Weather is probably the most important unknown we face when cruising. We get reports from the National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Weather Channel and my phone and none of them are one hundred percent accurate.
So we compare, we analyze, we look at the sky, and we pray (at least I do) that the report will be at least mostly correct. And then I remember all the times the weatherman on the
TV said it would be sunny, so I got my car washed. You know what happened then.
Avoiding bad weather on large bodies of water is a little more important, so if the prediction is small craft advisory, we don’t go out. If the prediction says the chop height will be three feet or more, we don’t go out. If it says thunderstorms after 2 p.m. we do go because the wind is usually very calm until then. But we try to stay ahead of the storm and often it doesn’t materialize. If it does, we have a Plan B that hopefully doesn’t involve becoming a cork in a washing machine.
This past week the weather kept us in a very nice, but very remote, marina for four days. High winds and high choppy waves are not fun in a power boat. On the second day, one brave soul left and promptly came back. Too rough. On the third day, people came into the marina.
“How was it,” we asked. “Not bad at all.” Weatherman got a black mark that day. On the fourth day we all stayed put because we could see how bad it was from the deck of the marina office.
I’m using the word “we” and it refers to the four boats stranded there with us. In a way, it turned out to be a nice experience. We made new friends, had impromptu cocktail parties, ordered pizzas from the nearest town and had them delivered. We shared food on the deck or gathered to tell sea stories in the boaters lounge.
On the fifth day we all departed. The weather looked good and we kept our fingers crossed that it would stay that way. We all headed north, but our destinations for the night were different. We knew we would probably meet again in another port…but hopefully not because of weather.