As I posted earlier, we contracted with an experienced “ol’ salt” captain from Annapolis to guide us around Hatteras to back home on the Chesapeake on the last leg of our adventure. Well, he had a glitch in his schedule that’s delayed him. To make matters more confused, the continued deluge over Florida is guaranteed to last until the 22nd, with the prediction of another storm coming in by on Friday or Saturday (May 25, 26). “Are we ever going to get out of Florida?” I moaned, worried that I’m growing webbed feet and if we aren’t north of 31st parallel (e.g., Brunswick or St. Simon’s Island, GA) by June 1, I’ll void our boat’s insurance.
I felt like I was watching the pot that never boils. Between the weather and having no arrival date from our captain (he trying, bless his heart), I took matters into my own hands. I rolled out of bed at 7:00 AM last Friday to create Plan B–we’d leave Tuesday, as the weather window opened up, without our captain, sailing north anchoring at Amelia Island the first night and then go into St. Simon’s where we’d hang until our captain can catch up with us. John and Cindy we needed to get moving rather than waiting. I’m impatient, but I’m not a fool.
Like so many situations, once you make alternative plans, you don’t need them. Just before 5:00 PM, Captain John emailed to declare that he’ll arrive Wednesday morning, May 23 and that we’ll leave by 2:00 PM, well inside the weather window, heading off shore and up the Gulf Stream. If we move at about 7 knots by sail and/or motor, he assured me that we’ll reach our target, South Port, NC at Cape Fear (how’s that for a name to sooth a sailor’s jitters?) by Friday, well ahead of that second round of stormy weather heading up the coast after it leaves St. Augustine. There we’ll refuel, take a breather, and wait for another weather window to sail out and around Hatteras.
I must confess — I am mightily relieved to hand over navigation and sail plan to an experienced professional who knows the Eastern Atlantic coast waters well. I am also so pleased to be making this last trip that I don’t mind today, the fourth day of gray skies, wind and rain here at the dock, surrounded by a few mega yachts with flashy night lights and a silly tour boat, The Black Pearl, headed back to New Jersey for the summer season.
Life is good, if not wet.