Florida…the sunshine state…can be simply bursting with sunny skies and fair weather, but – as any Floridian can tell you – our weather can also be volatile, with lighting, thunder, raging seas, winds that can change direction in a New York minute and wave swells that can cover the bow of a boat. The skies can turn black, and wind speeds can accelerate, changing boating conditions in what seems like a heartbeat.
That is why it is essential to have as many elements on your side as possible when you leave the dock. One of the most important things you can do before setting sail is to check the weather. Yes, weather can change in an instant, but it is always good to at least know what is expected…and to have that to your advantage.
That way, you can plan your boating trip accordingly. If the weather reports are bleak and radar indicates that a storm is on the way, it is wise to reschedule for another day. If there is a small chance of the weather being a little iffy, maybe you’ll just want to keep things close so that you can reach the shore quickly. If the skies and weather reports are clear, by all means, have at it!
After you are armed with weather expectations for the extent of your voyage, keep your eye to the sky. Be cognizant of the weather and changes in the weather at all times, such as darkening clouds and changes in the wind or temperature.
If you have friends or family on board, you are carrying some precious cargo, so don’t take any chances. It is always better to play it safe and exit the water immediately if you notice possible signs of danger.