Thursday, February 2, 2017

Great Birthday - Thanks

Thanks Bill - Great Birthday Sail

An unexpected call from Bill asking if we wanted to go out on his boat for a day sail - Bill did not know it was my birthday, and I didn't mention it. But Peggy was happy to go. We had met with Bill & Colleen several times, they are always good for a chat, especially if the subject is sailing, Lobsters or the Bahamas.

We arranged to meet them at 11:30 and stopped by Eximius to pickup Peggy's Jacket, Gloves and PFD and spot.

Despite the traffic, we arrived at the Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club around 11:20am, so we had time to update our Spot Locator message.

At the Boat, Bill greeted us with his typical humor and we climbed aboard with the boat at high tide.

Bill had done much of the departure prep before we got there, so it was only a few minutes before I was able to help cast off and we backed out of the slip at the Yacht Club. Coolleen was doing other stuff today, so it was just the three of us.

We motored out of the FLYC channel into the Intra Coastal Channel and headed for the 17th Street Bridge. There was 55' of clearance, so we were able to pass under the bridge without an opening. 

Turning out towards the Ocean, we could see that it was going to be a nice sail, not a lot of lumpy water out there. 

We raised the sails once outside the entrance and turned South, but the wind was fickle, so we turned to the North just so that we could hug the coast, and then Bill enabled the Auto Pilot. He has the same model we have just a few years younger. 

There was a submarine just outside Port Everglades, it was heading South so we guessed it was not going into the port. As always, there were a bunch of ships at anchor off the Fort Lauderdale beach waiting to go into port. The wind from the East veered to the SE some of the time, but we had a really nice, easy and comfortable sail up towards Hillsboro Inlet, but not going quite that far (the track shows our Spot locations throughout the sail.)

Around 12:30 Bill brought out the sandwiches and we sat around the cabin table discussing our upcoming trip to the Bahamas. Bill & Colleen have done that trip - lots! And have plenty of local knowledge as he has been sailing this area and the Bahamas for around 40 years.

When you go out with  a seasoned sailor, you have to expect a few sea stories, heck, I have a few, and sailors are normally happy to share them. Bill is no exception, he kept us laughing, intrigued and excited with his recollections of  past trips. Not only is that fun, but we also learn a lot from them. Thanks Bill.

After turning South to return, Bill disabled the Auto Pilot and invited me to take the helm - This is the way to celebrate a birthday! The boat behaves quite different from Eximius, I had to learn how close the boat would sail and so quickly put the boat in irons. But after a few minutes we were able to turn back off the wind and then head South. 

The wind was it's normal finiky unstable self, but we made good progress all the way down the the Port. Bill was comfortable enough to take a cat nap on the stern seats. Seeing how he set himself up to relax, I realized he had done that often before. It was easy to bring the boat up during the puffs and head off during the lulls. I kept us out away from the beach just in case the wind died down and that would need us to tack back out. As it was, we were easily able to get all the way to the Port on a Port Tack. Bill did remind me that his boat had less than 4' of draft and getting closer to the shoal marker in Duet was not as risky as it is on Eximius. 

Once were past the shoal marker, Bill started the engines and powered up so that we could lower the sails. There's plenty of deck to get around on Bill's boat, so the sails were soon dropped and furled, zipped up in the mainsail's stack pack and ready for the return.

As we came in, Wizard was in front of us - nice boat if you like to race 

We easily passed under the bridge and turned up to the FLYC channel. In just a few minutes, we were tied up and the engines shut down. 

Bill brought up the Beer!

Thanks Bill for a great sail today, we both enjoyed every minute. Don't hesitate to ask us out again!

See you on the water. 

If you click on the expand icon in the title bar of the map above, you'll see the track we took. The waypoints with a Camera Icon have a pic.

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