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Monday, February 13, 2012

And, where were we?

Where were we?  (damn there are a lot of "w" and "e" in that question).  Okay, black clouds ahead.  There was on last storm on the horizon and it was getting darker.  Marathon lay directly behind it.  So what do we do?  Push on through!  We got very lucky as the cloud produced no rain and not really much wind.  The dark menace must be saving it for the boats behind us on the journey.

Now here we are 25 miles from Sawyer Bank and the winds are diminishing.  There are wonderful white high rise clouds to be seen over the Everglades.  This must be their version of beach condos.  Now the wind is gone, the seas are flattening, and we start the motor with 20 miles to Sawyer Bank.

Have you ever noticed that you can't find a straight line through the crab pots?  Not even a wandering straight line.  If the pots are 75 feet apart the windward side may have a line tail floating at or near the surface making it only 65 feet apart.  Then your boat is 8-12 feet wide.  which makes the opening only 55 feet or so between the pots.  Then of course the "crab line" may average 45 degrees across your course which brings us to around 38 feet for an opening.  Now if the pots are more in line with you of course this gap will be smaller, and it gets smaller quickly.  So at 45 degrees there are there is roughly a 50% chance of getting a pot within your hull width.  Add 10 feet port or starboard for a safety zone when motoring and you will get a "thread the needle" gap of only 18 feet every 75 feet of forward space, or 24% or 3 to one against making a clear pass.  So just remember when you see a crab pot line, the odds are in it's favor of finding your stress zone or rotating prop if you are motoring.  Funny how invasive a little 8 inch tethered ball is. 

Now we have motored and I yelled out "LAND HO!"  so Tin could get his first look at the Keys.  But the 7 mile bridge is still hours away and another hour after that to make Boot Key Harbor.   So he returns down below with the PSP.   We made the anchorage around 5pm and hoped for a good nights sleep. 

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