03 February 2010
These waters are usually gin clear, shallow, and warm, but for the duration of our micro cruise they have been opaque and cold due to arctic northerlies and record low temperatures. When people think of sailing in the Florida Keys they often think of manatees, dolphins, brilliant tropical reef fish, coral heads, sponges, sea stars, sharks, and rays. But with such cold temperatures everything that can go out to deep water has done so in an effort to stay warm, and we have seen mostly the dead.
The first mate anole has disappeared into the extra mainsail. By "extra" I imply that there is another, not that this one is in usable condition. I'm flying a larger mainsail installed permanently at the first reef so that it fits. The 100 jib has taken all my sail repair tape to re-attach the leech and doesn't like wind above 10 knots, so I am thankful for the small storm jib I brought from Seattle. The wind is solid from the north at 20+.
Inspite of the cold, or perhaps because of it, the ants seem to be suddenly interested in my garbage. They are following an inch wide path that leads from the v berth, along the hull deck joint and down to the garbage hanging by the main hatch. A long walk. Cracking a can of oranges and some crackers I toss a number of each up into the vberth. That should keep them going for a while. They are huge fans of orange syrup, as am I, so we share the rest while waiting for the first mate to re appear from the sailbag. Luckily for the ants he seems too cold to come out and join the feast.