'Weather' We Sail or Not
Firmly within the category of "Things in This Life Not Under Our Control" is the weather.
We love sailing...so much in fact, that we wish we could go sailing Every! Single!! Day!!!
But the irrefutable fact is: The wind, weather and the sea are in charge of whether we sail or not.
During the summer months here on Florida's southwest coast (May - Aug), powerful thunderstorms often develop during the early afternoon hours over the inland counties and march off the coast out to sea by 4 or 5 o'clock.
Once offshore, these intense thundersqualls can pack winds of hurricane stregth (greater than 70 mph), dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, and waves up to 10 feet high or greater.
In the Fall, Winter and Spring months (Sept - April), cold fronts race down from the northwest with strong winds and ocassionally heavy storms. And of course, hurricane season runs from June 1 - November 30.
Trust us, these aren't conditions you want to be offshore in.
And as a matter of safety and prudent seamanship, we will not head out into the Gulf (and may very well not even leave the dock) when foul weather threatens.
Hurricanes and Other Tropical Systems
In the event of an approaching tropical system (tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane) forecast to make landfall in our area within 5 days, we will cease operations and reschedule you for another time if possible.
Therefore, we strongly advise our guests to check the weather forecast 24 to 48 hours prior to the day they plan to sail with us.
In the summer, there's always a good chance of rain, so check the weather first, then check with us.
You can check Weather Underground for the latest weather forecast for our area.
Another important consideration when planning your catamaran sailing tour or charter cruise is the wind.
Afterall, the Old Glory is a sailboat and there are a few things to keep in mind about the wind that are inherent to sailing:
Too much of it (greater than about 30 mph) means we can't carry full sail (we will not risk destroying the sails or unsafely overpowering the boat) and may have to run our engines in order to get anywhere.
Not enough wind (less than 5 mph) means we may have to run our engines in order to get anywhere.
A sailboat cannot sail directly into the wind. So, for example, if you want to head to Sanibel Island, and the wind is blowing from that direction, we will have to execute a series of course changes (called 'tacking'), a zig-zag pattern, which will increase the amount of time it will take to reach your destination...unless we turn on the engines and motorsail.
If we do run the engines, it's no problem! No extra charge for fuel!