Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 3 ~ 4

Left the dock about 8 am and motored out to deep watet and hoisted the sails.

The seas were about 1~2 feet and a nice 12 knot wind out of the southeast.  We were making
just better than 5 knots until about 1pm.  Our heading took us far enough away from the coastline
that land was not in sight, just water everywhere.

The wind shifted more southerly and the seas grew to about 2~3 feet and beating to windward was
bouncing us all over the place.  Finally we dropped the sails about 5 and started heading due south.

The seas grew to about 3~4 feet, winds due south and even motoring, our progress slowed to little
more than a crawl.  The sunset on the gulf was beautiful as we continued motoring south through the night.
The seas continued to be rough with 20-25 knot winds.

Beth and the babies took the helm while I tried to get some sleep.  It is really difficult to sleep when every 10 seconds the boat hits a 5 ft wave and drops back down with a thud.  Around 3 am the wind and seas calmed down and the wind had shifted again.  The stars out that night were glorious and more plentiful than you can ever see in the city.  about 5 am, we took an westerly heading, direct for Key West. The sunrise was equally spectacular.

By 7 am, the sails were back up and we were cruising at 6 knots in 15 knots of wind and following seas.  A much more pleasant ride as Beth and the babies tried to get some sleep.

Around 9 am, we encountered a crab trap that became entangled in the boat and with the sails up, it was quite a production to free ourselves. After dropping the sails,  I wound up taking a swim to get things sorted and we motored the rest of the way to Key West.  The last 15 miles, the winds built back up to 20+ knots and the seas responded accordingly becoming 2~4 ft.

We first arrived in Key West and entered via the Northwest Channel. 
Approaching Key West Florida
Notice the whitecaps

We were headed to the city dock and after realizing we came in the wrong channel and had to motor around Flemming Key to get to the city dock, we spent another hour heading there.  I had spoken with John at the city dock and advised him of our arrival and he suggested docking in K38.  The winds were still blowing quite high and this boat doesn't steer well when going slow and add the complication of high winds and it pretty much goes where it wants to.   After looking at the suggested slip, I was very uncomfortable trying to get Second Chance into the slip and opted for a T head until we could get it sorted out.  The wind actually helped us dock as it was blowing us toward the end of the dock.  John came down and I explained that I wasn't comfortable in the suggested slip and asked him the width.
He replied 14 ft, all our slips are 14 ft. Well, Second Chance is 14 ft wide and I wasn't about to bang it into the slip and asked if we could stay on the T head. He replied no as there was a power issue and didn't think he had room for us.

Key West City Marina
Now these are houseboats

So after spending an extra hour to get here, we couldn't stay.  We needed a marina to fuel up, water up, and take care of some chores.  John at the City Marina called Jonathan at Key West Bight Marina and we arranged to head there.  Back around Flemming Key, we found the marina and docked.  We were both beat from lack of sleep and fighting the rough seas so we settled in quickly and relaxed for the evening.

All is well, living the dream.

Don't know why SPOT didn't track us but will look into it.

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