Watching A Weather Window

With the icy miserable polar vortex gripping the central US, it’s difficult for us to believe we’re not going to get walloped a couple days from now.  But the forecast continues to hold at wonderful after Wednesday and Thursday go by.  Keeping our fingers crossed, we’d like to get out of the marina for longer than just a week.  Not sure where we’re going, although definitely not farther than the Keys.  Problem with the Keys in February is the coastal water temperature is 71 degrees and while that seems warm in the middle of a polar vortex, it’s not really warm enough to snorkel for any length of time – at least not for me.   So this adventure is just to get out of the marina for awhile.

Heading out the channel from Burnt Store Marina

Heading out the channel from Burnt Store Marina

We’ve been watching a window that we thought started on Thursday for a few days now.  But the cold front isn’t going to get here quite as quick as originally predicted and now it’s spilling over into Thursday, so the window looks like it starts on Friday.  BUT, Friday through the next 7 days looks benign featuring low 80’s daytime temps and around 60 at night.  WOOHOO!  We can go sailing!

When watching a weather window, we always watch not only where we are, but where we think we might be going.  So every morning, I look first at the weather.com 10 day forecast for where we are and somewhere else (in this case Marathon in the FL Keys).  Then if we’re serious about leaving the dock,  we print out the Windfinder forecasts for the area – I printed out Boca Grande, Marco Island, NW Florida Bay and Marathon.  Printing out just the local forecast can be deceiving because wind even 100 miles south can be a different direction.

Sunset at Glovers Bight

Sunset at Glovers Bight

We do know that there’s 11 hours of daylight right now, and if you add another half hour on either side of sunrise/sunset for twilight, we have 12 hours of light.  Allowing an hour or two for “emergency” purposes, that gives us about 10 hours of daylight … or 50 miles a day for Winterlude.  So we can hop down the coast, or just sail overnight to the Keys.  Hmmm… the bad thing about sailing overnight is the crab pots in the area.  We caught one once and it wasn’t a pleasant experience, but we’ll see…

But for now, all’s looking good for Friday, just not exactly sure where we’ll go yet.

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