January 3, 2018
I’ve always hated Florida. I know I’ve already said this. I still do.
I understand that, to a certain degree, this is probably unfair and unfounded. There are many very friendly and helpful individuals in Florida I will, at some point in the future, probably need to reach out to hoping they have not read this.
It just seems to me that, when it comes to the never-ending onslaught of wtf news, bullshit behavior, and uncovered revelations of people being bad human beings we are constantly bombarded with, Florida is disproportionately represented in the headlines. This can be political, financial, environmental, social, religious… you name it.
Either you are laughing right now and saying, “you too?”, or you are rolling your eyes saying, “what’s your deal?”
Florida is polarizing… definitely not for the non-committers.
Anyway… my internally calibrated negative polarity against Florida has me eternally scanning the radar for anything I can blame on Florida to reinforce my otherwise potentially baseless and unwarranted hostility.
So, when we ran aground in the mud less than one hundred feet inside of the Florida state line (after arriving at St. Marys), it appeared that we had already awoken the dragon.
Shortly after that, we received notification that a gale warning had just been issued for the following couple of days. Florida was so falling into my stereotype.
When the generator died the following morning I directed a number of additional colorful expletives at Florida and made mental notes. Fortunately, an exploded impeller was all that was at fault… something I was becoming well familiar with.
However, by the time it was up and running again, we decided against picking up the hook and trying to relocate strategically for the threatening storm. Though it meant we wouldn’t escape the clutches of Florida immediately (!), we felt the best course was to, once again, trust our anchor set and sit tight for a couple of days. We prepped the boat for the storm and hunkered down below. Already, the wind was biting and the rain was constant.
The rather exposed location was not ideal, and for days we got buffeted around much more than we had in the past. Five knot tidal currents moving in the opposite direction of twenty-five knot winds understandably confused the shit out of Exit; she bounced, shifted, swayed, hunted, drifted, swung, and pulled – the schizophrenic behavior of someone under the absolute influence of two nearly equal opposing forces… but the one thing she never did was drag (bless her cotton socks, as Simon Lloyd, one of our Scuba Junkie family, would say).
For four days we waited out the weather. During that time, the National Weather Service kept issuing alert after alert. The list of shit thrown at us after we entered Florida became a bit comical: GALE WARNING; COASTAL FLOOD WARNING; WINTER STORM WARNING; RIPTIDE WARNING; FREEZING WARNING; WIND CHILL ADVISORY WARNING; HARD FREEZE WARNING; “BOMB CYCLONE” WARNING (the genesis of a new National Weather Service term that was unveiled for our Florida visit)… all this? …in Florida? …really?
To be fair, the entire East Coast was being pummeled by ridiculously extreme cold weather. We heard a report that the Chesapeake Bay had been closed at Norfolk to all incoming and outgoing boat traffic due to buildup of ice on the water, as much as five inches thick in places!
But I have nothing against the Chesapeake Bay so I’m gonna let that slide as global warming… Florida, you don’t get off so easy.