Sunday, March 20, 2005

Florida Rules

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Near The Canaveral Barge Canal N28 24.945 W080 44.171

When out in the channel, we set the sails and headed north for the Canaveral Barge Canal. What a nice day. Cloudless sky, about 70 degrees. The course up river put us close hauled into the wind. Tarwathie loved it. We heeled about 15 degrees and made between 5.1 and 6.8 knots. I set the destination as a waypoint in the GPS and it estimated arrival at 16:36

About 4 hours later we were able to stay on starboard tack, close hauled the whole day. No coming about. We stayed within 100 feet of the channel and negotiated our way under 4 bridges. We arrived within a couple of minutes of the GPS prediction. Try that on an inland lake in upstate NY.

The only dark cloud is that the rack and the pinion on the self-steering vane are out of whack. It must have happened that nasty stormy night last week. I have to figure out how to repair it tomorrow from the dingy. It’s important to go out to sea.

I talked with a man yesterday in Melbourne who single-handed his 35-foot boat to the Bahamas. He said he seriously underestimated his ability to stay awake and that he wouldn’t do it again without self-steering.

I talked with another man at the marina who had one of the few boats that survived hurricane Jean last year. He said the 36-footer next to him tied up with 3/8 lines. They turned down loaners of 1-inch lines. The 36-footer broke loose and went under this man’s boat and sank there. His boat was scratched and dented but otherwise OK. All the docs and almost all the boats at this marina were wrecked.

This man’s boat also drafts 7’3”. That’s too much and there are many places he can’t go.

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