Thursday, January 31, 2013

Storm, Eco-Center and Schooner Wharf

This guy is in trouble - I had fenders for my boat at the ready!
We had intended to sail today but the weather had other ideas. The front came through at 9:00 with 32 kt gusts and a steady 25 kt wind. It had been calm in the morning and a couple of boats went out, after all they had paying customers - but it was not the thing to do. One of the local charter boats tried to return to their slip and the wind caught their bow, swinging it around against the pilings. They were pinned! After a few anxious moments (including me since they were upwind of Fleetwing with a potential for inflicting damage) they managed to enter a slip, just not their normal slip. The wind was maintaining a steady 25 kts all through this time. He should have waited for calmer winds but then he had paying customers aboard that perhaps had to catch a bus or a plane.

One of the Eco Center exhibits, there were dozens - great stop
We were ever so glad that we had decided to remain at the dock, safely tied off. The temperature plunged to 68, chilly for there - everyone was wearing sweatshirts with hoods (including Leathen!) With the wind still howling, we set off for the Eco-Center, a free collection of exhibits on Florida reefs. It is an outstanding introduction to the reefs, I would absolutely recommend it - a not to be missed exhibit! New this year was a 3D underwater swim, the  best use of 3D I've ever seen. The movie loops on a 42 inch 3D TV and you just pick up a pair of polarized glasses lying in front to view scenes of the reefs. The fish come right out in front of you!

Schooner Wharf, looking toward the audience. Notice the flag (no ceiling) and sand floor
Next on the agenda was a visit from Bill and Ruth McKeever from the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club. We chatted on the back of the boat (with the enclosure we were toasty) and headed for BO Fish Wagon for dinner (a fish sandwich, very good) and then over to Schooner Wharf to listen to the featured band for the weekend, The Southern Drawl Band which was to my liking. Schooner Wharf always seems to have good bands and they attract a crowd - even in this freezing weather (69 at 10:00 pm). It was just a great day.

On Friday the Mehaffeys leave for northern climes, getting tired of warm weather I suppose (boring?) We'll stay here for February and our son is coming down with his family later this month for their annual visit, lots of fun coming up.