Sunday, June 10, 2012

And again we wait...

We can really pick 'em! Weather has decided not to be our friend right now. From Exchange Island we went 12 whole miles to anchor at Blount Island (still in the St. Johns River). We determined it was best since we had 25 knot winds and 3' seas in the river! Met up with another boat there who said the Coast Guard suggested he not go offshore that day, so we didn't feel too wimpy not pushing on. Well, next morning, off they went on a long leg to Charleston, much further offshore than we planned since we were just going as far as Cumberland Island (St. Mary's GA). It should have been an indication of the day to follow when we were pulling up anchor and our depth went to 5'8"...since we draw a full 6', that's not something we like to see. Barb just couldn't seem to get the boat moving but we seemed to be slowly drifting into a bit deeper water. Finally dawned on her she hadn't engaged the transmission. We hope things were better for our fellow traveler further out, since it was probably one of the worst, if not the worst day we've had! The reports called for NE winds 10-15 kts with 2-4' seas. They got the wind direction right. We had steady winds over 25 kts, which was not really a problem. Seas, however were a problem! They were at a minimum, 6-7' with some swells well over that, and they were coming close together at an angle that restricted the direction we could proceed. We needed to go north to north-northeast. With those waves we were fighting rolls gunwale to gunwale and going into or in front of them just set us straight out to sea or right back to land. As we crashed into wave after wave, the water was swamping across the bow and against the enclosure. Our secondary anchor was pushed out of its cradle, and had it not been tied off and the chain clamped would have been swinging loose against the boat. Tom persevered and little by little worked us north. We ran with our running lights because it was dark and squally all day as well. What a miserable day. Barb was ill, and no help with the helm, Maggie was wedged into her carrier, trying to maintain her dignity (she fared better than Barb) and Tom was exhausted, sore and hungry by the time we made Cumberland Island. But, we did make it! Forgot to turn off the running lights until we went to turn on the anchor light. Just as well since we then checked the status of our lights and the starboard (green) was out. Tom replaced the bulb and all is working again. We're not sure what it's like out there today but the reports show a bit more favorable in the next few days. It's a drizzly calm day inside this protected area and we are staying put for now. Did a lot of weather surfing and route crunching last night to add plans C, D, and E to our original plans A and B. Since going inside through GA is not really an option, keep your fingers crossed for calm seas for us! Bet you're glad you're snug at home, but thanks for following along with us!