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Departing Ft. Lauderdale

Cat Maudy’s leak is fixed…and we are ready to move on. She is launched back into the water at 10AM… Slack tide is 10:30AM. It couldn’t be better timing for one more trip on the New River through downtown Ft. Lauderdale.

We learned our lesson navigating INBOUND on the New River. This time, I checked the schedules for the Carrie B and Jungle Queen sightseeing paddle boats. They would not be meeting us head on. Plus, we tucked behind mega-yacht Euphoria….and just followed them for the ride OUTBOUND. It also helped not being Easter weekend. We had zero traffic on the New River.

The weather windows are reasonably good for offshore cruising – so we plan to depart Port Everglades – and sail 45 miles north to Lake Worth. Winds are 10-15 from the East. Generally I don’t prefer easterly winds or seas. Too much bounce on the beam. But the weather deteriorates by the weekend – so we go for it.

As huge swells and waves rolled INTO us, I started having second thoughts about our choice of weather opportunities. We are heading due EAST out of the channel. The swells pushed the bow of Cat Maudy WAY up in the air….and then she crashed down into the trough just in time for the next wave to come crashing over the bow and foredeck. OH my. We continued out of the channel, and my thoughts were fixed on the belief that the ride would be better once we changed course.

Finally, we rounded the last shoal, and changed to a northerly course, Sure enough the sea state was more tolerable. Not great…but tolerable. We averaged 9.2 knots…with a high speed of 11 knots. Apparent winds were 12 knots. We couldn’t figure out why Cat Maudy was hitting such fast cruising speeds – but I wasn’t complaining. The faster we get to Lake Worth….the faster we can be done with these bouncy seas. Go Cat Maudy GO!

We cruised into Lake Worth Inlet in just over 4.5 hours. And spent the night analyzing weather, patterns, sea states and predictions. Can we make another hop to Ft. Pierce before the weather crumbles?

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