This was the first New Year's Eve in many years that I have been without any family close by. I headed to down town Key West with two couples and the son and girlfriend of one of them. We visited Mallory Square to watch the sunset and took in a couple of the street performers. We then walked along Duval Street (bars, T-shirt shops, junk shops - you get the drill) and went to the top of the Crowne Royal Plaza which is the tallest building in Key West. Since we were in town relatively early the street parties had not really gotten underway. I was sure my sons would have liked it but it just left me feeling lonely and old. After a bit we got back into the dinghy for the 20 minute ride back to our anchorage. I was invited to dinner by one of the couples and had an enjoyable meal but by about 8:30 pm I was done with New Years Eve and headed back to Reboot, read for a while and went to bed. Trevor and Spencer woke me at midnight Eastern time (they were together in Madison in Central Time).
New Years Day dawned glassy calm. I made the necessary poetry entry in the ships log and went to work on the chart table area. I have been installing some outlets (12 and 110 volt), a bilge pump counter, and completing the install of several components that have been bread-boarded together.
This afternoon the weather changed dramatically. A front is passing thru. The winds have clocked 180 degrees and gotten nasty with gusts in the 35+ range. As I was in the process of writing this Gypsysails dragged her anchor. Fortunately it caught again before they went aground, but they are in 0.2 feet of water with the engine running to take some of the strain.
I took the opportunity to throw my Fortress anchor over the side. It isn't doing anything now as it is under the boat but if the plow starts to drag the Fortress will hopefully also dig in. At that point I can also choose how much rode to put out. it will be a long night, as least until the winds abate to the 15 to 20 knot level that is usual for this anchorage.
I have not had much access to the internet so these reports are being filed by SSB radio.
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