Sunday, October 2, 2016

Return to Florida

June 28th, 2016

The days of June were wrought with brief unpredictable pop-up storms that thwarted our attempts to return to Florida. The nights, however, were calm and clear so we decided to set sail from Bimini across the Gulf Stream in the late evening, hoping to reach the Palm Beach inlet by sunrise.

A 36' sailboat points towards the horizon crossing the gulf stream.

Rain falls from clouds onto a deep blue ocean horizon.

sailing towards an ocean horizon at sunset. Orange and yellow peek through a cloudy sky.

Sailing through the night varies wildly depending on the phase of the moon.  When the moon is full and the sky is clear, night sailing is magic.  The light of infinite stars dances across the waves illuminating the horizon. The moon casts shadows and your eyes easily grow accustomed to the pale glow needing no additional illumination to pace the deck. 

We were sailing on a cloudy night with a waning crescent, which is an exercise in trusting your instruments and physical sensations.  With no visibility, our vessel plowed blindly through the inky blackness.  

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, then eventually, as 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.

Sailing the ICW. Bow faces an open bridge.

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

Contrasting dark grey and white clouds hover above sandy river shore.

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

Heavy storm clouds above green Okeechobee shore

A white bird is sitting on the back of a black cow that is standing in the river.

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.

1969 Cheoy Lee Luders docked at Indiantown Marina.

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys, just came across your blog as I was googling Cheoy Lee Luders 36...great stuff! I’m looking at a Luders for sale and I was hoping I could email you and pick your brain a bit. Hope you are well, thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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