The last couple of days have been a bit trying.  Cleaning and provisioning at the same time is the pits.  Yesterday morning Rusty went to the grocery to get our produce while I continued to put things away.  Finally Saturday night you could see that the salon did indeed have a floor.  Yesterday we decided to get off the mooring ball and anchor near the bridge to stage to leave…..we had not been there a hour and the bottom fell out of the sky……lighting, gale force winds and heavy rain.  We were not confident in our hook up so rather than worry all night we went back to the mooring ball.

Today is Sunday and it has been a beautiful day.  There was a small crafts advisory out until 1:oopm.  We went back and forth about whether to leave………I was mostly back and Rusty was forth.  Eventually we decided to stick our nose out and see.  We have always said that in all our sailing those truly special days where everything is right happens about 1o% of the time.  Today was one of those days.  But I am head of myself.  First we had to find a place to buy a money order for the $300.00 speeding ticket Rusty got.  Then we started out Manzantas Pass and all $%@ broke loose.  Rusty and I put up the main sail and something was wrong really wrong.  Turns out the back was reefed in but the front was not.  This violently lifted the back of the boom which would not have been too bad except the main sheet pulled out because there was not a knot at the end.  Rusty quickly put the auto-pilot on and it went crazy.  Now we are in the pass with all the other Sunday boaters.  Rusty maneuvered us off to the side and dropped the anchor.  People were yelling at us that the back was reefed………Yeah, Yeah we know!!  Rusty was able to get the sail unreefed, rerun the main sheet tying a knot in the end and then he changed the settings on the autopilot and Wahhhh Laaaaa……….Nirvana !!

We had heard that a group of sailors were going to leave at 10:30pm for Marco.

Rusty here:  We couldn’t leave until 12:30pm so we had Naples as our destination which is 15 miles closer than Marco.  I knew when we came out the cut we might be rocking a bit until we got set up on our downwind run.  SYL quickly took a nice set at 170 degrees true.  Winds were 15-18 knots just starboard of the stern.  Once I got the auto-pilot readjusted it held the course like a dream.  Rudder gain was set on 6 so the boat swung wildly for every adjustment.  I set it to 3 and even with the starboard quarter seas “Otto” was happy again.  This was my first opportunity to sail with the new main.  The headboard has a forward and an aft attachment point for the halyard.  I choose the aft halyard point knowing we would be in a downwind run all day.  That cupped the top of the sail rather than letting it blow off.  Also, I was able to check out my new 3 to 1 outhaul, letting it all the way out made a significant shape difference to the bottom of the sail.   Playing with sail shape and traveler position made tons of difference.  I found it much more reactive than my old main.  In short, I really like the new main sail. We stayed in the 8 knot range and peaked out at 10.8 knots.

With that boat speed the GPS showed a 5:30pm arrival at Marco.  I opted to hand steer most of the way not because “Otto” couldn’t handle it but there is a lot of speed to be had by working the wheel as the 4-6 ft waves approach from the rear.  I didn’t have quite enough wind to stay at wave speed but we had some pretty good 8-9 knot runs.  We arrived at Marco at 5:30pm.  As I entered the pass, Linda cook dinner and had it on the table right as I was setting the hook.  All in all it has been a glorious day.  Our first day back on SYL was indeed one of those 10%ers.

Sea Yawl Later!!

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