After a rather easy day on the ICW, we made it! We are now officially "home" at the Gulfport Municipal Marina!
Monday, May 30, 2016
Today's excitement started during Frank's balls-to-04 watch (that's for all our SWO buddies!). At about 0100 he woke me and called me onto deck (in my skivvies!) so he could investigate intermittent slowing of the engine. Thankfully it was quickly resolved by switching fuel filters, made especially easy with our Racor dual filter system. It always happens at night!
0400-0800 watch was awesome again! Look at that sunrise! We were offshore between Destin and Pensacola by this point.
Katreina joined me around 0700, just in time for a ton of dolphins to join us!
Just before noon we entered the ICW in Pensacola and began an afternoon on the water with Memorial Day boaters. They were really quite good with ROR!
This ICW is really nice--wide and deep! We had some pretty big thunderstorms in the area, but they kept to the north of us so we pressed on. After we crossed into Alabama the traffic got more commercial and we saw our first oil platforms.
We pushed on to an anchorage at the west end of Dauphin Island for the night. It was the first time we'd stopped the engines in 56hrs. Yes, I know it's a sailboat. But <5kts or 10kts on the nose aren't going to get us where we need to be. Anchorage was great! We enjoyed a few beers, I took a quick skinny dip in the insanely warm water, and we took showers up on deck. And with the breeze it cooled off enough for a good night of sleep. I've missed all of this so much.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
I'm happy to report this was a mostly uneventful day! K and I came on watch at 0400 and enjoyed a quiet sunrise watch. Ok, she slept and I stood watch!
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. We filled diesel with a few of our jerry cans, slept, ate, and stood watch!
The kids joined me for the start of my 2000-2400 watch and a nice sunset.
Trent left us shortly after sunset and once again the girls had some excitement! ~2130 we heard a loud bang from up forward on deck. I clipped in to go investigate and found that the noise came from our anchor light assembly finally breaking free and falling. But the night sky was amazing again!
Saturday, May 28, 2016
We got to the boat last night around 2100 and promptly went to work putting things in order, picking up provisions, and filling lots of diesel cans as we expect to have to motor a lot.
This morning we returned the car, filled water, and were ready! As we tossed off the lines and headed out Frank said, "something's wrong--we're not moving." "Yes we are," I replied but he had already thrown it into reverse to get back in the slip. Something was definitely not right. He said we barely moved with high RPM's and suspected a fouled prop. Frank won (?) the toss and dove on the boat. The prop was seriously fouled and the rudder and hull were covered in barnacles, too. After about an hour of bloody, challenging scraping, he was done. We hit the fuel dock for a BSF and we were on our way ~1200!
Kids were great--they hung out on deck a bit, but mostly slept!
As we headed out we watched storms grow along the FL coast. By some miracle they all stayed behind us and we got an amazing lightning show from a distance! And we picked up a seagull that decided to ride our boat and poop everywhere. Yippee!
Nightfall brought some new challenges. We haven't had a masthead steaming light for some time so we usually throw on the anchor light with our nav lights--better to be lit wrongly and seen than not seen at all! Well, our anchor light is now flopping at the top of our mast, blinking in and out. Awesome. Add that to the list...
Katreina and I took the watch at 2000. Mars was amazing and I loved sharing the beauty of the night sky with her. Then about an hour into watch, as I was sitting at the helm with K at my right side, BAM! SLAP! Something had come from the port side and literally slapped me in the left cheek, then ricocheted off me and hit K in the face! We screamed, waking up the Captain. I was sure it was that damn bird, but it was a flying fish!
Thankfully the rest of the night was peaceful. We are on our way!
Friday, May 27, 2016
With the kids out of school, a long weekend, and a forecast that, while not perfect, isn't horrible, we are heading to the boat! Today we'll drive over 9 hours, give the boat a once over, and get provisions. Tomorrow we fix anything that needs fixing, fill the tanks, and head northwest!