Saturday, April 19, 2014

A last look at Carrabelle and an Easter sail across the Gulf

Things on the boat have gone well. I have fixed everything that wasn't working: dinghy motor, Garmin GPS navigator, AIS transponder, deck leaks, rigging tension, radar installation,…organized the entire boat: pantry, books, charts, tools, lines, bedding, deck, and grocery shopped.  I haven't had time to eat much, too busy.  Even though all has gone well, I haven't set sail.  That will start early Easter morning.  Ten other sailors and I are headed out in what looks to be fair winds for sailing south.  Please let there be fair winds and SUN.  It has been cold and rainy for three days here, good for working in but bad for the soul. 
My barometer says it all.  Northwest Florida has been invaded by a stubborn low pressure system that has turned it into the Unsunshine State.
We all have about a 145 mile crossing that will start in the morning, take us through the day and night, and into the next day.  It is so exciting.  This feeling now, the anticipation of sailing offshore out of sight of land and into the night, is the reason I and others put up with the difficulties of living on a small boat, I think.  It really is a rush.

Photos of Carrabelle

After all the chores were done and I was satisfied that the boat is ready for the crossing, I paddled up the Carrabelle River in my kayak talking to the sailors anchored out on their boats.  They were all getting ready for the trip. Katy and Ric were sailing Enigma, a Morgan 36.  She was a beauty, restored to her original luster.  Bob and Kathy were in Thar Be Dragons, an Islander 36.  

I hop off the kayak and do a short walk through town.  Its a humble little town with fish blood running in its veins.  Folks work hard here and play hard.  It's been a booming town in years past with logging as a major industry.  Its been smacked down by hurricanes and brought back by the sponge industry,commercial and recreational fishing.  Its a quiet anchorage that enables one to just rest.  I like Carrabelle

Homemade chili is simmering on the stove and anticipation builds as I wait for morning.  I doubt I get much sleep tonight.  I ask Big Dave (my dad) to ask Poseidon to have mercy.  He replies:

"To appease Poseidon I think you have to throw some shrimp overboard and sing the Naval Academy hymn. 

Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,

Glad hymns of praise from land and sea. " 

Thanks Dad. I be singing.

1 comment:

  1. Good post! Can't wait to read more about your adventures. Love you. Be safe.