As many of you know we are treating this trip as a delivery. In the boating world there are deliveries- go straight, get there as fast as possible- and there are lifestyle holidays - mosey along waiting for weather windows and poking in shops in little towns. In order to move onto the boat (as a long term lifestyle choice) we had to come up with a plan to support ourselves. Snow birds travel to 2 prime locals (in the states) Florida and Arizona. Arizona has a troublesome lack of oceanfront, so Florida became the target. For where the snowbirds go so go the seasonal employment opportunities. To this end I have a 6 month contract with a start date awaiting me in Florida. So you see the problem. A firm start date takes the joie d'vive out of this little trip South. Each time the wind is on our nose, the bridge tender tyrannical or the log only reading 4 knots we get nervous. Nervous stressed and grumpy.
Separately and together we have completed this trip before - in both capacities- delivery and holiday. As a holiday it is great fun to walk to a small town grocery store, exploring local life along the way. In contrast the delivery might be tiring and tough but the end greets you with a handful of cash and a plane ticket home.
So the plan was to take the ICW through North Carolina, making the 50 miles a day we could accomplish with the little sunlight available (another source of grumpiness) and thus not have to wait for a weather window around Cape Hatteras. But here we are South of Hatteras, and the forecasted weather has not materialized. We are motoring into the wind in big sloppy seas making 2-3 knots with many miles to go and little time to get there.
Should we take Okeechobee? Should we get back into the ICW at the next possible cut - knowing it will take thirteen 50 mile days just to get to the beginning of Okeechobee in Ft Pierce?
It's midnight, and the Coast Guard is busy on 16 with a disabled commercial fish boat and an unidentified vessel taking on water.
Knock on mahogany and thank Neptune.
The seas laid down and the wind clocked around and at 0200 the jib and mizzen went up, at 0630 the main was hoisted. We motor sailed all day with the wind at our back and as sunset approached a pod of dolphin were playing in the bow wake and a flying fish was spotted.