August 14, 2008
Sorry we’ve been late updating the blog. Excitement and fatigue prevented it until now. For the excitement, after sailing for about 13 hours and just off the coast of Ft. Pierce, Florida, we were hailed and boarded by the Coast Guard. Routine stuff…checking papers, safety equipment, etc. They go down a check list. We passed with nearly flying colors. We had one less fire extinguisher than we were required to have. We’ll get one in Charleston (by the way, we’ll be there by this afternoon).
On our first evening, at 2000 hrs (8 PM), it was reported by our watch captain that the night was beautiful with a full moon. The first night was uneventful
The morning of the 14th, our second night, was a different thing. The midnight to 0300 watch left the helm with decent weather but building seas. There were no log entries between 0300 and 0700 because the Capt. and well qualified crew (John and Mary Ann MacEvoy) were busy. We went through a squall at about 0400 that lasted about 2 hours. Winds reached 32 knots and the seas were about 6 to 8 feet. They had a blast. Those of us below, who had no real idea what was going on, bounced around our bunks and began the chain of sea sickness that pretty much got a hold of everyone, except for the Captain and Diana. By the afternoon watch, after things settled down and we had some great sailing (by the way, we always averaged more than 8 knots per hour and were making great time). By 1000 we had building seas 6 to 8 feet and went through our second squall. This one had a top wind of 42 knots. This boat is made to take it and if you were up top the cockpit, it was thrilling, if down below, quite the opposite. The sea sickness continued until early evening. The seas smoothed out down to 2 – 3 foot swells and a 20 knot wind. Last evening was great. At about 1800 hours we began working our way across the Gulf Stream from west to east and we were in much smoother water. Everyone began to feel better and we all, including the Captain and John Mac (neither of whom had slept more than 2 hours for the first 28 hours, both got good 2-3 hour naps.
On the morning of the 15th at between 0600 and 0700 hrs we tacked the boat dead east to avoid another squall and to get out of the Gulf Stream. The stream pushing us further North West and would cause us to beat into the wind for the rest of the trip into Charleston, so bearing off early was the right thing to do. We crossed the big cold front that came out of the pan handle of Fla. and Ga and it smoothed out immediately. We’ve been motor sailing (sailing with motor running) since about 1900 hrs on the 14th. Everyone is happy, safe and feeling much better. All crew members had a hardy breakfast of toasted bagels and cream cheese, coffee and juice. I am feeling well enough to type this below decks at the chart table. Couldn’t’ have done that 18 hours ago.