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 Post subject: Lessons learned from our aborted trip to the Bahamas
PostPosted: 27 May 2024 12:31 

Joined: 13 Feb 2011 21:19
Posts: 343
Location: Canyon Lake, TX
Weathermen lie! Evil or Very Mad

Impetuous (our 37' Tartan) can handle tropical storm conditions. Her crew not so much. 6-8 foot seas and 36 knots of wind. Prediction accord to the 5 weather sites we checked prior to setting out was for 10-15 knots and 1-2 foot seas. Our dinghy got flipped off the foredeck while I was dousing the mainsail and then parted ways with us.

Weathermen lie! Evil or Very Mad

Bruises will finally fade away and become memories. We got thrown around a time or two from the wave sets. Connie thought she hit her head hard enough to get a concussion. I got thrown off the cockpit seat to the sole.

Weathermen lie! Evil or Very Mad

Boating people are friendly as all get out onshore but have no courtesy on the water. WAKES suck if you're not making headway.

Weathermen lie! Evil or Very Mad

The tow connections on a dinghy are designed for calm conditions. I have the tow rings but the rest of the dinghy is in Cuba. I joke that there is a Cuban and his family rowing our dinghy back to the US.

The weather this year on the west coast of Florida was "unusual" according to everyone we met. We saw east winds in the morning followed by south and then west winds for a couple of weeks while in Gulfport.

We have old friends in Gulfport, Fl that convinced us to stick around and enjoy the town so we did. For a month. Very Happy We have new friends in Tarpon Springs that invited us to their house for dinner which was fantastic.

We learned the water off of Tarpon Springs is shallow a long ways out and crystal clear on calm days. i watched as a lobster pot went under the boat in 30 feet of water like 10 miles offshore.

Weathermen lie! Evil or Very Mad

We expected east and south winds while crossing back to Apalachicola but the destination finder at the top of the mast reported something totally different. Yeah, on the nose or no wind for 32 hours.

We learned that Government Cut (Sikes Cut) has shifting sands and ONE buoy inshore that is on the wrong side of the current channel. We left the green on our starboard side.

We learned that a simple forward looking sonar is a great help in unknown waters. Thanks, CJ for that one. You take a fishing rod with an UNWEIGHTED cork and a weight below the cork equal to or greater than your draft. Cast it in front of the boat and if the cork lays on its side, Stop or turn away.

We learned that Gulf sailing tightens up your core from all the motion of two wave sets. We learned that Gulf sailing sucks from two wave sets.

We learned the absolute worst time to come into Destin is on a Sunday afternoon with a south wind and an outgoing tide. They call it "The Rage" in the Bahamas. But let us add in three dolphin party boats who stop in the middle of the channel, 5 sportfishermen who race past them and the 10 or 15 "water roaches" who have no knowledge of the rules of the road. I didn't know that Connie knew those kind of words. Shocked

We learned how to clean bonitos (bonitas?) after we caught two nice ones between Destin and Pensacola.

We learned that our Worst Marine jacklines expand when wet but get bar tight when dry.

Weathermen lie! Evil or Very Mad

Connie and I have agreed that our cruising grounds lie between Mobile Bay and Navarre Beach. Mobile Bay is as nasty looking as Galveston Bay which reminds us why we have the boat in Florida. The bridge at Navarre Beach is shorter than my air draft so that is the current eastern limit.

Our next trip to the Bahamas is via United, Delta or some puddle jumper from P-cola maybe.

We survived! It was an adventure, ordeal, great time and fun. But we had enough so we came home.

Master and Commander of the Sailing Vessel Impetuous
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.
Subservient to no man except SWMBO
Any day without dock lines is a GOOD day!

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 Post subject: Re: Lessons learned from our aborted trip to the Bahamas
PostPosted: 29 May 2024 07:32 
Rail Meat

Joined: 23 Sep 2023 15:46
Posts: 17
Location: Pensacola, FL
I so feel your pain! As a GoM boater for over 30 years, I can attest to everything your wife said about weather forecasters. How many times did I set out on what was supposed to be a 1-2 foot gulf and end up not being able to see the shore from three miles out due to the rain and some water spouts dotting the horizon.

It's been said that the Gulf of Mexico can be every bit as treacherous as any ocean. I believe it.

So happy you three are okay.


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