Lennie and I have crossed the Gulfstream 70 times as of this writing. Think about that. It’s a lot. We have had all kinds of experiences out there. Storms, rescues, (them not us), calms, unsavory characters, break downs, and some mysterious happenings I can’t even explain. Once we even had a naval destroyer tell us to change course by 20 miles in the middle of the night in a storm with 10-foot waves. I mean some scary sh*t. Even though most crossings were easy with proper weather routing you still know you are heading into a large body of water with a mind of its own. We never forget that. The best part of crossing back to Florida is the buildings. You see the entire Florida coast dotted with high rise condos that are like a welcoming beacon. You catch your breath and know that you are almost home in safe port. Well almost – but that’s another story. When we see the buildings, the stress subsides and it’s time for a cocktail. The first time we crossed, we mixed a rum and diet coke and celebrated our good fortune. During this time “I need a lover who won’t drive me crazy” was blaring on the stereo and we sung along and had a blast and a created memory to boot. Since that first return trip, we have made that a tradition which you will see in this video. Our 35thtime.
Che diavolo ci fai qui
So, I guess I will tell that gulfstream story. We were headed back across to Florida on a fairly blustery afternoon but the weather indicated no storms. Indicated is the key word here. You see, the weather in the Gulfstream can deteriorate quickly. So there we were on our 42 foot Azimut flybridge cruiser in 2003 and we got so close to Florida we could see the buildings in Fort Lauderdale. Hooray put on John Mellencamp and mix a Cuba Libre! Not so fast. Within minutes the wind increased to 30 knots and the waves built to 10 feet. We were so close but still so far. We slowed to 8 knots and rode the waves, which scared our siblings to death, and Lennie and I steered from the flybridge alone and told them to stay inside and hold on. After about 3 hours we came off a wave and it knocked the helm seat we were sitting on right off the boat. Luckily we both held on and didn’t go overboard. So now we were on our knees and still 10 miles out and still in the Gulfstream fighting its wrath. Suddenly there is a cruise ship bearing down on us. The Captain calls us on channel 16. We switch channels and respond. And if you can’t read Italian let me translate for you (in heavy broken English) WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING OUT HERE!
Please enjoy this last episode from our summer in the Bahamas and stay tuned for our trip nonstop to the Caribbean.