Waiting for Weather in Marathon
22 April 2017 | The Marathon St. Louis Contingent
Weather, it dictates everything. On land you can almost ignore it, stay at home or inside, not care about wind speed and direction, and even go out and drive through rain and storms. On a boat it is completely different. Weather is the first thing in the morning, occupies much of your time during the day, and again dominant at night, especially if you want to move to a new location. High winds, direction "on your nose", thunderstorms and rough seas are the stuff of sailing legends, but for cruisers are all the things we try to avoid. It's hard to believe, but what goes unnoticed on land after weeks of consistent weather can seem inexhaustible on the boat. We have been in Marathon now for two weeks, waiting for a weather window to leave but every day faced with 20 plus wind directly out of the east, our intended direction, 6 plus seas and small craft warnings. The latest for tomorrow is heavy squalls passing through with 30-40 knot winds, and thunderstorms, just another day in paradise !
It actually looks like Sunday through Monday we may get our window. So we continue to plan our departure, postponing it day by day until we get that window. Not that Marathon isn't a nice place, the harbor is protected, a nice beach and just about everything you would need is here. It is a destination for the entire winter for many snowbirds and there are a lot of full time live-a-boards here. We have met a lot of new people as well as renewed previous acquaintances, its just that we hadn't planned to be here this long and have wanted to get moving back toward North Carolina.
Since we technically have two homes, St. Louis and North Carolina, its been interesting running into people from both ! We found two or three boats from St. Louis. We all got together and found out that Dave and Carolyn sailed out of Valley Sailing on Alton Lake, which was also my old sailing club. Turns out we know a lot of the same people from Valley. TJ and Deb were both involved with the aviation industry, lived in the Central West End in St. Louis and sailed at Carlyle Lake in Illinois. Both couples are now full time live-aboards but venture back to St. Louis occasionally for family. When Diana put a note and the photo above on the Boot Key Harbor Facebook page about the St. Louis get together she got another response "I'm from St. Louis too!" more folks for another get together.
Then there is the North Carolina contingent. Dennis and Jackie live in New Bern and also went to Cuba recently. They came over for sundowners and we had a wonderful visit not only reminiscing about Pamlico County where Jackie is from, but also about our experiences in Cuba. There are quite a few other boats in the harbor from North Carolina, a couple on their fathers boat from the mountains hear Asheville, another boat getting ready to go to Cuba, and Gertie whom we have known for years from the Bahamas who although from New Jersey have been actively looking for a permanent move to Fairfield Harbor near New Bern.
It seems we definitely did the Cuba sojourn at the right time. Many of the people we have met have been trying to go but weather or insurance have held them up. Everyone wants to know about Cuba, the trip across, what happens at Customs, what we did and how we liked it. We have talked to so many about the trip and unfortunately at least one has decided they can't go this year, and another are planning to go across tomorrow, leaving today for Key West, we wish them fair winds and a safe crossing.