The reason is the weather. So much of what we do and where we go is dependent on the wind. If the wind is blowing from the direction you will be traveling, it makes for a rough ride. If we are traveling on the ICW in areas that are narrow and tree lined, the wind is much less of a factor. The more open the area, the more the wind is a factor. You have probably experienced this in your car. You are driving on the beltline protected by trees. You know the wind is blowing, but it doesn't really effect your driving. Then you come to a bridge that is out in the open. Suddenly you feel the wind pushing your car. Your car vibrates and shudders as you get to the top of the bridge and then settles down as you get back on land.
Same thing happens on a boat. The wind can push you around. But in addition you have to factor in the seas. Sometimes the wind and the seas are going in opposite directions which can make for a very rough, pounding ride. These are the times when you want to stay put and wait for better weather. Sometimes you have to go ahead knowing it will be uncomfortable because you are meeting someone at a specific place and time.
Sometimes you get lucky. The first year we went to the Bahamas, we saw a brief as in 12 hour opening in the weather before an ugly front was coming through. We were traveling down the Florida coast close to shore. We could continue on to Miami as planned or hang a left, go to Bimini and ride the front out there. Miami or Bimini???? Bimini won hands down!!! It was perfect because it gave us time to explore while we waited on the weather.
This is the offshore forecast for Monday through Wednesday:
Date Hour dir/deg knots dir period range(ft)
1/6 08 SW 221 13 - 17 ESE 8 sec 3 - 5
1/6 14 WNW 299 18 - 24 ESE 8 sec 3 - 5
1/6 20 WNW 305 16 - 22 ESE 3 sec 3 - 5
1/7 02 NW 315 15 - 21 ESE 3 sec 3 - 5
1/7 08 NW 324 14 - 19 NNE 4 sec 2 - 4
1/7 14 NNW 332 11 - 14 NNE 4 sec 2 - 3
1/7 20 NNW 340 9 - 13 ESE 9 sec 1 - 3
1/8 02 N 358 8 - 11 ESE 9 sec 1 - 3
1/8 08 N 3 9 - 12 ESE 9 sec 2 - 3
While this certainly isn't a great forecast by any means, it is far from the worst. At first glance you might say that the 18-24 knots winds would be fine because the are coming from behind when heading south. But then you look at the seas. ESE at 2:00 pm. This means we would be pounding into a 3-5 foot wave every 8 seconds and getting down to every 3 seconds pretty much all day. YUCK! Roux and I certainly weren't looking forward to an entire day of pounding into head seas!
So through Georgia we must go! Georgia has notoriously shallow water. But right now low tide is early in the morning with high tide at lunch and low again in the early evening. It doesn't get any better than that!