I can hardly believe that this day has FINALLY come. After all of our preparations and work [and way too much money] we are actually prepping the boat to leave TODAY!
Jake and I have been keeping tabs on the weather for this past week, in hopes that it would be good enough for us to slide under the 45-foot bridge that we very narrowly missed on our way in to Oriental. And the time is ripe – literally right now, to make a break for it.
We had initially planned to leave on November 10 (a random date we chose awhile back). But of course, there were a couple of stalled boat projects that kept us sitting ducks last week. It was only more discouraging when we learned that one of our projects (the stack pack for the main sail) couldn’t be finished until sometime next week because of some missing parts…UGH! That was our last straw. We decided to say, screw it, and forego installation of the stack pack until we get to Florida.
Our last couple of days in Oriental were some of the more pleasant. The weather was dry and though a little brisk, sun was shinning. We went out for dinner at Silos (yummy pizza) with our friend Chuck and his wife Leslie. They are the ones who circumnavigated in their sailboat about 25 years ago. The next day we actually got to go on their boat and take it out for a day sail. It was so much fun to be back on the water (it has been over 3 months since we have been out on a boat – how crazy right?!?).
It was so refreshing talking to these guys because they were so positive about everything. Whenever we tell people about our travel plans, we often get words of warning or words of “you can’t do it without this thing or that thing…” But Chuck and Leslie are only encouraging and excited and if nothing else, make it sound easy! And after sailing in their boat (Which felt really bare-bones compared to our boat), we were even more motivated to get back out there. So thats what we did!
We also made the decision to forego the ICW and sail out on the ocean-blue for the next half-week, nonstop. It will be our very first time on any kind of nonstop passage, overnight sailing AND out in the ocean. No land…just water. We were debating whether or not to go offshore and came to the conclusion that you really are NEVER READY for your first time. Because there’s only so much you can go on. Books, videos, etc. only tell you so much. But your particular circumstances and comfort level and weather will make it a very different experience from someone else’s. So Why not now? AND as a bonus, the weather looks like it will be perfectly in our favor (other than being a little frigid at night). But there will be good sun and good wind.
The journey south should take us between 3 and 4 days if we go about 4.5 knots. It will be about 350-400 nautical miles from Morehead City to Cape Canaveral, FL. We can’t go directly there since the Gulf Stream would intersect us (and that would be counterproductive since it moves north and we want to head south). So we are pointing towards Jacksonville, FL and then going to work our way south once we get closer to land.
AHHH its finally here and we can’t believe it! TO BE CONTINUED…