2006 / 2007 Cruising log
We departed Waterford after spending the night onboard. We thought we had the ideal start to our adventure with 10-12 knot North winds headed for the Galveston Yacht basin. Soon the wind died and it turned into a motor boat ride proving again that all things (good or bad) soon pass.
Overnight we had a STRONG cold front pass giving us 25-30 knot Northeast winds. We decided to take the ditch and make some Easting till the weather calmed down a bit. We motored all day dead into the NE winds and anchored in Taylor Bayou (a muddy ditch off the ICW) just after dark. We discovered our voltage regulator on our alternator was bad causing major overcharging of our batteries.
We motored all day into the NE wind again (Is this the way to Florida?) and arrived at Ellender Bridge which cleared our mast by less than 2 feet. We Anchored in an even smaller Muddy ditch named Bayou Choupique after running aground a few times trying to find enough water. After we got settled we discovered a plumbing problem had caused all our fresh water to dump into the bilge where the bilge pump dutifully pumped it overboard.
The nearest marina is in Lake Charles so we are headed up the Calcasieu river to get a marina slip, top up our fuel and water, and see if we can sort out our Alternator problems. After giving up on finding the right alternator we replaced our weakest battery and call it good enough. The manager at the Newmar marine is an awesome guy named Rex. He offered to loan us his truck to run our errands and refused to take anything in return. Hopefully we can return the favor some day.
OK, We've had enough of the muddy ICW and all the commercial traffic and cold weather. We are supposed to be sailing to paradise. We headed down river to Cameron and offshore. When we reached the jetties the combination of 20 knot SE winds and outflow from the river made for some extreme conditions. One wave was 15 foot plus and we took Green Water all the way into the cockpit. Now we're committed since we really don't want to go back through the jetties with those waves on our stern.
It blew 20 knots + from the SE all day yesterday and all night last night. We sailed due South and have plenty of sea room now but are closer to Galveston than Cameron. We sailed right over the Flower Garden Bank. So much for our Easting. The wind died this morning and then picked up from the East. We had beautiful sailing headed SE into the large swells left over from last nights wind. A cold front caught us with to much sail up just before sunset and we had a real Chinese fire drill reducing sail and getting the storm jib set up. This is the first time we've put it up in storm conditions and it was a real education.
11/7/2006 - 11/11/2006
We caught another squall the morning of Nov 7 but nothing extreme. We had wind for a couple of more days but the last few days were really light. Lot's of traffic. We passed a sailboat headed for Waterford marina from Puerto Rico. Had to detour for hours to get by a seismic ship pulling 6 mile cables. We were entertained by a huge pod of spotted dolphins. We alternated between sailing, motoring and some drifting waiting for wind. The water clarity and color out here is incredible. At night the stars and phosphorescence compete for our attention. One night we saw a dolphin swimming under the boat outlined in glowing phosphorescence. Another time on watch at night I listened to a dolphin swimming and breathing along side us for half an hour.
We arrived at San Carlos Bay at dawn after loitering offshore to await daylight. We headed up the Caloosahatchee river for Fort Myers. We stopped for fuel along the way and the dogs were so excited we were going ashore that they started howling. Now we are fixing the things that broke and then heading back for Home for the Holidays. We will continue this adventure in January 2007.
"The midget" (Windvane) steers us past another ship.
Are we there yet?
The big Blue
Someday I'll sleep all night.
Crew safely tethered.
Sunset and no wind.
Sunrise and no wind.
Centennial Habour, Fort Myers.