Rock’n and Rollin’ again…and a trip to Key West

Harbour Cay Club, Marathon FL, Florida Keys
Posted by Bill

The weather in the Keys has been very abnormal this year. First off…this is the dry season, but we have been having several days of rain every week, sometimes every day. It has also been much cooler. The average high is in the low 70’s normally and we have had many days in the 60’s. The worst of it has been the northerly fronts. In a normal year, a front will move in with strong north winds every 10-14 days, and within a day or two the wind will move to the northeast and then east. Winds are usually only blowing into the mid 20’s (knots) or high teens and then within a few days will go back to the normal 10-15 knots. This year we have had fronts move in every 5 days or so with winds into the 30’s, and they have been sticking around with a northerly component for 4 or more days. We are well protected here in the marina unless the winds are from the north or northwest, in which case we get waves rolling in to the marina that will rock you senseless. In the last month we have had a couple of the fronts with extreme weather, winds over 40 knots. The last couple of days we had one come through with a max of 47 knots (54 MPH), and then 2 days of 30+ knot winds out of the northwest and north. Needless to say, we got our asses kicked. It is just now starting to move a little to the east and calm to under 20 knots. When these conditions exist, the front and back of the boat pitch up and down rather wildly and a distance of up to 4 feet. Very hard to sleep, or even stay on the boat, or even get on and off the boat. This does not do it justice, but here is a still shot of the scene:

We had 2 and 3 foot waves rolling in! The people who live here full time in the marina are saying that this was the worst they have seen it here. Our friends in the Bahamas had an encounter with winds of 70-100+ knots, causing boats to break loose from anchor, running into other boats and crashing on rocks and reefs. This is why we don’t go to the Bahamas early in the season. It has been crazy. The experts are blaming it on the strong El Nino in the Pacific.

The weather has put a severe damper on our ability to get our boat projects done in preparation for traveling to the Bahamas. Our goal was to go early in February as soon as a weather window opened, but we need to get the work done before we can make it.

We took a day off Saturday and went to Key West to visit Kurt and Sharon on Byrd Ketcher, and Mark and Jan on Island Bound (the other Island Bound). Kurt’s sister and her husband were staying with them, so we all went out bar hopping and had a great time. Random street scene on Duval:

Since we don’t have a car we had to take the bus. There was a seafood festival in Key West so the bus was crammed full of people, to the point that it seemed dangerous. Tricia got a seat and I stood by the rear door. A short, fat guy crammed in in front of me with his large ass pressed into my crotch. It was like getting a lap dance for the 2 hour trip to Key West…not a fun time for me! We both got a seat for the ride back but had to stare at this guy the whole way:

The joys of public transportation!

This week we are renting a car and driving to see Tricia’s sister Diane and her husband Mark. They rented a house in Bradenton FL and we will visit for a few days. On the way there and back we will pick up a new air conditioning unit that I need to install, and make runs to Costco and Walmart to provision for the Bahamas.

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