Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Marathon, Florida
24 42.40 081 N 05.68 W

A strong cold front came through here last night.  It didn't bring any rain, but it did bring lots of wind and cold.  Cold is relative; and that's my subject today.

Last night in other parts of Florida the temperature dropped to the 20s.  Here in Marathon the low temperature was only 60.  Nevertheless, the cold is the major topic of discussion on the Cruisers Net this morning.  Nobody is leaving the harbor, and many people are planning to stay on board all day rather then venture out in their dinghies.   Libby and I aren't much different; although Libby was brave enough to go out for groceries first thing.

I remember when we used to sneer at Floridians who complained incessantly about cold temperatures. Well, we are now like them.  Some people would say we're spoiled.  Others say our blood has thinned.  I won't argue. Another word for the same thing is adaptation.

It is pretty amazing how fast we adapted to balmy temperatures since we started cruising.  Our migration habits keep us in the balmy zone.  Basically, 25 degrees north latitude in winter and 45 degrees north latitude in summer.   In spring and fall as we migrate, we tend to follow the balmy temperature band without specifically trying to do so.  

In the past, we've been well adapted to cold.  Both of us grew up in upstate New York where there's plenty of cold and snow to go around.  I remember playing hockey on the river in -45F (-42C) weather.  I felt fine.  However, we never did adapt to excessive heat.  Most of our lives we've lived in places where we did not have air conditioning, nor was it needed.

I wonder if our preferences for moderate temperature played a role in choosing the cruising life.  Down here in Tarwathie's cabin, the water line is up to our hips.  That moderates extremes naturally because water temperature does not go up and down as much as air temperature.  Never once in 7 years have we had a night on Tarwathie when it was too uncomfortably hot to sleep.  On nights when it's cold, we simply add another blanket; that's much simpler.  We do have a cabin heater, but we've never run it through a night.

We've been talking lately about how nice the Rio Dulce in Guatemala sounds.  It would be very nice to spend a summer there.  Before doing that, we would have to find a way to get air conditioning.


  1. I'll let you in on a powerboater's secret, Dick. Reverse cycle A/C. It's wonderful. It's 35* here in Annapolis with the wind blowing 17 MPH, and our main saloon is 69*. You need 110 volts to run it though. Not a problem for us since we're always teathered to a dock, at least so far, but would be if you like to anchor out all the time.

  2. Dick this may be a distressing observation. Over the last 2 winters January 3rd has heralded a dramatic change in the weather pattern in Marathon Fl. On Jan 3 2010 a warm winter turned bitterly cold and stayed cold. On January 3 2011, a bitterly cold winter turned warm and stayed warm. So on January 3 2012 a warm winter turned bitterly cold and ......... I certainly hope the pattern does not repeat for you and Libby!


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