Safe is Good

It’s been a good days run, 50 nm up the inside of the keys, 15 – 20 knots on the beam all day. Does it get any better than that? In fact it was so good that we got to Tarpon Basin, our agreed upon anchorage by 3 pm.

Scenic, Tarpon Basin isn’t. Well, scenic is subjective. If mangroves are your thing then Tarpon Basin would be paradise as mangroves are the only things in sight. The water is 10 feet deep, bottle green clear, a good sandy bottom provides decent holding and the mangroves provide 360 degrees of protection. Our friends on Flirt pull in along with half a dozen other boats. Pour the sundowners, plate the snacks and do the cruisy thing, watch the sunset. Ahhhh…..

The next day dawns clear and crisp and windless. The weather forecast is talking about a “very strong” cold front. I’m all for pushing on to get there before the front. After all, there’s only so many mangroves a girl can look at. We’ve got 60 nm to Miami and there’s not another good sheltered spot between Tarpon Basin and Miami. We listen to the weather forecast again and look at the charts. We decide that the front is too close and we’ll stay put. Inwardly I’m chomping at the bit, it’s sunny, it’s clear, let’s go! However I don’t really want to motor all day and I know that the complete lack of wind means that change is on the way. Much as I want to get to Miami, I have to remind myself that sometimes in sailing we don’t always get what we want. Patience is hard sometimes. So we stay put. We’ve got no shortage of books, I go for a swim, scrub the waterline and play around.The biggest decision of the day is what we’ll make for dinner.

Mid afternoon I’m lying in the cockpit deep in a book when a light breeze ruffles the pages. A whiff of change alerts me. I look up and realize that there’s no sun. Uh oh. North of the anchorage the sky is ugly. South of the anchorage the sky is ugly. Nothing happens. Well, cocktails on Flirt happen. A few raindrops happen. A 10 degree drop in temperature happens. There is no sunset. Dinner and a movie on Flirt happens. We see ugly clouds, no storm materializes. We are not pasted. We are happy.

When day breaks the sky is blue, the sun rises to a beautiful 15 – 20 knots on the beam day. We listen to the weather. Miami, 60 nm to the north reports winds the previous day gusting to 65 knots. Marathon, 50 nm south of us report waterspouts in the anchorage.

Prudent we were and safe we were. Safe is good.

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