Middle Florida

OK, wow where do I start, I haven’t been to confession in….  uh/…  I guess I mean to say: its been a long time since I blogged and I’m not sure where to begin.  I think I’ll start with what ever comes out first… hey its my blog..

SYL is back in civilization…. Jono and I left Nassau last Friday (5 days ago) for an overnight run to Florida.  We crossed the banks with some wind dodging squalls by paying close attention to the radar.  Actually we just got lucky with the storm cells, we didn’t have to deviate from our intended path until Monday off the coast of Coral Gables… and then it didn’t help, we still got hammered by one storm.  We saw it on radar and angled offshore to avoid it.  Unfortunately the storm began making up offshore faster than we could round it so we took down the sails and decided to punch on thru.

The 6 mile wide cell had lots of wind and lightning around the perimeter but not so much in the middle of it (where we stayed for the next 3 hours).  About half way thru the storm our dinghy came loose from its davits in the blowing rain and 6′ seas.  So we had to drop it off the davits into the water to keep it from totally capsizing.  After getting it away from the boat so we wouldn’t destroy it we saw it floating free half full of water blowing downwind in the stinging rain, I told Jono to not take is eyes off it while I maneuvered for the recovery.  For some reason my starboard engine had died and wouldn’t restart….. after attempt number 3 (on one engine) to get close enough to get a hand on the dinghy.. I stopped trying to find out why my engine wasn’t working.  I was having lots of trouble getting close without running over the boat without full control.

I found the problem……… while untying the dinghy to save it from destruction a stray line got wrapped around the prop of the starboard engine… so now I have a loose dink and a crippled catamaran.  After another couple runs at the dink I figured out where I had to be to approach the boat and Jono got a hand on it, we tied it to the stern and went on to fix the next problem…. the fouled prop.  There was no way to get it completely unwrapped from above or behind the boat off the stern.  I ended up putting a pair of pliers and a screwdriver in my pocket and bailing off the boat in the water… 6’ers and all to free the rope.  Thankfully it went quickly and I can hold my breath for long periods of time while the big waves passed overhead while under the boat….. I was in the water less than 3 minutes and we were back in action!   Instead of continuing out of the rain cell toward the nearest cell wall, we decided to just head out toward our destination and let the storm blow itself out as it pleased….. Unfortunately it liked us a lot and followed (directly over us) for the next 3 hours….  we were directly in the center of the storm no matter which way we went… so we just took up our heading and drove on…….

So that’s the only fracas we were involved in and it turned out to be without loss of skin, blood or attitudes.  Finally we just started laughing and working the problems as they came….  I guess we lost 2 or 3 hours progress that day but nothing more.

Speaking of progress toward Texas, we have been making quite a bit of it.  We are in central Florida and about to head to the panhandle… next stop Destin.  Our initial thrust was almost 200 miles from Nassau to the Florida Keys in 26 hours.  We averaged about 7.5 knots.  If the gulfstream had not been dead, we would have been over 8.  We saw a lot of 9’s, some 10’s with a top speed of 11.5.  I suspect our 32 hour passage to Destin might be followed up by something similar toward New Orleans.

So anyway…. as we sit in Clearwater Municipal marina in the AC, life is good.  It’s likely we will be here another night before our passage to the NW.  Today was pretty calm, not much wind.  We travelled from Venice Inlet offshore to Clearwater.  Toward the end we were seeing some consistent 7 knot stages, but mostly it was hustling to stay over 5.5.  The calm offshore seas were enjoyable to look at…. lots of fish, rays and dolphin today.

Its my bedtime… Ill try to blog more tomorrow.

SYL, Rusty

2 Responses to “Middle Florida”

  1. Clayton says:

    Glad you posted. For a while I was concerned you were still out in the Bahamas with those storms brewing. Have a good trip!

    • Rusty and Linda says:

      thanks for the concern, we left Nassau a few days before Bertha was scheduled to pass 100 miles to the east of us. My concern of course is that the storm might not follow its designated path… lol regardless we are safe and sound in Florida, about to make a 2 night crossing to New Orleans if the weather stays good. Sea Yawl Later !! Rusty

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