After spending our weekends sailing rented boats around the bay here we decided to buy our own boat.
We looked for a few months and found a 30ft usyachts in good shape with a need for some sweat equity, at the right price
. 43 feet tall 10.3 feet wide and drawing a slightly too much for the fl keys 5.5 feet .
Only problem it was 120 miles from home.
We secured a slip almost half way between where it was and home and had planned a long day sail ending in out new slip before sun set.
That was the plan
We will call it a great learning
Started out great, good weather
forcast but the wind
from the E S/E was killing our east ward progress.
We spent too long getting ready at the mooring
and didnt exit the marina channel till 11:00 am. That set the day for our series of firsts.
First time we could not run for shore or the mooring
when the weather
got ugly. Really problay not much of a storm to folks with more experience, 4-5 minutes of driving rain and some 20-25 gusts. And 2-3 foot seas, It was a little excitingto us , I am wondering if after more experience I would still be white nuckled on the wheel
in similar conditions. But we come though ok, I had the jib
furled and the main reefed before it actualy hit us.
First time sailing at night, sure we have been out till sunset and come back in as the sunset or shorthly after. Didnt make our destination
in time and had to do the last 4-5 miles in the dark.
In hind sight (always 20/20) We should have anchored before sun set and burned the last 5 miles in the morning.
FIrst time doing a tight channel in the dark, snake creek chanel in islamorada, if you ever go through it hug those markers, which brings us to our next first.
FIrst time running aground, we missed a marker and came to hault in 5 feet of water
, in the dark. Lucky for us the tide was rising rapidly (and that the bottom was only soft sand) and was able to spin the boat and get it off the sand bar.
The second time though we never saw less then 7.6 feet, used the 3millon candle light to spot themarkers and hugged them as close as we could .
First time calling a draw bridge, tidal currents running under a bridge like that are really really strong. They can move the boat the boat the last .25 miles before the bridge is up. Even if you try to hold the boat in reverse
But after all that we made our slip, It was 10:15 about 4 hours later then we had planned, had to take a 100$ taxi ride back to our car. (and I was happy to have the oppertunity to pay it) And this morning we woke up and both still wanted to take the boat out. We didnt becasue the weather report was sketchy and we think we used up all our luck for this weekend.