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Marathon to West Palm Beach

The Plan:

Cori met up with me on Friday Dec 17 in Marathon to continue the trip north over Christmas Break.  Our plan was to head out of Marathon, sailing offshore and duck in at Ft. Pierce to wait out a front forecast to come through .  I knew that I would need good weather forecasts while out in the Atlantic.  I had gotten good at downloading the weather fax info from NOAA with the single sideband radio connected to the computer but still didn't have a handle on what I was looking at.  A decision was made to bring in the professionals.  There are several private weather services available.  I chose Locus Weather because this was the one we used when Bruce brought Whisper north the year before (that's another story).  After going over our plans, expectations, experience and comfort levels we had a good forecast in hand.  There were going to be a series of fronts moving through the area about every three days.  It was thought that our best bet was to head out of Marathon on Saturday morning and make as much distance as possible before the front came in.  Thus the planned stop in Ft. Pierce.


We headed out of Marathon about 9:00 a.m. on the 18th with a course set for Sombrero Key, our first waypoint in our plan to stay outside the reefs in deep water.  We had about 10 knots wind from the NE.  We had a nice sail, started our turn to the east and working our way to clearing the reef.  This kept up for a couple of hours changing course several times until we were clear of the reefs and in deep water.  By now we were pinching into the wind too much to sail efficiently and it was back to motor-sailing.  As we continued up the coast we were turning more to the NE and then North and into the wind.  By 11:00 p.m. the wind was on the nose so it was drop the sails and keep motoring.  During the night the winds picked up to 20 knots apparent from the north, right where we were going.  This made for a slow and rough trip since we were also going into the waves.  This meant that our arrival in Ft. Pierce would be delayed into sometime Sunday night.  It was decided that West Palm Beach would be our first stop off point.


We brought along some fishing gear but not being familiar with saltwater fishing it was more for entertainment then the hopes of actually catching something.  Much to our surprise we actually caught two fish.  All we know for sure is that they were members of the mackerel family.

West Palm Beach:

We arrived off Lake Worth Inlet about 2:00 p.m. and followed the markers up to Lake Worth to anchor and wait out the weather.  After much circling and discussion we settled on our spot and dropped anchor and spent the afternoon resting and cleaning up the boat.  The expected blow came in during the night and continued into the morning.  Once thing had calmed down we decided to take the dingy to shore and hit the grocery store and have lunch.  While rowing back to the boat we were approached by another dingy to enquire which boat we were from.  While we were off the boat our anchor had decided to drag.  We dragged down onto their boat but they were able to get some lines secured and stopped her from going any further, but our anchors were tangled.  Fortunately there was no damage to either boat.  It took several attempts to get the anchors cleared so we could go back and anchor again.  This time it took several tries to get the anchor to set properly providing entertainment for anyone watching.  That night was a restless one since I kept getting up and checking to see if we were staying put.  It was a bad situation that could have been worse and it only cost one large bag of M&M's as a reward when I went back in the dingy to retrieve the fender we left behind.  The forecast was for several days of East winds after the front had gone through so it was decided to head back out on Monday, the 21st.

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