The plan is coming together for our epic adventure to the Pacific. To think that this time next year, we will be deep into the Pacific, and sailing the keel off of AMARA. One goal – Have FUN and Enjoy LIFE! Everyone who would like can follow us on the World Cruising Clubs web site, the link is: FLEET TRACKER.
Our departure from St Lucia will be in January 2018. If you are interested in joining us, please reach out! We have a spreadsheet that detailing the legs, dates and distances between stops. That was super fun to figure out and just think about where we will venture and sites we will be seeing.
Another fun fact: There is currently 4 other Hylas yachts in the rally. Cruising with similar vessels will give us a good idea of how we are progressing and are we making good decisions about sails and course.
Stay tuned for more information!
We have been way laid in Norfolk, VA for 4 days now due to weather. A frontal boundary from the north has slowly moved down, bringing high winds from a NNE direction. That is 20 to 25 knots of wind from the exact wrong direction. If we were to have gone out in that, it would have been a rough ride and now that our crew is down to only 3, that would not have been a great idea. So, we wait.
BUT… much to our surprise, we have landed on the weekend where Norfolk celebrates its naval past with “Harbor Fest”! Making all that we could of this time, we spent a full day exploring and touring ships that you do not see every day. Everything from Tall Ships to Battleships and Destroyers! What a sight.
Tomorrow, Sunday June 7th about mid day, we will set out for Newport. It is 350 miles from the opening of Chesapeake Bay to our summer home in Tiverton, RI. Will the wind shifting in a much better direction, this passage should take us about 58 hours or so. We will be sure to get the tracker up and running on our departure so you all can watch our progress. This part of the passage has me a bit concerned due to the high level of commercial shipping out of New Jersey and New York. We will be extra vigilant in our watches. Also, we do have the RayMarine system working great now, so radar and AIS is up and doing its job!
Farewell to Norfolk! Hello Atlantic Ocean!
Wednesday May 27th was a day I want to forget!
With all the excitement you would imagine in departing the dock at 6:20am, Amara back away with ease. Waiting just north of the 17th Street causeway bridge in Fort Lauderdale was something we had done many times and it is just part of living up the ICW in Florida. You wait for bridges. As I maneuvered Amara about, suddenly the forward gear would not engage. Our departure time was about tides and currents and it was high and flowing out, under the causeway. With no power to maneuver, we were drifting with the current toward concrete and steel.
I am so thankful that Eric Martin was on board and with his knowledge and calm style, he did get the transmission into reverse, we backed away from the bridge safely, but nerves were tense and frankly I was terrified our beautiful boat was going to be damaged beyond what I ever want to imagine. We got into a shallow area where we dropped the anchor and took a deep breath!
Why did this happen? In the shifting linkage from the lever in the cockpit to the transmission, there is a small plastic coupler. This coupler is light weight and it can break. WOW… have you ever heard of throwing the baby out with the bath water? I know things are going to break and boats need repair. But, please… timing is everything. That was too close, so maybe that was it, right? That was our close call for next… lets say 10 years! 🙂
Towed back to the dock: Brenda called Tow Boats and they came out with a very skilled young man, who tied us up and 10 minutes later we were sitting at the dock again, bruised but not broken!
We took advantage of the extra day in Fort Lauderdale! Greg and I changed the oil in the Dodge, getting ready for the drive back to Colorado in about 10 days. Brenda and Eric went off and got some last minute supplies and then we grilled a fabulous steak dinner.
Today – Thursday May 28th: we will get the parts, fix the lever and depart when we are confident the fix is complete. The weather is still looking good and departure is close.
We did call this an adventure!
Friday May 8, 2015
We did not work today, instead, we drove 3 1/2 hours to Key West, FL. It brought back memories of when I was 18 when my Dad and I came to Florida to get our open water SCUBA certification. We did a “day trip” to Key West from Tampa… that was a very long day. Yesterday ended up in a traffic jamb in Miami, sure glad Brenda was not with us. I know how much you love 7 lanes of door to door / bumper to bumper cars honey!
All good… ended the day with a movie and AHI Tuna for dinner.
The work is steady and being a boat, always seems to be above the budget! The major issues are dingy, electronics update, refrigeration leak repair and getting the new name put on AMARA.
We are getting through it. As I have learned to say – “It’s Manageable”
The one big thing I am excited about is the friendships we are building. People are what make life a joy and people are what make life challenging. In the process of working on Amara, it is apparent that we are all different. I have been praying that God gives me the grace (aka: Amara) to be a light onto this world. We have met some amazing people and know that they will be friends for life. Others will come and go as we set sail on alternate courses. Its all good… oh so good!