Beth and I made our first crossing with Moorahme last Tuesday. We departed Palafox Marina in Pensacola
at 8 a.m., and headed south. It was time, too many frosty mornings of late.
The weather forecast
was good from all sources...winds 8 to 15 knots, seas 2 to 3 feet, winds from the north east, falling off to almost no wind
on Wednesday and Thursday picking up lightly. So, off we went.
Beth started feeling seasick that evening, and I remained at the helm
. At about midnite...yes, it always happens around midnight, the winds picked up big time. We were running 12 to sometimes 20 knots from the north east, but suddenly were hit with 35+ knot
winds, and I had left full cloth up.
Moorahme was flying along at 10.4 knots when I told Beth she had to take the helm
and bring us about so that I could reef the sails
. The seas were probably in the 8 foot or better range....totally manageable for a 47 foot Stevens....but with Beth as seasick as she was, we made 3 loops around before she used the automatic pilot to assume command and hold us bow into the wind
. Meanwhile, the head
sail halyards were whipping me and the bow of the boat pretty good, and we were bouncing in the whipped up seas. I had rigged the jack lines and was tethered on, but really enjoyed the benefit of having the granny bars at the mast
Once I got the main reefed, I went at it with the headsail, but the halyards had snagged on a deck
cleat, and I had a real battle getting it under control.
We got things in order, and swung the bow back around and ran in front of the winds, which stayed at 35 or better apparent knots for a few hours. Poor Beth was white as a ghost, and not feeling well at all.
By morning, I had the headsail halyards set up properly again, and things had settled down fairly well. But not for Beth.......she was seasick almost the remainder of the trip.....or about 47 or so hours.
We arrived at Burnt Store Marina some 56 hours after departing Pensacola
.....our first overnighter, our first experience with freighter and cruise ship
traffic, and our first long distance crossing.
We learned a ton on this trip, reef before dark, always prepare ahead for the worst possible conditions and enjoy it if they don't show up
, double check course headings, AIS
would be nice...not a absolutely must have, but would be nice, and the cockpit
provides a pretty good sleeping area
It was an exciting, experience rendering trip, and will always be remembered by both of us.....her memories not quite as fond as mine!
We are totally pleased with the Stevens 47, awesome boat! Would be nice to have all the lines led back to the cockpit
though...something to consider down the road!
Enough of our tale for now, thanks for reading!