The first true cold front of the year passed through the Keys on Thursday. We had lots of wind, and still do through the weekend, and the temps dropped into the low 60’s on Thursday night. Wind chills were in the mid ’50’s. That may not seem like much to you people up north but trust me, when you are used to 80 and above, it’s downright chilly. Add in the high humidity and that wind cuts right through a person.
Needless to say, nobody was prepared for it. There have been lots of people running around all bundled up in sweatshirts, long pants, and other cold weather clothing. I wasn’t, mainly because of two reasons. First, it wasn’t that cold. Sure it was chilly but not that bad. I even took out a couple for a kayak tour when the wind was howling. And B, I have no cold weather clothing. Well, just a lined long sleeve shirt, but no long pants or anything like that. I just may have to break down and head over to Sears to pick up a pair of jeans before the next front comes in.
As for being on the boat, things were pretty comfortable. I do have a space heater if I need it, but I didn’t. During the day I could open the rear hatch and let the sun in. As long as the wind was blocked it was quite cozy in the cabin. At night the blanket was sufficient although another one would have come in handy.
As for the winds, the girl in the houseboat next to me pulled out for another marina leaving the Fritter exposed to the winds from the east. There was much bouncing and moving until I tightened up the dock lines a bit and she settled down pretty good.
This will be the weather pattern now in the Keys for the next 3 or 4 months. A cold front will sweep down out of the north west bringing a brief line of strong thunderstorms and gusty winds. Then the temps will drop and the winds will continue out of the north east for a few days. Any cold won’t last very long and rarely dips below 50. There were a couple such times in years past making things rather uncomfortable but we all survived. The one upside is the bugs will be less of a nuisance, especially the skeeters. If you can put up with the winds it’s actually a pretty nice time of the year to be down here. No need for ac so the electric bill drops. Opening up the hatches keeps the air fresh inside. And I can put up with some bouncing around.
Winter in the Keys is definitely tolerable.
I still prefer summer.