I am delighted to report that, at long last, BEESMEJ is complete! For our Maiden Voyage, we sailed towards Charlotte Harbour, on the west coast of Florida. Within the bay, ther are numerous mangrove areas and water depths of 6-7 feet. I had bought a third anchor; the plan was to practice an anchoring arrangement for a hurricane Basically, the three anchors are deployed over a 130 degree arc……two sectors of approximately 40 degrees. Then, whichever the wind hits, at least two anchors will hold. We would use 300 feet of anchor/line per anchor. I am assured the system works!
At any rate, as we approached Venice, I was advised, over my mobile phone, to return to Twin Dolphin Marina, as Tropical Storm Fay was scheduled to head up the west coast of Florida. The prediction was that the eye of the storm would pass over Charlotte Harbour; we would be safer in the marina! And this from the guy who advised against staying in a marina in a hurricane!
We got back, late yesterday and got down to the business of preparing the yacht. I have doubled lines all round the yacht, such that we are in the middle of a spider’s web. As it is, we cannot step ashore, as we are suspended some three feet away from the dock. The deck has been cleared of everyhting movable and the sails have been strapped down.
Fay is, now, predicted to be a Category 1 hurricane, by the time it reaches us. I have to say: I am not happy about staying in the marina. It just takes one boat to break loose, to cause huge carnage! Fortunately, the winds should not exceed 80 knots…..but we are expecting 8 inches of rain……and tornados!
I am sad to report that Maggie is not a happy bunny. She hates BEESMEJ. Thinks it is worse than the worst of our charter boats. And, worst of all, she has become extremely depressed. She is desparate to sail to the Caribbean; but, all advice is dead against entering the Caribbean before the end of October. I have, repeatedly, offered to send her back to the UK; she could return to Florida at the end of October or, if she preferred, join BEESMEJ, once we are in the Caribbean. A lot of the depreesion has resulted, directly, from the delays in getting BEESMEJ completed. Maggie was so looking forward to getting on board and sailing into the sunset; just as we were used to doing on our charter boats. But taking delivery of a new yacht is a different ball game, altogether.
posted Monday August 2008