He must have slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

Mark is a genius.  Don’t tell him I said that but he managed to engineer a fix for the starboard outboard that is currently allowing us to make 6 knots, instead of the 4 that we make with just one engine, in the direction of Morgan City with an eta now of 5:30 pm.  This bump of 2 knots will cut a day off of our trip to Pascagoula to meet the new engine.  With any luck we’ll be there Tuesday afternoon.
Here are some pics of the award winning fix.  I wonder if he can get a patent on this puppy?

The Best Laid Plans

Well it's happened again.  We set out on what should have been a fun sail to get from A to B but ended up in an altogether different place. 

When friends asked us to deliver their boat to Florida we jumped at the chance.  we love to be out and are getting ready to do the same with our boat.  It was straight forward, have the boat somewhere in the vicinity of The Keys roughly March 15th.  Take all the time you need.  We set up the appointment with the boat yard to get the bottom done, dropped the boat at 9 am on Monday the 17th and expected it to be out February 21st for a 22nd departure weather permitting.  Well the best laid plans and all of that.  The boat needed repair to the rudder, the yard guy said no problem, they would still make the 21st, needless to say they didn't.  In fact they didn't splash until 11:30 am on the 28th.

Sunset Friday the 28th
Oh, well.  We checked the weather, saw a window and a potential problem.  There would be favorable winds but we needed to get moving and be in an anchorage at the bottom of Louisiana by Monday morning as soon as the sun came up.  If the front that was forecast arrived early we needed a plan to ditch the crossing and get in shore.  Everything went great on Friday, we crossed the Jetties at Port Aransas at 1:00 pm and set our course.  We sailed between 8 & 10 knots for the better part of the night.  About 3 AM we realized there might be an issue.  The auto pilot was acting squirrely.  It's possible to hand steer, but it is extremely tiring and not something that two people would want to do for three days and certainly not with the possibility of a storm on the horizon.  By 10 AM Saturday we had made our choice of a new course, heading the 90 miles up to the Calcasieu inlet in Louisiana.  The meant 24 hours of steering, much of it at night or in dense fog, by sight and radar to dodge the many oil rigs out in the gulf.

Calcasieu Point Park
We entered the inlet about 9 AM Sunday morning.  The tide was coming out and the seas were coming in.  It was a major steering job to keep us in deep water.  Eventually we made our way up the river, our boat speed via the GPS showed us that we were moving 6 knots, but with the current pushing against us we were actually only making 3.5 knots over ground.  It was a long but easy day.  We entered the GIWW (Gulf Intercoastal Water Way) about 4 pm and headed to a park at Calcasieu Point.  

Sea Yawl Later snug for the night
There is a boat dock there that offers a safe place to park for a few hours but no overnight mooring is allowed (per the posted sign).  We promptly covered the sign with the boat and hunkered down for the night.  This is the second time we've used this spot, the last time when we brought Second Star from North Carolina.  The park is closed in the winter or I don't think things would have gone as well.   .

We are now under a bridge about 20 miles away, but that's a tale for next time!

Come Sail A .....Wait!

Prep prep prep, hurry up and wait.  Not a good position for a type A personality to be in, quite frustrating actually.  We are trying to head out to deliver a catamaran to Florida.  Ideally it will be positioned in Marathon on the 16th of March.  This being the end of February a gulf crossing is iffy at best so we planned to head down the ditch (the Gulf Coast Intercoastal Waterway).  This is the safest way to transit the trip but also the slowest.  In perfect conditions a boat can make an offshore gulf crossing, depending on starting and ending positions, in 5 to 7 days.  In the ditch it turns into 2 to 3 weeks.  Right now we have a great window to actually do it the fast way, a window that is quickly closing.

Sea Yawl Later a Seawind 1000
Sea Yawl Later needed a bottom job (new paint to help with growth) so we delivered her to the yard a week before we wanted to leave.  The yard guys said no problem, we can have her ready on Friday, that would have been perfect for our hoped for Saturday departure.  Unfortunately, here I sit on the following Wednesday while the wind is blowing 35 miles per hour and the boat is still on stands in said yard.  It's too windy to hang the boat in the sling and paint the parts that have been covered by the pads that are holding her off of the ground  so tomorrow is the earliest they will do it.

Now anyone that knows boats knows that a schedule is written in sand and changes with the wind, so I knew going into this that I was at the mercy of the weather, but the yard is a different story.  I'm sure that they did everything in a timely manner (no they didn't), I'm sure that they are going to have the sense of urgency that I have to get the boat in the water ASAP (no I'm not), but really I hate having to wait on other people to do their jobs.

So I wait, looking at the forecast for wind and waves vs. the possible date of departure, planning (like all type A people do) for the perfect weather window, all the while knowing that our intended arrival date is getting closer.  Do we have to get all the way to Marathon with the boat by the 16th?  No, but I really would love to make it all the way to the Keys!
Photo cutesy of Fla-keys.com