Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Less than a month from departure and despite 7 days of unplanned layovers, we are resting in our slip at Telemar Bay Marina, about 15” from our home in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

I think that we made a couple of decisions along the way that in retrospect saved us a fair amount of time and therefore fuel. On two occasions, we elected to run outside in the ocean and through the night, which enabled us to take advantage of favorable conditions while avoiding areas of the ICW that are time consuming with bridges and no wake zones.

We celebrated my 65th birthday in Brunswick, GA with friends and then met Paul & Sue Graham in Jacksonville, FL for another night out. They are long-term liveaboards who were our inspiration before we purchased The Rose, guided us down the ICW in 2004 and led us to make the trips to the Bahamas in 2005 & 2006. They are good friends who are also a source of unending support. Paul & Sue drove from Green Cove Springs on the St. Johns River where their boat Odyssey is docked to Jacksonville to celebrate both of our birthdays.

While docked at Beach Marine in Jacksonville, we tracked down and had dinner with the daughter of our former business partner. She left Minnesota and is now working for the Omni Hotel Corporation in Jacksonville.

We are looking forward to spending time at our home and a trip to Las Vegas where we’ll celebrate Connie’s birthday. In about a month, we’ll be underway for Marathon, FL where we’ll spend the winter.

But, if you thought we had, “fair winds and following seas” every day you are wrong, very wrong! We were reminded that we are merely passengers on this trip and not the drivers.

Most of the day Thursday, (10/9) we were watching a front that was moving in a northeasterly direction across central Florida from west to east and building in strength. We could tell from the radar that there were strong winds and as always, there was considerable lightening. We considered our options and decided to head for an anchorage on the north side of the NASA causewaythat would provide shelter from the wind.

We could have pulled into an anchorage right off the Haulover Canal that runs from the Mosquito Lagoon to the Indian River Lagoon but the charts show a hard bottom so the holding is suspect there. Titusville City Marina had dock space, but would assign us to a fixed-face dock that would not be much better in terms of protection from high winds. Besides, after watching our onboard Weather Mate and using the internet to check AccuWeather and Weather Underground we felt that the quickly moving storm would pass north of us.

I was watching over my shoulder as storm clouds rolled in but we had the anchor down and set in record time. In an abundance of caution, I put out an extra 40’ of chain and set the anchor snubber longer than I normally do . The snubber is a U shaped stainless plate with a slot cut out to slide over one link of the chain. Attached to the plate is a pair of 5/8” nylon lines to act as shock absorbers. Those lines are secured port and starboard of the bow effectively serving as a 2-point hitch. I was feeling smug when I stepped back into the pilothouse as the heavens opened up, the winds increased and the sky lit up. Well, the front did not travel as we had projected; it sat right over us for the next 3 ½ hours with sustained winds of 25kts and gusts over 30 kts with rain driving horizontally. We quickly shut off all electrical breakers, disconnected the computers and took turns sitting in the pilothouse watching the GPS and the other 2 boats that were anchored nearby. I was confident that we wouldn’t drag anchor but was more concerned about the other boats. The light show would have been fantastic if we weren’t sitting in the middle of it. The wind shifted direction from southeast to northwest as the front passed through but the anchor held securely. I radioed to the other anchored boats and we agreed that conditions were lousy but the holding was good so we “should” be ok. Connie and I took turns eating so that one of us was in the pilothouse at all times while The Rose was swinging and bucking. Finally, at 9:45, (after 3 ½ hours) it began to back off and we felt we were safe to hit the sack. We were up and down during the night to verify our position and to ensure that the other boats weren’t dragging.
Once more, we’re ok and so pleased to see the sun break through as we get underway!

Here are a few pictures from the balance of the trip south.

Paul & Connie
M/V The Rose, GH37
Telemar Bay Marina

How many "points" do you think is in this piece of cheesecake?

Paul and Sue Graham, (Odyssey) added to the celebrations!

Celebrating my 65th onboard The Rose in Brunswick, GA. L-R Robin Evans, Dave and Barbara Bluto.

This is the light at St. Simons Island, GA


Post a Comment

<< Home