Tuesday July 12, 2011
Woke up to the soothing sounds of factory equipment clanging around, not. It is a nice vie looking up out of the open hatch though.
It's a beautiful morning ride down the river. Ate a bowl of cereal in anticipation of a nice sail offshore. Nice is a two-edged sword when it comes to sailing. When I left the channel and passed the jetties it was blowing a nice 15 mph. That was the nice part, the not nice part was that it wasn't blowing in the direction it was predicted. The ocean was very bumpy with 3 to 5 ft waves at 4 second intervals. The wind turned to be out of the south and made it very difficult to sail upwind in the direction I wanted. The fun part was flying under full sail but the not fun part was sailing 10 miles to go 3 miles in the direction I wanted to go. The option was to motor directly into the wind at 3.5 mph. Enjoyed the fun sailing but had enough of it and found a cut inland on the gps. When I sailed over to the spot where the cut was supposed to be, it wasn't there! Right about this time the smoke from the large wildfires burning inland was blowing offshore and making it difficult to see land. With te winds picking up I am forced to head back offshore and work my way around the point of land up ahead. I move to the front of the boat to reel in "the bitch", my jib sail. With the heavy winds the jib is flogging like crazy. I am taming the front sail when I hit a large swell that raises me about 12 to 15 ft above the water and back down again. VERY thrilling! I get the sails tamed and set about finding some possible track back to the protected waters of the ICW (or the Ditch as it is also called). The gps data seemed to be a little inaccurate so I watched he depth gauge and worked my way down the coastline. I found a possible cut and moved toward it when I saw a brave fisherman taking on the elements for the chance of catching something. I radioed him on the vhf to see if the cut behind him was a viable alternative and he said it wasn't but there was a spot down about 5 miles that would allow me to cut over to the ditch. I watched the gps as I aproached and it showed land where there was water. I turned into the cut and watched the depth gauge. It showed plenty of water so I kept going. At this point the wind was on my back so I pulled out a couple of sails and enjoyed the downwind sail in calm waters relishing in the fact that I didn't have waves breaking over the front of the boat and spraying me with saltwater every 3 seconds.
I make my way up the creeks to a marina called Leland Marina. Arriving a short while before dark I have to cruise up and down the area until I finally ask a local and they point me in the right direction. I get tied up and break out the fresh water hose right away to wash all of the saltwater off of everything. My cel phone had gotten wet and needed to dry out so I borrowed a local's phone to call Thom and let him know that I and his boat were ok. Unfortunately there are no photos from today. I find the shower and get cleaned up before heading back to the boat to cook dinner.
There is an area on the boat where all of the lines for the sails near the mizzonmast (the back mast) lay on the deck that we call the "spaghetti". Since my cookstove wasn't working I cooked some spaghetti on the grill. Needless to say, but I will, I was able to cap off the crappy events of the day by spilling my sauce on the deck over the spaghetti of lines on the deck.
I was fortunate to be able to save some of the spillage and still get a meal out of it. At this point I cracked a bottle of wine to relax, drank some of it, turned on the air conditioner with dock power connected and went to bed... whew.