Friday, November 10, 2006

Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th November

Blount Island to Fort Pierce.

On waking today we decided that the weather was reasonable enough to take off from Blount Island and begin the journey to Fort Pierce. Along with Sundancer we set off at 10.45 and headed out towards Mayport and the ocean, the rest of the trip down river was uneventful we saw several dolphins on the way out and very little traffic which made it quite pleasant.
Once we hit the ocean we began to wonder if we should have stayed at home, the seas were rough with waves between 8' and 10' and winds blowing between 13 and 22 knots motoring was the only safe option so the sails stayed neatly furled. We were rocking and rolling all over the place which was bad enough during daylight hours but seemed twice as bad once night fell. We took turns at eating dry crackers, sipping water, being the watchkeeper and sleeping ( well cat napping was more like it). Eventually the new day dawned and the waves seemed to be a bit more bearable now it was light again. We even put the Jib up to help steady us - it also blew us along a bit faster
We continued to share the watchkeeping etc. until at 11.00hrs we were hailed by the US coastguard patrol boat, they asked all sorts of questions and then disappeared for a while. As we ate lunch, while motor sailing and minding our own business we were again hailed by the coastguard - they wanted to board us to do a safety inspection of the vessel! Despite our protestations that boarding our boat in these conditions constituted a safety threat they insisted and we had to pull in the jib and help the boarding party onto the boat. Needless to say we had everything - including the bell and whistles, that the coast guard requires us to carry and after half an hour of our guests arriving we had a piece of paper to say so! So it was then back to motor sailing on towards Fort Pierce.
Our next bit of excitement came at about 16.00hrs, whilst trying to reef the jib the halyard broke and the jib begin descending onto the deck. There was a mad dash to gather it all in and secure it to the rail without it dropping into the water. Once this was achieved we continued to motor on to Fort Pierce whilst trying to work out why the halyard had broken - it looked like it was cut - something that was going to need more investigation tomorrow. We finally arrived and negotiated the channel in darkness, had our anchor down by 20.30hrs, showered and were asleep before 21.30hrs.



Post a Comment

<< Home