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!


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