Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ft. Lauderdale – at a mooring

The residual storm clouds provided a dramatic canvas for the sunset
A cold front was due across Florida later today but it wasn’t due until 1:00 pm with the associated thunderstorms and high winds with rain. We didn’t want to be out in the ocean in that so we headed out by 7:30 am to reach Ft. Lauderdale 30 miles away. The waves were off the aft quarter, the worst direction for waves since they tend to swing the aft section around giving an uncomfortable motion. Hoolie especially didn’t seem to enjoy the ride! About an hour out we heard the Coast Guard whether report of hazardous weather coming with high winds, hail and possibly water spouts! Nothing like that to get your attention! However, we were due into Ft. Lauderdale by 11:30 and the leading edge of the weather front was due around noon. So we soldiered on and reached the mooring field by 11:45 as the very dark clouds approached.

Imagine being a the lookout in 6 ft seas!
We tied up to the nearest mooring and awaited the afternoon’s celestial entertainment. First we were treated to wind gusts up to 38 kts followed by rain and more gusts – but no water spouts! After enjoying the afternoon’s diversion, we headed in for Hoolie relief in the 20 degree cooler temperatures. In the interior it’s predicted to be in the 30’s tonight but it won’t get that cold here, probably in the 50’s.

As things calmed down we enjoyed our usual sunset although this one was rather dramatic with the highlighting of the clouds from the passing front. Our dinghy cleaning of yesterday didn’t improve our boat speed at all. With that we broke down and scheduled a bottom cleaning by divers who are due by Friday morning at 9:00 am. A ½ knot of boat speed makes a big difference in a sailboat trying to make bridge openings. We tried getting the boat bottom scrubbed in two marinas but they wouldn’t allow it. They both wanted to haul the boat instead and do a power wash – at a much higher price, naturally. We’ll probably be here for a few days to enjoy Ft. Lauderdale before heading further north, besides, the passage of the front has caused things to turn a little too cool for our revised Key West tastes! Let’s have warmer weather first.