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Wind, Rain, Fog, Sunshine: Winter Solstice on the Waterways of Florida

Captain Chris Yacht Services
Wind, Rain, Fog, Sunshine: Winter Solstice on the Waterways of Florida
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Dave & Nancy are looking for their next adventure. This world traveling couple considered adding cruising to their list of life's possibilities and we're about to show them the ropes...

(NOTE: We no longer charter our boat but are pleased to come aboard YOUR boat anywhere for personal training with you and your mate)

Nothing about this trip is routine...from the 25 knot winds to the fog and plummeting temperatures. But then again, nothing about boating is routine. This novice couple are up to the task and their commitment to learn sure pays off! Not only are we able to teach basic navigation and boat handling but also explore when you should rely on RADAR and when it's time to tuck in for the day. Safety first...always.

Soon the weather becomes more of what Florida visitors expect and we are treated to an incredible phenomenom...a total Lunar Eclipse on the same night as the Winter Solstice. Leave it to Mother Nature to give us the warmest, sunniest day on the the first day of Winter.

Our first day out we start with sunglasses and then BAM! a front comes through...
...the wind settles down and fog rolls in. RADAR helps us to find the next marker so we can pull off the ICW and anchor early for the evening. Safety first!
THERE it is! Pea Soup comes to mind as we meander our way to an anchorage off the beaten path. Lessons to learn about weather.
Fog rising from the water. The 65 foot bridge is a great landmark that can easily be seen on our RADAR when the fog completely obscures it from our view.
The next day we head south on the ICW and discover why we stopped early because of the fog. As we come upon the crossroads all hands give close attention to avoid the shallow sandbars. Binoculars are a great tool to help identify the channel.
Dave prepares for eddy currents that form near the bridges.
Nancy is in the Navigators seat as we cruise past the railroad bridge. See the tracks lined up with our flybridge?
Let's go swimming! Nancy is bundled up ready to go to shore in the dinghy.
Heading over to the beach.
Maybe it's not so cold but the tourists with shorts and tee shirts are a bit much!
The fog remains but patchy as we walk along the beach. Found a piece of a turtle shell. Kewl!
Ready to come back to the dinghy and we actually have the hoods off. The sun must be coming out!
When we left the anchorage we were accompanied by a family of dolphin. They skirt just below the surface of the water and ride our bow wave. No worries, Nancy. These mammals can swim faster than our boat travels!
A quick leap out of the water for a breath of fresh air is followed by a bubble stream as he plunges back under.
Nightime at anchor...finally a clear calm night...and we enjoyed the lunar eclipse too!
3:14 am....Yawn!....but it was worth it to get out of our toasty warm beds. Welcoming the winter solstice with a total lunar eclipse. First time these two events coincided in over 350 years.
Wonderful sunny skies in the morning. Hello Winter! The shortest day of the year...
Captain Chris on anchor pick-up duty....
It's a team effort when we are Building Cruising Confidence As A Couple....and a wonderful time when the sun shines! Happy Winter. After all, we could be shoveling snow, right??
Hooray! The temps finally warm up to almost 80. Peeling the layers off is a good thing...

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