“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.”
Dr. Seuss gets credit for the quote. A strong El Nino gets the blame for below normal temps, lots and lots of rain and way too many storms. NOAA says that “given that the previous eight winters in Florida experienced storminess much below normal (with no strong-to-violent tornadoes), the likely transition to a very active season may come as a surprise to those who are unaware.” Thanks, NOAA, for ruining the surprise.
We started this adventure fairly well prepared and definitely aware enough to know we’d be dealing with the occasional surprise.
I mean really. We took a cracked Electro Scan in stride. We incorporated removing jellyfish from our raw-water intake strainer into our daily routine. We appreciated the exercise we got when the dinghy engine died and we had to row it back to the boat…not once, not twice, but three times. We didn’t flinch at the three flawless refrigeration installs. There was no mutiny on the bounty when a huge wave crashed over the bow and soaked our bed. We didn’t let a freshwater leak get the better of us. Mildew? That’s what bleach is for. We’ve flinched but we haven’t faltered even in the face of a huge-honking, life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
Be that as it may, saltier sailors than me readily admit that Weather always wins. We’ve been pummeled with front after front since September. We put up the good fight determined to find warm, happy and dry but Weather is the reigning champion.
Done? Of course not. FNR is simply staying put. No more toddling down the ICW dodging fronts and waiting on weather windows. No more looking for warm, happy and dry. We’re happy and kind of warm and mostly dry. We’ve found our Zen in Stuart. FNR may not be going further south, but we are.
We spend a couple of days exploring the Everglades and the Keys and then take back US 1 through Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Steve sees his crystal clear water. We hike a lot, hoping to see an alligator or two but the most wildlife we encounter are a few birds, a swarm of mosquitoes and a camel on the side of the road at some sketch wild animal rehab center. Still, it was fun and don’t tell FNR, but it was good to get off the boat.
I read today that El Nino is strengthening and likely to last into spring. I imagine that means we’ll be dodging fronts and waiting on weather windows as we begin our 850 plus mile journey back to North Carolina next month. But I remember what a really smart cat once said. “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” Yes, Weather always wins, but that doesn’t mean that losing can’t be an adventure.