Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Frustration

No Name Harbor, N 25 40 37 W 80 09 48

Yesterday we decided to move to Biscayne Bay in search of other cruisers waiting to make the jump to the Bahamas. We needed some fuel and water, so Libby found a place called Crandon Park Marina in the Skipper Bob book. We rented a mooring there and Libby went to shore to do laundry and take a shower. She was soon back, saying, "No laundry. No shower." We felt cheated. Oh well, live and learn.

Today we tried again. First we went to "Hurricane Hole." It is supposed to be one of the more popular layover spots for cruisers to wait for a crossing to The Bahamas. When we got there, the place was empty. Not a single boat was anchored there. Uh Oh. I think we really missed the season.

We continued on a short way to this place. No Name Harbor is part of a Florida state park. Here there are a dozen or so other boats. We took advantage of it to walk around some of the park's nature trails.

I made the rounds to the other boats asking if they were crossing to The Bahamas, how long they have been waiting and how long they expect until the weather breaks. The results were discouraging. Many of them have been waiting here for 2 to 3 weeks waiting for the weather to break. Further, those with access to paid weather forecasts say that the present pattern won't change for more than a week. One guy has been here since March 1 and he plans to wait until April 1.

I'm afraid that's too much for my patience, and Libby's too. I know that real cruisers are supposed to wait up to 2 months for the right weather, but we're not there yet.
We're planning to leave tomorrow for Marathon in the keys. Down there we may still hook up with some buddy boats to cross to Bahamas, but maybe not. Either way we'll be in a place that we like to spend time.

This could change all our plans for the coming year. That's uncertain for now, but what is certain is that we're heading south on Thursday or Friday.

By the way, Biscayne Bay is a delightful place for just plain sailing. It is bigger than Lake Champlain, but there seem to be very few boats around. Today we saw only a half dozen or so. Even on weekends it seems to be a lot of space for so few boats. Part of the reason is that it is too shallow for most of the big fish, so fishermen aren't attracted to it so much.

If Tarwathie drew only 4 feet of draft rather than 5.5, we could go down the bay to Marathon on the inside. That route is a lot more scenic with nice places to stop on the way. Unfortunately, we can't so we'll go on the outside using Hawk Channel. We may stop in Key Largo for snorkeling or we may go non stop all the way to Marathon.

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