Wed, Dec 11, 2013-
We left Charleston in the evening and what started out to be a beautiful sail south turned nasty very quickly.
After a great stay in Charleston, we headed out about 1600 hours. We thought it would be a 48 or so hour run to the St. John River in FL. The U.S. coastline dips to the west pretty significantly. Making a straight shot to central Florida therefore takes one over 100 miles off shore. The first overnight at sea we always put a casserole in for ease. This trip Trader Joe’s veggie lasagna became to go to meal for every segments first overnight. About a half hour after putting the lasagna in we realized that it was cold. We had run out of propane in the first tank. Love that microwave! While we do not use it often, these are the times it comes in handy. It was dark and the seas getting rough so Sara insisted that neither of us go up and change out the tank. The down side of that is that there was no coffee for the next two days as it was too rolly to use the microwave for a cup of coffee.
We motor sailed to manage the very rough seas – about 15 feet overnight and into Thursday. It got old. We seemed to have gotten into an eddy, going 11 kts in the wrong direction. At first we thought we should wait until morning when we were both up to jibe and correct our course, but at 5 am when neither of us was able to sleep anyway we went ahead a jibed. It took us about 12 hours to get back onto a good track southwest at about 200 degrees for much of the day, with calmer seas in the afternoon. The calmer seas were a welcomed break. We turned off the engine and sailed through the night. Since the forecast was for east winds 10-15 kts, we decided to go on to the Port Canaveral inlet instead of the St. Johns River inlet, which would put us into the ICW a day later but gain a day on arriving in Titusville.
Late in the day the winds did not switch to the east as forecast, but instead clocked to the south and were stronger than the forecast at 25 kts, which forced us to beat our way down the coast. The waves were again high and rolled the boat with each one. It made for a rough trip again. We had to tack several times during the night in order to make the off shore mark at Port Canaveral Inlet. The trip tested the boat once again and she performed beautifully! It was also an opportunity to experience the benefit of our new AIS system, feeding us information on other boats in the vicinity with their direction, speed, and proximity. Amazing how having that information can provide a better sense of safety.
About 7 am, first light, we entered the Port Canaveral Inlet and by 2 pm were tied up at the Titusville Municipal Marina. A glass of wine in the cockpit and we both went to bed for the night.
Sara’s father was hospitalized so she wanted to get back to Boston as soon as possible. She flew back to Boston and Bob drove a rental car back a week later, laden down with boxes of unneeded parts and his bike.