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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

We did it!



We finally untied the lines and set out down the river towards the Gulf. Winds were less than favorable so we had to tack into the wind. It's tricky with a 4 foot keel on a narrow river. The new GPS really helped us stay away from the shallow water.

At the end of the river is a section of the ICW known as the Miserable Mile. They call it that for a reason. That's where river, tidal currents, fluky winds and heavy boat traffic meet. The channel is very narrow so everyone is crammed into that small tricky area.

As luck would have it, (bad luck) the wind met us right on the nose with no room to tack. Just to make things interesting I flooded our little outboard and it would not start. The boat started to drift into the shallows. My clever wife had the tiller and did a quick 180 degree turn and sailed back up the river until I was able to start the motor.

I'd hoped to enter the Miserable Mile at slack water, because we only have a tiny 2hp engine. Unfortunately the tide was pushing against us. However, the outboard had enough kick to push us through. Boat traffic was horrendous. Huge power boats threw up enormous wakes that tossed us all over the place.

Currently we are anchored off of Picnic Island. The island was a very busy place until sunset.

Now we have the place to ourselves.


It feels really really got to finally get out on the water. I'm loving it.

-Sixbears

17 comments:

  1. Congratulations I hope this first cruise is smooth. May you discover only what you want to add and have few need to add on board that would force more marina time.

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    1. Thanks Gary. I like my marina time in small doses, as does my budget. Feels good to be "on the hook" (at anchor)

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  2. Where was I saw it said, something like hours and hours of boredom interrupted by a few minutes of sheer terror?
    Sounds like you had a pretty exciting afternoon there, glad everything is nice and calm now.

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  3. Power boat captains aren't well known for their consideration of others, that's why their fragile egos require power boats.

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  4. I almost got run over by a freighter one time in the fog. The freighter captain never saw me.

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    1. Happens more often than I'd care to think about.

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  5. We both entered the inlet at opposite ends. The small 18' outboard was no match for the huge ship, so we were the ones that ran aground.

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    1. We call it "the tonnage law." The biggest boat has the right of way, never mind what the rules say.

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  6. Glad to hear you two are back on the water. Sit back with a brew and enjoy! You've had a stressful couple of months.

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    1. It has been rough -and I did sit back and had a beer.

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  7. Picnic island looks like the spoil islands around where I used to live, Merritt Island, FL.

    I know you guys are having fun out on the water. Be safe and enjoy your time afloat.

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    1. You called it. It's a spoil island.

      Thanks Wade.

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  8. The ability to get yourselves down that passage just shows what good sailors you are. Enjoy your time out there. I wish you fair winds and following seas.

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    Replies
    1. Then we ran aground the next day. Oh well. Nobody is perfect.

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