January 31, 2010
Galit left me alone to work another flight. In the meantime, I got pounded by a few fronts that rolled through Key West and spent some quality time at the Green Parrot watching the Super Bowl.
After Galit returned, we began our sail back to Miami, with planned stops in Marathon and Rodriquez Key. The sail back up North was not as nice as the sail down South. We fought high winds opposing us and cold weather and rain most of the way.
When we got to Marathon, there were not mooring balls and the anchoring inside Boot Harbor Key was so tight that several nicer larger sailboats had anchored outside the harbor near the entrance. We decided to join them. We set our anchor between a Jeanneau 39i and a nice big Tartan, all of us with plenty of swing room. The winds were to be near 30 kts, were shifting and were to do a 180 by midnight. Galit and I watched a movie and before hitting the sack she went to check out how we were doing. Screams! I ran up to find a puzzling configuration of boats and the Tartan about 25 feet off our bow. We yelled at them to wake them up assuming they had dragged. Trying to calm down as there was no immediate danger of hitting, we surmised that we had dragged, in fact we must have dragged past the Tartan. Two ships passing in the night within 10-20 feet of one another without either aware! Scary! Lucky! Our anchor must have unset when the wind switched 180 degrees, then we dragged as we slid past the Tartan, when the anchor set again. We pulled up anchor, moved, and dropped it away from everyone. We set it really hard and there was no indication we were dragging, but I did not sleep the rest of the night. (Foreshadowing: new solution). Everyone we’ve talked to has said it happens from time to time. I guess it’s like going aground – sooner or later it will happen. Lesson: When the wind is going to shift that much, be prepared to reanchor.
Got up early and headed out banging against the waves pretty much head on until we reached the middle of Hawk Channel, where we turned the engine off and hoisted the sails. Our tack was just about 30 degrees of the wind, but we managed to sail 6-7 kts all the way to Rodriquez Key in great time. We anchored very near where Ty and I did. We opened a bottle of wine and watched the sun set as we lounged lazily in the cockpit.