Tropical Storm Plan

Based on the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, the wind speeds for this potential tropical storm will be around 50 knots. We just don’t know where those winds will be located and from what direction they will blow.

Here is the predicted location of the center of the low for 8pm tomorrow, Friday night, the 26th of August, 2016.

48 hr wind and wave forecast for 8pm 26-aug-16

That is approxiamately 300 nautical miles away from Key West, and although there is a note that says possible gale, the wind speed arrow in front of the system is forecasted at a mere 15 knots and below the system is a measley 5 knots.  We hope that will be true, because it looks like it’s headed directly for us.

Here is the predicted location of the center of the low at 8pm Saturday night, 27th of August, 2016. That’s about 100nm away from Key West.

72 hr wind and wave forecast for 8pm 27-Aug-16

Again, forecaster Mundell is predicting the gale-force winds will remain to the northeast of the center of the low.

I think that second “X” to the left of the big “L” is a second low pressure system, due to predicted disorganization.

Right now the plan is that we are moving the boat Saturday morning out of the mooring field to our boat slip at Safe Harbour Marina and working out how best to tie a bunch of lines in all directions so it stays put.

Possible Escape Route

Ok, just to be clear, we are not making a decision yet. We have to wait and see how the system develops over the next 3 days. Here is the forecasted wind and wave conditions at 10pm on Saturday, the 27th of August.

 

72 hrs as of 2am 24-Aug-16As you can see we are only forecasted 1 to 2 foot seas, and 10 knots of wind on Saturday night, so we have time to watch and wait for the predicted path of the center of the low pressure system, whatever it may be at that time.

We are hopeful that the system heads north and doesn’t affect us very much, and we are allowed to move the boat into our new slip at Safe Harbour Marina a few days early.

In case things get ugly, the green arrow is the escape route from Key West to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. It is about 350 nautical miles away. We can travel between 6 and 8 knots, so that is a 50 hour trip at 7 knots. That’s the current backup plan.

Currently we are in the middle of yet another lightning storm and bouncing around in the mooring field. The fear of being hit by a bolt of lightning with the ominous threat of a tropical storm approaching is a bit unnerving at the moment. But this will soon pass, as we have plans for happy hour at BO’s Fish Wagon and the Green Parrot in a couple of hours, once this storm clears!

Approaching Storm Threat

The forecast is now 80% of tropical storm formation by the time this disturbance reaches Florida this weekend, with a possibility that it will reach Hurricane strength as it passes through the warm waters of the Bahamas.

Invest 99-L 23-Aug

So that means we have to monitor this system’s strength and direction closely.

We need to make a decision soon to either sail out of it’s path or to try and get into our new marina slip before it gets here.

InReach Plays Pivotal Role In Saving Novelists Life

When Tadd and I talk to people about our planned adventures sailing around the world, starting with crossing the Atlantic next spring, they are typically surprised that we’re so excited about the prospect of being out in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles from land. Of course there is a scary element to launching on any offshore voyage, but like anything in life, preparation is everything. And a big part of that prep is safety equipment, from lifelines running from bow to stern of the boat (so that we can be tethered to the boat at all times) to auto-inflating lifejackets on all people on deck, and from exposure suits (it’s damn chilly out there!) to a “ditch bag” all packed with emergency items, first aid, gps and food etc, to be grabbed at the last moment before abandoning ship (should the worst happen… remember, always step up into a life raft!). So last year Tadd invested in one more safety device, which until now has been used for fun rather than any emergency!

We have a Delorme inReach, which is what allows friends and family to check here on our site and see where we are. It’s a small but great device… so great this amazing piece of innovation was, of course, acquired by the giant, Garmin. But as fun as it has been, it will be a great comfort to us during our major journeys, and here’s precisely why:

michael-hurley “Less than halfway through his 3,400 ­mile solo trip to Ireland, novelist Michael Hurley’s sailboat began taking on water. What could have easily become a tragic tale was saved thanks to his inReach, which he had brought on the trip to stay in contact with family and post to social media. Michael used his DeLorme inReach to send out a distress text which the Coast Guard relayed to all vessels in the area, including Michael’s exact coordinates and bearing. Help arrived less than two hours after the signal was sent. Now Michael says he’ll make sure to bring his inReach with him whenever he plans to go off the grid.”  To read more…

Photo of the Day: Good Times in Key West

Tadd & Lindsay at sunset

Although we generally avoid the touristy side of Key West, there’s nothing like a good sunset from Sunset Pier. The coolest thing was when I noticed that the hotel’s lighting was offering some nice, warm, subtle illumination, so I set up the picture to take advantage of the chance to light us up, while still catching the last of the sunset in the background.

Photo of the Day: The Local Wildlife Part 1

Flamingos in Key WestEvery once in a while we decide to go play tourist in Key West, typically when friends come to visit, or if we manage to catch a “locals day” at one of the attractions (when we get to go for free!). We enjoyed the Butterfly Conservatory here in Key West once before just before sailing away to Mexico in 2009, and thought it was time to check it out again. All the vibrant, fluttering butterflies are really amazing, but what was most impressive this visit were the pair of stunning flamingos. The male was very much intent on wooing his lady!