The night before leaving Vero Beach we met a very nice couple Bill, and Trisha who have been sailing on S/V Wanderer, a Pearson 323, for nearly a year. (Someone please explain to me why all Pearson owners use three numbers and not just two. Since Sarah has an extended bowsprit can I call her a Cape Dory 307?) It was great talking with them about their time in the Bahamas. We are always looking for advice for our adventures to come. Trisha and Bill were on their way home to Key Largo and leaving Vero the next day as well. S/V Wanderer set sail a couple hours after us, but we decided early on that this was something of a race. Ok, I decided. Dan doesn't have a competitive bone in his body. Although he always wins. Anyways. It WOULD be the end of the world is they passed us. Seriously, Sarah's pride was on the line.
The trick with taking the outside to Miami is that the gulf stream gets close to shore near Palm Beach. Trisha and I were in communication throughout the sail. All was going as it should. Fair Dinkum was in full control of the helm. The sun was shining and we were averaging 4-5kts. Around 9pm we neared Lake Worth Inlet 3nm off shore. I was feeling like an all-star sitting up on deck while Dan took his first nap. I did some adjusting to the sails as the wind was building and settled down with my head lamp to do some reading. Every ten minutes or so I removed nose from book and do a 360 visual checks. No boats in the vicinity and a beautiful 6 knots over the water. After an hour or so, I went below to check our track over water on the tablet. Low and behold, we were only moving 2.9 kts over land. Drat! Luckily Trisha was around to give me the seemingly obvious advice of moving closer to shore without me having to wake Dan up. Thank You Trisha! I promise to never secretly race you again. I had sailed right into the Gulf Steam. Sailing so close to shore at night is a little unnerving. Fishermen, other sailboats and tugs. We are not use to sharing the water as we are usually 15-30 nm off shore.
Sunrising off port
Miami beach to starboard.
We are terrible bloggers and have now been in Miami for 2 weeks. I promise to rapid fire catch up the blog and let you guys know how prepping for the Gulf Stream crossing is going!