Cat Island Shake down report!
Sailed out at 1730... just as sun was setting. Everything was going great until the sun set.... I found out the backlight on my GPS
doesn't work. Navigated off my phone
the whole way.
Found a battery monitor
to be incessently beeping so I checked it. One battery
read 100% and the other 0%, though still showed a 12.8 volt charge. I'm going to replace it . I chose not to run the tiller autopilot
due to the possiblilty that only one of my batteries was good. My water
pump is electric
so I didn't want to put too much drain on the one battery.
We had a great wind for a reach all the way to cat island. Dealt with a slight traffic situation at the ICW
but we luffed sails
and let the barge go ahead. It is just safer to do so. Right of way or not, its tough to stop two fully laden barges with only a 2,000 hp tug. Learned that running the Houston
ship channel during weekends when I was in the Academy!
We anchored just off the west tip, about 0.5 miles from the island. There is a dropoff from 6 foot to 12, and we were hoping some redfish would be lurking about. We soaked cracked crab all night, but had no bites. Also the wind was supposed to lay down, but it only picked up. Made for a rough night of sleep. But we thoroughly enjoyed being out there, cooking
not catching, and enjoying the stars.
Woke up the next morning, weighed anchor
, and motored to withing 1/4 mile or so of the island, and re anchored. Pumped up the paddleboards and went and explored the west end flats. Lots of grass beds, and the wind laid down beautifully!! Chased some redfish around the flats but none would hit our topwater baits. It was nice seeing schools swim underneath us though.
Went back to the boat, hoisted sails
, and we were off. Wind picked up to 12-15 knots to provide what I was hoping to be a nice sail in. Turns out, that little Bayfield pitches excessively against a 2-3 foot short chop. Absolutely would kill any boat speed we had acquired. I may need new sails (mine are old and certainly not racing
material) to keep the boat speed up, or I may need to redistribute weight so it is all not concentrated midships of the vessel. I'm not sure, but we had to put on some power to keep our boat speed up.
Upon coming into the bridges of Bay Saint Louis, it was dead upwind. So we pulled down the sails and motored in the rest of the way. The little yanmar
seemed to be running smoother and more efficiently than ever with fresh fluids in her. 4.5-4.8 knots against a 2-3 foot chop and 15-20 (by then). Not bad for a 7 hp diesel
. I'm hoping with a fresh bottom job I can get somewhere closer to 5 knots under power against a head wind and 5.5 on smooth water.
It was a great trip. The boat proved to be seaworthy
and a joy on a reach. Not so much upwind. I'm happy the shoal draft keel
allows me to sneak into shallow areas, it definitely helped when exploring the island.
Clyde at rebel boat works in biloxi had a full yard, so Í'll be gettin a new bottom in March. Stay tuned!!