Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Return to Florida

June 28th, 2016

The days in June were bringing tiny pop-up storms in seemingly random places at random times, but nights were clear, so we set out from Bimini back to Florida across the Gulf Stream in the late evening.  Our target was the Palm Beach inlet by sunrise.




Sailing through the night varies wildly depending on the phase of the moon.  When the moon is full, a night sail is magic.  Light dances across waves, and your eyes easily grow accustom to the pale glow, needing no additional illumination to find lines or pace the deck. 

We were sailing on the waning crescent, and we wouldn't see it for much of the night.  This is more an exercise in trusting your instruments and the physical sensations of the environment around you.  Everything around is black.  Your vessel is travelling forward seemingly blind into inky blackness.  The water is black, and it is set off from the horizon only by the lack of stars.  Oh, and the infinite stars! when neither moon nor man is there to outshine them...

We were able to see the lights of the Florida Coast many hours before sunrise.  In the dead of night, you can see Miami and Lauderdale, all the way to Palm Beach.  First as a glow, and eventually full points of light breaking over the horizon.  As we had hoped, the night was both surreal and uneventful.  Around 3 am we slipped into the inlet and sunk our anchor into US sand for the first time in 4 months.

The next morning we awoke to the bustle of the West Palm inlet, and started down the ICW towards Stuart.


 After a night on anchor in Stuart we continued motoring up the Okeechobee to Indiantown.



Through the hours of the late afternoon beautiful contrasting rain clouds were all around us but somehow never upon us.




We hauled out at Indiantown Marina.  After a few days of cleaning ,packing, and preparing Robin for dry storage, we returned to Arkansas to wait out the summer.


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