Writing these entires from the saloon on the passage has been fun for me, since it will function as part logbook for Kara and I down the road. I’m sure we’ll look back on our 30 knot (storm…ok gale) and the 10ft seas that came with it later and laugh but at the time, it was 1 part stressful, and 1 part exciting.
Still writing this I wonder if anyone else will find it the slightest bit interesting or helpful. So do us a favor and if you’re actually reading my meandering commentary and are still awake, drop us a comment or something to let us know you’re out there.
--OK back to our regularly scheduled program--
We’ve been sailing since last night around 10:30-11 when Kara noticed we had enough wind to unfurl the jib and shut off the motor. We actually keep the main out pretty much the whole time, even when sailing since it stabilizes the boat and keeps us from rolling. This makes the motion much more comfortable, particularly when dealing with a beam sea as we have been for the last day or so.
It cooled down quite a bit late last night/early this AM and today has remained cold and cloudy, but with a nice wind out of the N to NE. We’ve been making between 5-7 knots all day and are getting close to make our turn to the NNE so we can follow the safety fairway all the way up to Galveston.
|Yours truly from the cockpit on a cold nasty day.|
Kara and I just had our watch change, so I’m down below enjoying the hot chocolate she made and trying to warm up while she’s in the cockpit making sure we don’t hit any uncharted rigs or get squashed by a super tanker or container ship. Houston is a massive shipping port and we’ve been noticing more and more ship traffic as we get closer. The safety fairway is pretty much the only sane way to approach, particularly once it gets dark, so it really focuses all the traffic into a little 2 mile corridor. We typically try to stick just outside the corridor so we don’t get run down but since in many places the rigs are actually right on the line, we’ll have to duck into the actual lane from time to time, always nice in a tiny 40ft sailboat going 6 knots when surrounded by massive tankers and cargo vessels running 25 knots. BABOO is likely pretty tough for them to pick out when they’re really focused on the rigs and other ships, so we follow collregs and always keep in mind the rule of gross tonnage.
Tonight, looks like it will be another cold one. Which stinks but then again, no-one ever said the Gulf of Mexico would be fun in January. Probably a big reason why most folks take the ICW for this trip, and go when it’s a bit warmer…stupid work. At this point we’re just hoping the wind will allow us to sail up the fairway to the Galveston entrance vs having to motor. We’re much faster under sail but if we don’t have enough of a wind angle, it can make maneuvering around ships and rigs a bit challenging.
Stay tuned, we’re hoping to make the entrance at Galveston tomorrow in daylight, so we don’t have to wait outside.
Thanks and more to come,