Getting to where you want to go, cruising on a sailboat, is mostly about weather. As I write this, SV Take Me There is sitting in West Palm Beach (Lake Worth) Florida waiting for the right conditions to cross the Gulf Stream toward Freeport, Grand Bahamas. The right conditions primarily mean 18-23 hrs of winds from the SE, S, SW or West and a Gulf Stream sea state of less than 6 feet. Needless to say, we keep a very close eye on the forecasts from many sources, but do our own analysis; comparison between weather models; and make decisions based on what we think is the best view of the forecast. The trigger events that we look for are a frontal system (usually a Low) passing over our planned sailing route with a following High pressure system. Next, we’re looking for the point where winds begin to clock around from a Northerly component to the E. If the front continues on by us, we hope to see winds shift to a SE, SSE or S component (then eventually from the West) – that Easterly shift opens our launch window to cross the Stream as long as wind speeds are going to be below 15 knots. Yep…we are patsies and will wait for a comfortable set of conditions – no sense slogging into wind and seas that make you regret your launch decision.
We certainly prefer to sail. We will motor-sail if we need to to make headway to beat another frontal system. At this point, here in Lake Worth, conditions don’t appear favorable within the next week …so…here we sit! The good news is we found a sweet anchorage spot just across from the West Palm Beach City Waterfront. We will ring in the new year about 200 yards from the West Palm Beach fireworks barge. From the looks of the activity and the load on that barge-it ought to be a cool show! We will get some boat projects done (until winds abate) and take advantage of the Florida sunshine to be outside…although the approaching front bodes some chilly temps for this area (highs in the 50s for two to three days this week)…certainly not an ideal temperature range for South Florida.
The bad news is we often feel as though we are wasting time waiting on weather. This is a boat full of high energy people. The Admiral is a purposeful lady with a healthy drive to be productive. What’s Kimberly’s solution to keeping busy….cooking. Kimberly’s true forte’ (however) is helping others through her servant leadership calling. Her PhD has been as much an education for me as her because I learn so much about considering others when leading. Our Crew, David and Brandon, are young, energetic, social folk that crave stimulation. Brandon also holds a PhD in Psychology so the dinner table conversations are pretty interesting! David is the creative free spirit that keeps busy with our video editing for the VLog. Me (Steve), I am working on cultivating my skill of tactical patience after a career of having to go 90 mph to the next objective. I may be the most boring guy on the boat but I am able to stay the busiest as I have a “project” mindset focused on keeping us comfortable and safe. So far this week I have installed the new ice-maker; cleaned out the generator heat exchanger and put in an HDMI switch in the Salon. We are all working together to find the balance but Mother Nature ain’t helping right now by holding us prisoner here for so long (8 days and counting).
In addition to individual skills and personal favorites, there are many other “waiting” activities to fill the time:
– Boat chores above and below decks (cleaning, bed making, airing out the cabins, straightening up Gus toys – he doesn’t really pick up after himself!…these have to be done every day)
– Boat projects (something that I [Steve] primarily do with help from the able crew) – you will find these in more detail in our DIY section of the blog and on our YouTube channel.
– Going ashore…lately for things we need but the desire is to see things we want to experience where ever we are. We can’t wait to get to the Bahamas so we can add swimming, snorkeling, fishing and exploring to the list! Brandon, David and I are ready to get to clear water so we can dive on the hull and clean/inspect – although I think this is more my desire than theirs. Gus loves a good shore walk and it’s always entertaining to watch him do what we call “reading the paper” (sniffing everything he can get his nose into).
– Cooking (and it’s associated counterpart…eating)…As previously mentioned, Kimberly loves to cook…she is an excellent cook and we do not go hungry or unsatisfied aboard SV Take Me There! Her real thing is canning! We recently enjoyed her Bread & Butter Pickles that we’re awesome! There is a farmer’s market each Saturday in the square here in WPB that she has visited once and will again if another opportunity presents itself.
– Games…lately…”Heads Up” and “Cards Against Humanity.”
– Training…All are working on their RIB driving skills and we are waiting for some really warm, sunny weather to get out in the Kayaks.
We certainly count our blessings to be as fortunate as we are. This Boat has a great family aboard and now a good friend (Brandon) crewing with us. Do we get bored…yes. Do we find ways to stimulate ourselves in those periods of boredom..yes. Sometimes just a nap is a motivator! Gus goes for that one every time! Are we having fun…yes. Does weather affect us and change our plans…yes, it does. Making the most of what we have is the theme to hold onto. Hey- we are finally out here doing it (cruising)…and we will keep doing it until we want to do something else!
Happy New Year from SV Take Me There!