Sunday, May 18, 2014

Upcoming Trip

Sunset in Isla Mujeres from Whispering Jesse anchored in the bay
I have mentioned that Nan and I are looking forward to having our sailboat, Whispering Jesse, here in Miami. Well, that is finally going to happen. We are headed to Isla Mujeres on Thursday evening to meet up with crew members and prepare the boat for a Monday departure. It should take about three days to reach Key West and then another two days to reach Miami, where we have arranged for a mooring at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club.

Nan will not be a member of the crew for the sailing part of the trip, but I have three other crew members lined up: Mike, who has sailed with me on three previous trips, including the one last May that took the boat to Isla Mujeres; Kevin, a friend of Mike's from Colorado who is an experienced sailor; and Paul, a friend I've known since we were in eighth grade together and who will be making his sailing debut. We will meet everybody at El Milagro Marina, our staging location after we move the boat there from Marina del Sol on Friday morning.

There is much to do before we set sail. The boat has been sitting idle in a slip at Marina del Sol since last August, though we checked on her in January and all was fine. The engine fired right up and ran smoothly, and I was able to get the refrigerator working well enough to make ice. I started a list this afternoon of everything that needs to be done and it quickly ran to 25 items, everything from checking the engine oil to charging up the handheld VHF radio. Fortunately, there is nothing critical on the list that would prevent us from departing if it didn't get done; all of those projects were completed before we left Savannah last May.

The only worry is the weather. A severe storm system with high winds and heavy rain moved through South Florida late last week from the north. The wind is slowly shifting back around to its prevailing easterly direction, and I'm hoping it continues around to the southeast or south to give us good, fast sailing. If it stays directly out of the east, we may run into rough conditions when the wind collides with the eastward-flowing Gulf Stream current as we near Key West.

As with past trips, we will be using a Spot beacon to send out our position twice a day. The messages will be posted to this blog, in case you wish to follow our progress.

Here's hoping for a safe and enjoyable sail!

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