Monday, December 20, 2010

Today I sailed!

December 16, 2010
Today I sailed
This is officially the fourth night on the boat. We spent two nights on the boat at it’s original docking (where the owner had it at his buddy’s place). While it was there we spent six days cleaning and fixing it up. The motor got fixed and added to the transom. I cleaned the interior a lot. Dub power washed the exterior. We fixed up wiring and added a new toilet. We did ALL kinds of other stuff that I can’t remember and don’t care to. We spent a lot of time and cash to get’er ready to live on. 
We motored out of the canals, past houses and many other nice looking boats. We watched the tide, but apparently didn’t end up on the good side of the tide. It was going out and we were sitting deep--keel sticking down about 4 feet. We ran aground. We tried to get her loose, playing around motoring to reverse us. It didn’t work. We waited about 3 1/2 hours. Low tide came and went @ 1:30pm We watched the water coming in pretty quickly. High tide was @ 7 something that night. Luckily about 2:30pm we were free. We made our way around to the channels (we were only a few hundred yards from the channel markers when we hit it was torture). Eventually we headed out on the channels West! To the Gulf! We motored against the wind and finally made our way to open water. The gulf is actually very shallow. We ran aground at 4 feet and the channel that is marked was about 6 feet. The “deeper” areas (2-3 miles out) are 7-10 feet. Not too deep. We decided to anchor up at sunset. Not a cloud in the sky. Probably the clearest sunset I’ve ever seen! It was a good night’s rest. 
We woke to another crystal clear day, which isn’t all that good when you need wind to sail. This time there was warmer weather (upper 60’s). Mother nature delivered. Only thing was, not much wind. It came and went all day. Eventually it came up quick and a bit stronger than before. I got a bit scared because the boat leans (heels) a lot and you start to go almost 5 knots (about 6 mph)---which is actually kinda fast, for a sailboat (a 27 footer, at that). Water splashing and sounds you’ve never heard before...but it was cool. 
Tonight we fall asleep a bit shy or our destination (Anclote Key). We’re just northeast of it, by maybe one nautical mile. Not too bad for crappy wind. I swear the water was like glass. 
I’m feeling like a lot of realities are hitting me. Our distance from land. Our motor (which is currently not be continued), the strength of the boat, how reliable it is (and all it’s parts, rigging, mast, sails, keel, tiller, etc.) When we started going fast I wasn’t sure I trusted her. “Knot a Clew” was roaring, but would she hold? I expressed to Dub how I felt and we pulled one sail (the jib) in a bit to reduce the speed and pull. That worked and we played with the sails a bit more. I was sailing! It felt great at a slower speed and I was excited. We switched on and off all day. Dub spending a lot of time in low wind and me cleaning the remainder of the cabin. I put our food in order and organized some things. Pretty simple day with it’s challenges and over-comings. Hell, I’m staying positive, but this is a bit scary sometimes. 
Good night. 

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