Sunday, December 26, 2010

We're Cruising Now!

Anchor Management
We finally took the plunge and cut the lines in Kemah.  It was a crazy madhouse at the last minute, we were literally throwing stuff onto the boat and into the V berth to be sorted out later.  When it's time to go, it's time to go.  Several friends showed up at the dock to see us off and wish us well.  Darryl, Dawn and Matthew, Cory and Tammy, Kat, Ted.  Thanks everyone!

We knew we wouldn't have the right weather to make it all the way to Key West so our plan was to head to Venice Louisiana where we would wait for the front that was predicted for Christmas Day.  We are traveling with our friend Steve on his boat s/v Anchor Management.  Steve had our friends Trey and Rick for crew.  Troy and I had our friend and dock neighbor Alan.  With the three of us, we decided on a 3 hour watch schedule with 2 people in the cockpit at all times during the night.  That meant that each person would only get 3 hours of sleep at at time, but it really worked out well, especially considering that we had one night of fog that was so thick you could barely see 50 yards in front of the boat.  That was a little nerve wracking because there were lots of oil rigs everywhere.  Most of them have lights and even a loud horn to let you know they are there, but some don't.  The last minute purchase of a new HD radar proved to be a good decision. 

We had a good crossing, we weren't able to sail very much, but over all everything went smoothly.  Troy did have to change out the alternator belt while under sail one night.  I don't think he had much fun laying on top of the engine in the rolly sea.  I know I wasn't enjoying playing the part of "tool fetcher and hander"  by the time we were done with that project we were both feeling a little ill.  After a little time in the cockpit with some fresh air we were feeling better.  Fortunately, no one was seasick for this part of the trip.

Captain Troy at the helm

We were a little worried because we knew that it would be the middle of the night when we made it to Tiger Pass, our channel to get us to the marina in Venice.  The channel is about 12 miles long, fortunately the channel was well marked with many lighted channel markers to guide us and we had a nice full moon.  We just took it slowly and I stood on the bow with a spot light to point out the channel markers to Troy at the helm.  We had dolphins on our bow for most of the trip up the channel.  It was really cool, they stayed with us for so long that it seemed like they were guiding us in. 

We made it to the marina at about 3 AM, tied up to the fuel dock and got some much needed rest.  Unfortunately, we have been stuck here for several days.  We were hoping to head out today, but the winds just haven't died down enough and we don't feel the need to get out there in heavy wind and seas, not to mention the fact that it's about 45 degrees.  Burrrrrr.  We are watching the weather closely and it looks like we will be able to get out of here tomorrow and head for warmer climates.  We're not sure whether the winds and weather will cooperate enough for us to make it all the way to Key West.  We would like to be there for New Years Eve, but we will just have to see.  Alan has to be back home by the 3rd so we will make it as far down the Florida coast as we can.

We had Christmas dinner on Storyville with Alan, Steve and Rick.  We had a very nontraditional dinner of a giant pot of Stew and cornbread.  We also enjoyed Steve's famous rum cake and my "award winning" sopapilla cheesecake.  Then, we watched some movies, starting with Captain Ron (of course) and decided to open a bottle of Zaya to celebrate the beginning of our cruising.  It was a fun night, spent with great friends.
A rig in the fog
Alan handling sails

This boat is named after our grandson! LOL
Don't go between those rigs!!!

Fuzzy Stanley - The Sock Monkey

Venice Marina
We are the only sail boats here

This guy hitch hiked with us
We are about 20 miles offshore
Guess he needed a rest

Fuzzy Stanley and Troy
To live remains an art which everyone must learn, and which no one can teach.  ~Havelock Ellis


Anonymous said...

So glad you guys made it safe and without too much trouble. I'm glad Fuzzy Stanley is enjoying himself. We miss you guys! Merry Christmas!

svzosha said...

Congratulations on a safe passage
Rich Nowak
Seabrook Shipyard Marina