Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ah, Love Florida

Eau Gallie, FL
28 07.955 N 080 37.417 W

Yesterday we had a reminder of just how nice Florida weather can be. In the late afternoon, I stepped out of the Brevard County Library in Cocoa. I was surprised to find myself in the midst of a thunderstorm. It was raining and the palm trees were swaying.

Most striking, I looked down the street which ended at the waterfront. There was a sailboat at anchor framed in the street. It was rocking violently from side to side. More impressive, the water was churned into a froth. There were so many whitecaps, that it must have been blowing 40 or 50 or 60 knots. But this whole scene was illuminated in brilliant sunlight which made the whitecaps brilliant in their whiteness. Instead of a grey ominous black cloud hiding the sun, it was nearly sunset and looking west the sky was a lovely blue. The low sun was illuminating everything under that thunderstorm. It was a great view.

Low sun and rain is also the signal for a rainbow. I looked and sure enough there was a brilliant rainbow. (No pictures, apologies.)

Five minutes later the wind and rain stopped, and the rainbow became a double rainbow visible to the east. Four hours later we were treated to a fantastic view of the moon risking and illuminating the still waters in the Indian River Lagoon. This morning, the sky is clear, it is warmer (maybe 70F, nice but jacket weather for Floridians), and there was a delightful 15 knot NW breeze allowing us to sail to Eau Gallie. This section of the Indian River is wide enough and deep enough to allow us to sail Most sections of the ICW are not sailing friendly.

For non-boating readers let me explain that thunderstorms with high winds are only a slight threat to boaters. That is because the strong winds only last 5-10 minutes and that is not long enough for the waves to become big. Weather systems with strong winds sustained for hours is what we seek to shelter ourselves from. For example, right now four miles to the east of us is the Atlantic Ocean. There is a storm out there kicking up huge waves. So although the local weather is nice, it would be very uncomfortable to be offshore in Florida right now.

On the social side, we spent a day being tourists in New Smyrna Beach, and also a tourist day in Cocoa. We had not seen much of New Smyrna before. It is very nice. There is a public floating dock that makes access easy.

We also had the pleasure of having lunch with high school friends Kerry and Suzette. Tonight we'll visit friends Dave and Jonnie. Along the ICW we are meeting numerous boats who are friends from past years. The whole scene is very social.

What's not to like?



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