Much to the delight of one member and the dismay of at least one other, we made a decision to ground the fleet today! (I guess technically the fleet is still floating, not grounded, but you get the point…)
Winter weather forecasts differ from summer forecasts because of how quickly they can change and how unpredictable the conditions can be regardless of the forecast. A small craft advisory is issued almost every day of the summer and means very little to our sturdy fleet of keel boats. In the winter, a small craft advisory is not as common but is much more meaningful.
It is very important that if there is any chance of a winter storm system blowing through, you contact the office and verify that we are letting boats out of the slip before you make a long drive to Tradewinds. The decision to keep all of the boats at home is not one that we make lightly, and we tend to make it the morning of, not the day before. In the case of today’s decision, we had already looked at the forecast yesterday and decided that it looked fine. When we arrived this morning we found a completely different forecast and news that the Highway Patrol was considering shutting down bridges in the area!
Localized gusts coming from unpredictable directions can be very dangerous to vessel and crew. As a company managing a fleet of vessels, many of which we don’t own, it is our responsibility to make these calls. Better safe than sorry is how the old saying goes and when it comes to winter storm systems, we agree 100%!