Lennie and I sailed back to Florida from the Bahamas in early June and went to Just Catamarans in Fort Lauderdale for some simple service. Now that the boat was back in Florida (which we never thought it would be) it was time to go sailing with family and friends – so we planned some great trips in and around Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. Our insurance required us to be north of Cape Hatteras by July 1st but in my route planning we just couldn’t make it work so they extended us to July 6th for no charge but not ONE DAY LATER.
We left on a Sunday with a planned eight days to Norfolk Virginia (about one thousand miles). We have never been North of Charleston by boat, so this was going to be new and fun for us to do some sailing in the Northeast. Although we planned on several stops, the first one was not planned. We took off and sailed out into the gulf stream around 8 AM and headed toward Charleston (a super cat came from behind and sailed right by us like we were parked but that is another story). By 3 pm a mild depression formed over our track about 150 miles ahead of us and sure enough it developed into a tropical storm. Chris Parker, our weather router, told us to pull over as soon as possible. We were off of Cape Canaveral around midnight, but I checked the system again and knew it would be safe to make it to St Augustine, which would have chewed up 200 nautical miles or half the distance to Charleston, so we motor sailed as fast as we could and arrived around 9 am. We spent the day biking around the old settlement and the fort from the 1500’s Spanish era and we waited for that storm to go ashore.
One day of sailing one day of motoring
Because we sail to a schedule we have to keep moving even if there is no wind. This trip ended up pretty good at 50/50 with some flat days and then some wild days with the wind behind us and moving fast. We enjoyed our time in Charleston and the food and sightseeing was superb. We rode our electric bikes everywhere twice and we can’t wait to go back to that city. The next 200-mile run was to Beaufort, North Carolina and I had read about this place many times so we were excited to get there. The town is small, and a quick bike ride was all we needed and then we did our Rose’ Dinghy Cruise and were lucky enough to find the wild horses on the barrier island just before dark. Again, an early departure gave us a smooth trip around Cape Hatteras, also known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, so we were okay with that being a motoring day. After our fourth 200 nautical mile leg and overnight we arrived in Norfolk at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Another great trip to a new destination. From there we will head to New York and new England in August so stay tuned.
When you buy a new boat and outfit it like we did it takes a good while to get it all tuned up and punched out. Most people can do this within 6-9 months if they are full time, but for us having the boat in remote areas and only being on board a week a month it takes about two years. What’s funny is we hit this mark in July and with two recent trips under our belt our punch list is ZERO. Yes ZERO. Nothing to buy. Fix. Troubleshoot. Replace. As I type this, we are flying back from NY which I will write about later, but it feels great to get Happy Together perfect. Or as perfect you can get a boat. I usually have a list of chores and parts to buy to bring on the next trip. Seems odd to be so complete. I don’t believe in jinx, so I don’t mind telling you. I will need something else to fill up my time…