Sailing Key Biscayne
29 November 2006 | Biscayne Bay
We left Key Biscayne this morning. We had been waiting for a break in the weather to cross the Gulf Stream and the break looks like it will be here Friday. Winds will be coming from the Southeast if reports hold. For the past month we have had nothing but North wind, which makes big nasty waves in the Gulf Stream; or East wind, which is coming right from where we want to go. So today we took advantage of the East wind and sailed down Biscayne Bay to Card Sound on a beam reach. This gives you perhaps the best southern jumping off point for the Bahamas when the wind is just south of east. It was our first time sailing Swingin' on a Star by ourselves and it was great. She sailed wonderfully and did 8-9 knots plus in 18 knots of wind with one reef in the main and no heavy sail tweaking. I'm used to sailing in places where you don't hit things unless they're sticking out of the water. I must admit, going 9 knots in 10 feet of water (aka swimming pool depth) was a little nerve wracking.
We had planned to come down with Wind in the Willows and Edelweiss who were in No Name harbor, all seeking a better angle on the wind for the Friday passage. The other two boats left No Name at 8AM. We woke up at 8:30 just in time to watch their sails setting South. We hailed them on the VHF and, after hauling anchor and getting the sails ready, we set out after them. Meridian, a Catana 43, had left a day earlier and helped us all find good holding in the anchorage. We ran across Karl and Pat from Canada in Ishmael, a custom built trimaran, at the anchorage as well. So there we were, three cats, a tri, and a mono-hull all staging for a run to the Bahamas. Seemed like a good excuse for a party. Michael had shut down for the night but the other three couples joined us for a few hours on Swingin' on a Star discussing sailing and life in general. It was a wonderful evening with a wonderful group of people. Cruising at its best.