Day 203, Year 10: Weather Worries
Date: Friday, May 1, 2015
Weather: Threatening Clouds, Intermittent Spits of Rain, Windy from the N
Location: Lightkeepers Marina, Little River, SC

The first day of May was definitely a day of weather worries. I get up every morning at 8 am to listen to the weather on the HAM radio. Chris Parker gives a great overview of what’s happening for those of us wanting to make long ocean passages. And his report this morning gave warning. Previously there had been no agreement in the different weather models as to what is going to happen this coming week with a weather system that has been developing near the Bahamas. But this morning Chris announced that the different weather models, both the GFS and the EURO, are in agreement that there is an 80 per cent chance of a tropical LO developing by mid-week. This is not a hurricane, but it can pack hurricane force winds. We watched the weather channel at Patsy and Joe’s later in the day and the constant headlines hinted at an early season hurricane. I don’t think it will be a hurricane, but the strong winds could be off North Carolina, further south, or further north, depending on the development of this system by mid-week. So we need to be particularly watchful for the next few days. After hours of pouring over weather information today, Mark and I agree that we should leave here tomorrow in the early afternoon hours. That gives the seas time to settle after the cold front that came offshore this afternoon passes further out to sea and it gets us far enough north to take advantage of some SW wind on Tuesday. Other than that, it looks like we will probably have to motor most of the way home. But when we look at waiting another week, there is another weather system out there that will probably cause similar problems. So as of tonight, we are leaving here tomorrow afternoon. That gives us the opportunity to have a farewell lunch with Patsy and Joe and we are looking forward to that. So unless things change, we’ll be leaving Lightkeepers around 2 pm tomorrow with the hope of sailing into Quissett Harbor on Cape Cod next Friday morning. Just remember that I said that is our ‘hope’. The weather could change our plans radically and we could duck into the Chesapeake Bay or the Delaware Bay or into Sandy Hook to find refuge should the weather turn bad. So we have back up plans that we hope we don’t need to use.

Early today we went to see Lee and Lynda’s new condo. They call it a house and rightly so. It is a condo in that maintenance is taken care of by the association, but otherwise it is a house connected to another house via two car garages. They bought this sight unseen while we were sailing this winter. Their realtor is a friend who knew what they were looking for and they trusted her judgement. We’d say she made a great choice in finding a ‘just right’ place for them. After our tour of Lee and Lynda’s new home, we went to Patsy and Joe’s. While Mark was doing his weather worrying and watching the weather channel, I was finishing one more cleaning job. Then Patsy and I went to the recycling center to get rid of few items that had been lying around in the garage. When we returned, it was time for Mark and I to get ready to go to a Lightkeepers Marina party. The theme was Mexican, so I took what I call Burrito Bites. We ended up talking with Lee and Lynda for most of the evening. It was cloudy and windy and felt quite cool, so after a while, we decided to go sit in the comfort of one of our boats. We ended up in Windbird’s cockpit. It was nice to have one last quiet evening with Lynda and Lee before we leave here.