Impossibly gorgeous scene between Key West and Marathon Key
Our day passage east from Key West to Marathon Key started off beautifully enough, as the photo above shows. Impossibly azure seas and gentle breezes propelled us happily east.
Soon enough, though, the skies darkened and the seas whipped up. Squalls began developing. We continued eastward towards Marathon Key, where we hoped to arrive before sundown. A particularly bad squall formed off to the north. Lightning flashed menacingly. Then we saw this:
Fortunately the water spout was at least a mile away and heading away from us. I averted my gaze towards the horizon off our bow and simply said:
"Just keep on sailing."
What else can you do, right? Immediately we heard the national weather service warning for water spouts and severe weather blaring on the radio on channel 16, complete with sirens and scary WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP! sounds. Alrighty, then... Welcome to Florida, which is, I believe, the tornado/water spout capital of the world.
About 2 hours later, with a sigh of relief we entered the Marathon Key harbor and scored a mooring. The next day dawned a bit clearer, with more settled weather.