Thursday, January 28, 2016

Newfound Harbor - Still here!

Sunrise at Newfound Harbor
We had intended continuing on to Key West this morning before the afternoon storms came through but the weather had other ideas. The Coast Guard had a small craft advisory out today and on the radar we saw storms approaching so we decided to sit out the storms at anchor rather than soldiering on through them to Key West, oh well!

We're anchored by Picnic Island in Newfound Harbor and we're fine. we saw 33 kts winds come through this afternoon  and we just swung to the wind, never moving relative to the distance to the anchor. We have a 66 lb Spade anchor (S140) with 60 ft of 3/8 inch BBB chain attached to 5/8 nylon line. We put out all of the chain and about 10 ft of the nylon in 8 ft of water. With a 5 ft bow for a total of 13 ft above the water, that's about 5:1 for us, our usual amount in Florida. The peak gusts with the storms reached 33 kts and although we swung at anchor, we didn't move an inch backwards. The design of the Spade anchor has a weighted point that digs in well where there's little sand over a hard bottom, typical of the Keys. The 3/8 inch BBB chain helps too to keep the catenary effective for a low horizontal pull on the anchor, 5/16 inch high test chain does not give as good a catenary due  its lower weight per foot - and catenary is the all important parameter. In fact, nowhere up and down the ICW do we put out more than 70 to 80 feet of rode, even in inlets with 2 kts of current like Ft Matanzas. We're happy with our setup.

Sunset at Newfound Harbor
The Florida weather continues to be miserable. More wind is predicted for tonight and Friday until the afternoon when it's due to abate. We'll probably wait until Saturday to reach Key West unless the weather really improves Friday afternoon. We'll reach Key West eventually.