Beating or Heaving To

Optimal weather to exit an inlet isn't always optimal weather to make it to your destination. When we left the Fort Pierce Inlet, the winds were light and we were able to slip out with the current. Once out there, the winds were blowing from the South, directly where we wanted to go.


That night, the winds were forecasted to switch and start blowing out of the North, allowing us to run towards our destination.

We started out tacking close to the shore, but the Gulf Stream is pretty close to shore in this area, so we were forced to hang out near the shoreline. Short tacking proved pointless, as we were working hard to make any windward progress and still in sight of the inlet from which we started. This is the little zig zag that we did when we first exited.

So instead of fighting the wind, we just hove to and let it drift us along to the North. We made dinner, relaxed, and took it easy as we drifted through the water. When the winds shifted, we covered all the miles we had lost in about an hour! This means that we could have fought and started the voyage tired when the winds arrived, or relax and wait for the right winds to take us where we need to go.