Wednesday, March 26, 2008

West Sailing

At Sea
N 27 01 W 078 24

Well, we decided to leave Great Sale and head for Fort Pierce Florida. Most of the other boats in the anchorage are going to wait another day before leaving to avoid the 7 foot swells in the Gulf Stream. We decided that the swells don't bother us and that we had enough waiting around. So here we are. It is about 1800 on Wednesday right now. We have partly cloudy skys, temperature 75F (24C). Winds are on the starboard stern quarter at 15 knots. We are still on the banks, with water depth only
4 meters. There are almost no waves out here on the banks. At about 0300 tomorrow we'll leave the banks and around 0600 we should find the 7 foot swells, again on the starboard stern quarter. We'll have to turn the boat another 20 degrees to port when we're in the middle of the gulf stream, so the seas should be following. That shouldn't be bad. We should be in Fort Pierce sometime after noon tomorrow.

We just experienced another first. We're used to meeting up with cruising friends in the anchorages and ashore. Just now, we met up with Gypsy while at sea. Gypsy, with Leon and Kim on board, is an acquaintance from Marsh Harbor. I've written about them before in the blog. Anyhow, they too are en route to Fort Pierce, so we'll cross together.

By the way, we learned more about the boats dragging on Monday night. It seems that one of the sailboats near us had their anchor break loose in the middle of the night. They drifted backward (away from us) just missing the boat behind them. Then, before crashing on the rocks it plowed in to another sailboat.

The crew on the other boat were awake standing anchor watch and they saw it coming, but they were unable to get out of the way in time. It had a center cockpit, and the female crew member was standing at the wheel. The bowsprit of the dragging boat hit them from the side, and protruded right in to the cockpit just in front of the wheel. The poor woman must have been terrorized and in fear for her life at that moment. Anyhow, one of the boats cut their anchor loose to help separate the two boats.
Yesterday, the two skippers were said to be negotiating a financial settlement for the damage.

Wow what a story. The lesson to us is that we need to redouble our determination to stand anchor watch when conditions are dangerous.

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