I reply.
**I look down to see that we are tied off to Nomads stern. I haven’t had enough caffeine to understand what is going on or want to even ask why. I’m sure they have it under control.
We left the Ft Pierce anchorage due south through the ICW, hoping to find the predicted sunshine and warmer weather by afternoon.
**As many times as I had been to the beaches of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia; I never knew the ICW even existed!
We were trailing behind Nomad and Lotha for the first part of the windy and cold morning. Within an hour, Mic (Lotha) hailed us on the VHF radio to inform WIllow that he had lost a fender overboard.
Willow jumped in the dinghy to go grab it for him before it drifted too far, as those things are expensive!
We later ended up sailing behind Nomad and in front of Lotha. Then, somehow, we lost one of our fenders overboard. What are the odds? We didn’t get ours back but was not stressing it. It’s life at sea. We’re use to losing a few items overboard at this point.
The weather was wrong, confused or both. It was overcast and windy with a little salty wave spray along the way all day.
After the winds picked up, Willow reiterates how sailing in windy weather does have a plus side. He said “Foul weather is the best part of sailing yet the worst part of sailing.” How true that is.
**During high winds we get great speeds and keel over smoothly; it’s the sport of sailing. Yet, too much wind can make for sailing sideways too much, too long; all while holding on trying to keep the course.
Willow had the sails reefed all afternoon. The jib was able to stabilize the boat at times, when it wasn’t taking on too much wind. We made our way through the ICW with not much change in the wind until we reached Jupiter Island.
As we navigated through Jupiter Island we could see the mangroves up close on our port side (which led to the ocean and sandy beaches on the other side of them).
The waves started turning into a calm channel while the Mangroves blocked the easterly winds.
Meanwhile, on our starboard side was the backyards of beautiful multi-million dollar homes lined down the channel.
The wind and waves finally took a much-needed break. After the wind gusts today, it felt like we would be blown to the planet Jupiter instead of the Jupiter anchorage.
We made it in time for dinner and watching the S/V Delos Live Stream from Ft Lauderdale before the next storm rolled in. I had really been hoping we would make it there in time to meet the crew of S/V Delos. I also knew and accepted things doesn’t always go as planned when sailing.
When the sails go up and the engine goes off, there is nothing like it. Nothing but the sound of winds and waves. No screen saver or soundtrack can compare to this.
The ocean can bring so much excitement. It is truly salt life.
“Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and water as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself. Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in return a joyous and peace that but few sports afford”.
~George Matthew Adams