Chris here... I'm sure you're all wondering when and where we'll be heading next. I mean, this is supposed to be a cruising blog, right? I'd hate to read someone's blog every day and have them say "So we did the same thing yesterday and we're doing the same thing tomorrow." Actually, I think I read a blog like that once.
Well, we're enjoying it so much here in Charleston we decided to stay. Just kidding! It's actually been great here (excepting the anchorage), but we're starting to keep an eye out for the next weather window. There are actually about 5 or 6 boats here all looking for the next window.
The next hop we're making will be to St. Augustine, FL. That's almost 1,000 miles, as the crow flies, from our house in upstate NY, and almost 800 miles by water from Annapolis. Add in my trip from Connecticut to Annapolis, and we might have broken 1,000 miles by water! Everyone keeps telling us that St. Augustine is a neat place to visit, so we're looking forward to seeing if it lives up to all the hype!
The passage will be about 220nm (about 250 "normal" miles). If we can keep up a speed of 7kts, we'll get there in a day and a half. If we slow down to 6kts, we'd arrive at night. I have no interest in arriving at an unknown channel in the dark, so we'll either push to keep up 7kts and get there in a day and a half, or slow down to 5kts, leave a bit later and get there in 2 days as dawn breaks.
The weather, right now - and it does change quickly - is showing that, as long as we stay close to shore, the wind will be blowing 10-15 or 15-20 from the Northwest during the majority of the passage. The waves should be around 2-4ft, which really means 4-8ft, but reasonable. It will be chilly overnight (in the 30's and windy), but dry, and we can put our full enclosure on and use the propane cockpit heater. Hopefully, with the wind from the Northwest, we'll be able to actually sail most of the way there and enjoy the trip!
We're not sure where we're going after St. Augustine yet. The kids want to go to Orlando/Disney, which is a bit hard to visit by boat, so we'll probably look for a cheap spot (or if anyone in reasonable range of Orlando wants to graciously donate a slip? Just thought I'd ask :)) to leave Pelican for a few days. We'll probably hop down to Fort Pierce/Vero Beach, and then Ft. Lauderdale. From there I expect we'll hop off to the Bahamas, and who knows from there. Everything above is subject to change, perhaps even by the next blog posting. We'll let you know what we're doing as we get closer to Tuesday.