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Old 13-11-2005, 08:09   #1
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Time to head south

Hello everybody,

Well it's nearly the middle of November and all the leaves are brown and the sky is gray. I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A? No, not L.A. ... the Bahamas. (apologies to the Mamas and Papas, California Dreamin'). Yes, it's time to head south for the winter.

For our friends from the west coast or Europe or the Antipodes or Asia who are unfamiliar with the routine, it's the annual migration of the "snowbirds" to warmer climes. Hundreds of sailors head south, most end up in the Bahamas, a trek of a few thousand miles or so if you start from Toronto. This usually starts in September if you're in the Great Lakes but many of us now store our boats in Florida or the Carolinas which makes the trip a lot easier. I used to have to start the trip right after Labour Day but now I stay up here to November.

Go down to Florida, spend a few days readying the boat and then take off. We usually sail down to Miami, hang around Biscayne Bay or Miami Beach and jump across the Florida Straits and the gulf stream when a weather window arises. First stop is usually Nassau, about a two day trip, to clear in and visit the Bacardi factory. Then it's slowly down to the Exumas and Jumentos for the remainder of winter. At the height of the season there's sometimes 400 boats in Georgetown but the area is quite large with lots of different anchorages so it's not as bad as it sounds. There's quite a community of "yachties" in Georgetown, which sometimes is described as summer camp for adults. Something to do everyday for the energetic, volleyball, beachwalks, snorkeling and fishing, party every other night for the partiers, or just do nothing. And, if you prefer someplace quieter you can still find secluded anchorages in the Bahamas.

Every year we meet old friends and make some new ones. Some have been doing this for twenty years, for others it's their first trip. First time or twentieth time, it's still a great time.

It's been great chatting with you all, talk to you again in May or June. I'll be taking a laptop with me this year but I'll only use it to store pictures and play with charts. Searching for hotspots is not my idea of fun. It's nice to be away from tv, e-mail and phones.


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Old 13-11-2005, 10:32   #2
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Safe trip, Rick. I may be down your way flyfishing.

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Old 13-11-2005, 11:32   #3
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Just curiouse as to what your winter over there is shaping up like. We here in NZ have had one of the mildest winters anyone can remember. In fact, it felt like we kinda went through
Autumn(Fall)maybe winter for a day or two at the most and straight into spring. Then summer came 6weeks early. In fact, it has been so warm, the local Cherry orchards are harvesting already. They normally struggle to have cherry's available for Xmas day, but this time they are a good 4-6weeks ahead. Of course, this may result in them still struggling to have cherry's available for Xmas
Our local sea water temp is higher now than it managed to get even in the middle of summer last year. I measure 19.4C at four feet down in our marina in the weekend. Mate that's warm(for here). We have ben experiancing days on end for the last couple of weeks of temperatures reaching 30C. We don't normaly get that high till Jan. Not compalining, I love it, but the only worry is that we maybe in for another major draught if this keeps up.
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Old 13-11-2005, 11:43   #4
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In the northeast US / Canada, the last few winters have been tough, with very cold weather and snow from November on. This year the jet stream has not made up its mind - no consistent weather patterns. We can see 60's and shorts one day, and 30's and jackets the next, but so far we are doing better than recent falls. Plenty of rain, and one snow so far in Boston. All the remaining leaves are coming down now. All in all, much better than many other parts of the country - no severe weather.

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Old 13-11-2005, 14:40   #5
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Here in the Pacific NW

For the past 10 years the weather has been getting warmer and dryer. Last Feb. it was like spring here. But it was still too cold to plant the veggies.

Heck, we haven't even had a frost here yet this year. The coldest night so far has been 38º F/2º C. The apple tree in the back yard still has most of it's leaves. And the wife's flowers are still putting out.

There's talk of global warming which, I believe. BUT, not in the sence of world disaster like the media portrays.

Awhile back I went up to Glacier Park up in Alberta and there was a glacier called Angle Glacier. There were rows of rocks (moraines) where the previous cold spells had pushed them out. Each row had a date on it. They averaged around 350 to 500 years each. The last one was dated in the 1600's. This leads me to believe that we're just in another cycle of a weather transition.



Look at the last fact on this link (Glacier facts).................._/)

Glacier Facts
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Old 13-11-2005, 16:18   #6
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As I sit here on the hard, waiting for my bearings to move.....

I am envious. We should have been heading down by now. Looks like it will be another two weeks. We will head out from Ft. Lauderdale and go across to Bimini. Then down and around.

Can't wait to toast and say hello.



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