It’s going to get colder before it gets warmer
For many of the southbound cruisers, the trip south is a little bit of a race against the weather, and by the weather, I mean the cold. Insurance companies often define boundaries* which can not be crossed until the end of the hurricane season (H-season, windy season… take your pick). We have known all along that way before we reach the warm weather, it’s going to get cold. Well… it has started. I woke up this morning and the inside of the boat was hovering around 55F. Yes, this is balmy compared to some of the chilly mornings we had on the boat back in Canada, but it’s just the start. Fortunately (for us), like a bad rash that just keeps coming back, we are once again tied up to our friends’ dock in the Magothy River. And they have shore power… which means we currently have heat. Woo hoo!
We left Baltimore yesterday in the chilly rain, with winds blowing a bit over 20 knots. For once though the wind was on our back, so we were surfing on the waves instead of bashing through them. The downside to wind like that (why, oh why, does there always have be a downside?) is that the wind was then able to blow the rain into our cockpit, soaking us with chilly water. This is when we were really grateful for the good foul-weather gear that we have. The very first sailing-related piece of kit that we purchased, even before we did our cruising course, was a set of Gill foul-weather gear (pants and jacket). This, combined with some long underwear and gloves, saved from our snowboarding gear, helped to keep us from going beyond stage 1 hypothermia.
Aside from surfing some good waves at speeds breaking 10 knots, the only other excitement in the trip occurred right near the beginning when we were approaching a fuel dock to top up our tanks and get a pump out (yes, without a composting head we now need to once again deal with stuff like that). In the cold rain, Rebecca was standing at the bow like a trooper, watching our boat make its way towards the staff-less fuel dock, ready to step (jump?) off the boat to secure it with a line. I, on the other hand, was back in the cockpit, fighting with the #$#^% starboard engine which kept stalling when I brought it down to idle speed. That is not cool and is definitely something that needs to be looked at. There’s a handful of times when you really don’t want your engine to stall. Approaching a dock is one of them.
*Our boundary is the Georgia/Florida border. We can not go into Florida until November 1st.