Culebra to St. Augustine - Days 7-8

sj to sa Day 7 - 278 nm to go

Thick clouds on the horizon made for a blazing, orange-pink sunrise this morning. The sun only peeked through a small hole of the dense clouds to check out the day, then disappeared altogether, as if deciding whether or not he would shine today … evidently not. He left us with a grey, overcast day.

The wind god is on holiday. I watched he wind indicator needle trying hopelessly to settle on a wind direction, but with 0 knots, it plays spin the bottle with the compass directions, but finds no direction to kiss.

We've been motoring the past 24 ours with nary a breath of breeze other than what wind we're generating ourselves. The mighty Atlantic is as calm and benign as a duck pond and Cups cuts through the water like the metaphorical hot knife through butter.

A white-tailed tropic bird, its long, graceful single white-feathered tail distinguishing it from all other sea birds, circled the boat several times. I was hoping it might land (versus a poop-filled noddy), but after careful surveillance of Cups, it flew off looking for a better ride.

The moon is full now and she's glowing brilliantly when we can see her. There have been showers and some lightning to the west of us and the clouds obscure our view.

Day 8 – 126 nm to go

We've been checking the tide tables for entering the St. Augustine Inlet which tends toward shoaling. With the full moon, the high will be higher and the low will be lower. We're hoping it will be calm for entry. We have two different tide predictors and they disagree significantly … by about 6 hours. We had to email a cruising friend in Florida to verify which tide table was correct.

I won't bore you with too many Day 8 details, other than to say “Only 126 miles to go – Hooray”. We alternated motoring and sailing throughout the night and day with fickle winds that blew and stopped as if on a timetable. There were squalls during the night and lightning cut through the skies all around us. Our days begin and end at 1000 when we consult our log and calculate the daily mileage. I usually collect our thoughts and impressions on the past 24 hours and those become our passage notes. Little did we know that the last day of this pleasant passage would be the most challenging. Stay tuned!