We came, we saw, we stayed. Since arriving in Stuart Florida, we only intended on staying for a week. One week! We are now approaching 2 weeks. We were all set to go south and stage for our crossing to the Bahamas. But as it turns out, our mail order pharmacy only sent one of our prescriptions. That means they left one out. Hmmmm. This means there were no refills left. So we wait until Monday, call the doctor and ask him to please call in a new refill. Tuesday we get notified that we will get the meds but they won’t ship it until the 12th. Great. Now we have missed one weather window and will have to wait for the next one. To make good use of our time, Keith went over the engine and found some misalignment so he spent a few days curled up in the engine compartment. I made it sound easy but in reality it was rough. He was curled up as tight as he could get, just to be able to get at the hard to reach places. I was able to help some by pulling on a rope he had attached to the motor, allowing it to lift enough for him to get the alignment right. We haven’t given it a trial run yet but that will happen soon.
This really isn’t a bad place to be stuck. The town is actually quite nice. We walk or bike to the historic downtown. It’s given me a little extra time getting groceries that will last us as long as possible. Every time I think I have what I need, I remember something else. Sure I can buy stuff in the Bahamas, but the less I have to buy the better. Groceries can be pricy over there.
So if all goes well, we will pick up our mail in a few days and start working our way to Lake Worth. Once there we will wait for the go ahead from our trusty weatherman, Chris Parker, and make the cross. Let’s talk about this ‘cross’ a minute. We are talking about crossing the Gulf Stream. This is not to be taken lightly. Much planning has to go into this. We have to find out what the wind direction is going to be and what the seas are going to be. Or in other words, how high are the waves going to be. Here’s a definition of the Gulf Stream: the Gulf Stream is a vast and powerful Atlantic Ocean current. The stream is like a river 40 miles wide and 2000 feet deep, flowing at a velocity of 5 miles per hour and discharging 100 billion tons of water per hour.
It’s recommended that you never cross if the wind is blowing from the north as this will hit the opposing current and create really big waves. Lately there have been south winds that would be great for crossing, but here we sit waiting on mail.
When we cross, we will hit that current and get moved along in a northward direction. That’s why we try and go further south in Florida before crossing. This year we are aiming for the Abaco Island. If we were going to Bimini, we would have to start from Miami or the Florida keys. I have heard lots of stories of people crossing the Gulf Stream. Most of them are not fun. Uncomfortable at best. But the pay off is getting into that turquoise water where you can see the bottom in 20 feet of water. With any luck, we will be finding out for ourselves very soon.
Keith has come up with something he calls ‘the cruisers creed’. “Be able to stay anywhere for a month ( off the grid on your own resources), be prepared to leave any moment, and know where you are when you get there”.
Hopefully our next post we will be on our way. Life is good.