"Dolphin Magic"

Mar. 3, 2017

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. William Arthur Ward
"

Mar. 3, 2017

February 25, 2017

The saga continues,

We take a long weekend to sail- three whole days of Magic!

Day one: We arrive at the Marina late, and discover we are out of sync with the tides-but that's okay, there's always plenty to do aboard the boat! We take care of some housekeeping. I'm in the paint again, of course, and Robert pulls the anchor rode out, and marks it in 10 and 30 foot increments ...jotting down notes of what is there-and then puts it all back.

While helping him with that chore, I make a mental note AGAIN to get gloves- as the rust from the chain coats my fingers and every link pinches as it runs through my fingers.  Robert of course says, "toughen up"!

We make lists. One time, I caught myself making a list of what lists I need! That's how it is...

When we set out to Blue Water, we really want to have made every effort to be in every way prepared for whatever we encounter "Out There"...so we are slowly making our way through the checklists, but alas, it seems for every item checked off the list, we add three more.

We go shopping for some of the items on the "lists" - a set of plastic drawers to organize my clothing, a net to hold stuff in my berth, more primer, some flex seal- (leak around the Mast) and some additional solar lights so we don't come back to a dark boat at night.

We go look at paddle boat type dinghys, as our outboard is toast and our rubber dinghy has a hole in it. We buy new flooring for the salon..to install at a later date. 

Its a good day even if we don't set sail- because we know we have two full days of sailing ahead of us! 

Day 2: Sail 1

Breakfast at the Riverside Grill. Then we are ready. So excited, like always, to be heading out on the water. We get the jib up-( it's a 150 Genoa, and it's a lot of sail by itself) very early this time, and we are under sail the better part of three hours- we take her to the mouth of the Gulf, with myself at the helm much of the way. Robert seemed to enjoy basking in the sunshine and making an occasional adjustment to the sail. We reach 6.4 knots per hour speed and it's thrilling! Quite a heel going on, and such a feeling of nature's harnessed force!! I find myself hating the sound of the diesel and wishing to never have to fire it up again. If you have never experienced the feeling of the sails catching the wind and pushing the boat forward, you are missing something special. It's simply magical. 

As the tide changes, we reluctantly return to the slip. Robert does a fantastic job backing in and as usual, we get an assist from our Dock C friends with the lines. We tie up, and enjoy happy hour with the locals at RiverhouseReef and Grill. We meet several more Dock C residents and get some valuable referals for marine tradesmen, while enjoying an adult beverage or two.

We need bottom cleaning, head refurbishing, and someone to put in a "stak pak". More lists...More lists...

Total success !!

Day 3 - Sail 2

Bonus Day !!! 

Funny story- the tide is so low when we get up and get ready to go down to the ship's store for coffee that the bottom is dragging. We actually cannot pull the boat close enough to safely disembark....what to do? We know we have to wait- but we are hungry! Lesson learned- put some food on this boat! Problem solved-Girl Scout cookies purchased on our previous shopping trip, and V8 energy drinks...we crawl back in our berth with our "breakfast" and our kindles and wait it out- remember..... life will depend on the tides and the weather, be prepared to adapt (and do some provisioning) Apparently even in the marina.

But we are finally able to leave- get some real food, and come back raring to go for a full day sail. 

We have three goals today- beat yesterday's speed, get out into the Gulf of Mexico, and get those elusive dolphins on Video.

The speed record goal goes pretty fast, Robert at the helm, and a brisk easterly wind quickly gets us up to 6.9 knots per hour, and it feels like flying! We are under sail quickly, and far more comfortably than ever before. Maybe about an hour out, Robert spots the first dolphin and calls my attention to it. I get the camera ready, and soon they are playing and twisting and turning in our wake, and jumping beside the boat.  I am so excited I can barely hold the camera still, and it's too sunny for me to really know what the video will show. And while they only play with us for maybe three minutes, it seems like much longer, and we feel like we are transported into their watery world. For three minutes, the world consists of us and the dancing dolphins, and everything else just falls away.

They disapear as fast as they appear, and we carry on our journey, eagerly anticipating our crossing into the Gulf of Mexico. And Cross,we do! Goal three, met!  As we enter the Gulf the water changes to an Emerald Green color, feeling so tropical we would swear we had entered another land. We are exhilarated, and I catch both of us  grinning ear to ear. We did it! All three goals accomplished!

Time aboard NeverLand just sails by- pun intended- 

Next time, we plan to pick a point and go there and dock and stay awhile - testing our navigation, and planning and execution skills. So far, Neverland shows no signs of weakness. 

We are sad to return the boat to the Marina- we want to go further and further, we want to be specks on the horizon...

But we feel like returning heros, and 

WE ARE DOING IT!

PS the video turned out excellent, please find it on our Facebook page S/V NeverLand 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 26, 2017

Sailing out to the Gulf