Old and new friends and cruisers gathered on Thursday January 14 at the club. We enjoyed a delicious pot-luck-dinner, having among us some accomplished chefs! Warmed by the fire and the camaraderie, we considered our options for cruising over the upcoming 3 day weekend. The weather forecast for Friday and Sunday was rain and high winds but Saturday looked promising. We decided that a raft-up close by at Buttonwood, a well protected harbor, would be most prudent for anyone who wanted to venture out overnight Saturday. By Friday morning, however, the forecast for Saturday night was 100% rain and winds over 30mph, not good for anchoring out, so we cancelled the raft-up. Out plans foiled by Mother Nature again!
Saturday did turn out to be a glorious sailing day but several tornadoes touched down close by on Saturday night. It must have been very scary to be at anchor when the tornadoes blew through. Wonder what the wind speed was??
Since the weather is so changeable this time of year it is difficult to schedule overnight group cruises but we will keep an eye on the weather. For those who want to head out in the near future, the Windjammer Race to Venice, on Jan 30 and 31st, is a great opportunity to do some sailing in the Gulf and an overnight on the boat. Boats start off at Big Pass on Saturday, sail to a mark just off of Venice, enjoy hospitality at the Venice Yacht Club Sat night and sail back to Sarasota on Sunday. More information and registration can be found on the SSS website.
Several ideas for projects to assist cruisers were discussed and members of the group volunteered to work on them. Our primary focus is on providing training and establishing channels for communication between individuals who want to cruise.
As always, sailors shared their knowledge of local conditions of passes, channels, and anchorages. A great resource for local knowledge is the Cruisers Net website at
Thanks to everyone who attended our get together for great goodies and for volunteering to help put together future activities.