Bending West through the Keys

We took off from Key Biscayne bright and early, having checked the weather forecast again that morning and comparing what they said to what we saw. Sure…looks about right. The very end of the ebb gnawed the sea into sharp, short peaks and, after an hour and the turn we were hoping would open up our possibilities, we realized that the wind was too far south of east and too weak/flukey to be sailed down Hawk Channel. The irritating chop and the mainsail that continually threatened to flog met up with our strong desire not to motor all day and we…turned around. Going back anywhere is not our first instinct. Finding that a weather forecast was just wrong enough to create miserable conditions and adapting to that, though? We learned that lesson on S/V Sovereign Nation in the Puget Sound, when we had pointed the boat at Sidney, BC, but we finally realized that we were not impervious to the facts. Sometimes the facts are that misery lies in one direction and happiness in the other. We chose happiness. Not only did it turn into teatime-in-the-cockpit conditions as soon as we turned around, we were immediately able to finish the engine. We downwinded all the way back to the anchorage area off Biscayne, bypassing the far-out spot we’d taken during the Miami boat show clusterfuck. A good sized gap between boats presented itself a full quarter of a mile closer to the shore-access basin (called No Name Harbor…yawn), and I (Dena), being the one at the helm, made the executive decision (after consultation with James) that we would anchor under sail rather than torture ourselves and Beluga Greyfinger with the infernal combustion engine. The maneuver was a complete success, though it didn’t look or feel as elegant as I’d hoped.[…]

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Southing once again

It’s almost as if Lyle Hess designed the Fatty Knees 8 to plug into the Baba 30! I can’t believe how perfectly this boat fits into our fore triangle! The sail from Fk. Lauderdale to Key Biscayne was an absolute pleasure in a cool fresh breeze on all points of a starboard tack. It was a perfect opportunity to test the sailing dynamic of the boat with Tursiops on the bow. 31.7 nautical miles in 8 hours and 4 minutes making an average speed of 3.95 knots with a max speed of 6.9 knots. We pulled and shook both reefs throughout the day. Like I (James) said… Perfect!

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Sometimes…

…the weirdest shit happens! Like that time in Rockland (just a few months ago in July ’22) when the four drunk dudes in a plastic-destroyer rowed up on us in the middle of the night, blowing my eyes out with a bright-assed strobe light, telling me to give them some gasoline…instead I (James) grabbed a large blunt object and told them to fuck off. …or that time in Southwest Harbor when we got hit by a drifting lobster boat with me on the fender and Dena on the “What the actual fuck, dude!?” The weirdest shit just happens sometimes on the water. Last night for example. Here we are in Lake Sylvia, anchored at about 6:1 in tight quarters, completely surrounded by giant Catamorons…oh, my favorite. We had gales headed our way but enough protection that we didn’t expect rough water. I (Dena) would always want to be on at least 10:1 scope for high winds, but anchorages are sparse in Fort Lauderdale and this one is hella popular. We were all settled in for the night and it was taking me (James) way too long to cook up those baby-bellas when all of the sudden we heard the tell-tale sound of people yelling at each other. …great. I went out on deck to discover a sailboat had dragged her anchor into the bulkhead of a very expensive McMansion and somehow managed to fend off before destroying too much of the local high-end property. They were underway, in the dark, with one running light out and starting to yell at each other. From our boat I could tell they were a young binary couple. The woman was at the helm and the man was on the bow. They tried four…maybe five times to anchor to no avail when they were[…]

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