|Headed out for the deep blue ocean. Crossing the Gulf Stream|
on January 1, 2016
After savoring a cup of Joe it was time to get serious. We were now in preparation mode. Mooring lines were dropped and Simple Life was steered in toward the fuel dock in a driving rain squall for a diesel top off and much needed water fill. The squall lasted only a few minutes and we were ready to begin fueling. Next stop? Lake Worth, Palm Beach where we planned to anchor on New Year's Eve staging for a hop off early morning on Friday along with an overnight passage to somewhere in the Bahamas. As of departure we knew only that we were headed offshore. Plans were to see how strong the winds and current were and only thereafter to determine our arrival plans.
|Chuck & Sandy SVSummer Wind, Joe & Michele SV Simple Life|
Kaye & TJ SV Shearwater after enjoying
Christmas dinner at Mulligan's, Vero Beach
|Joe at the helm notice the tanker and another sailboat in|
the background. I was checking them on AIS.
|Screen shot of the AIS laptop display ( I added black arrows|
for illustration purposes)
|Happy to report that my|
boat garden did fine during
My Christmas gift (AIS) worked well. So well in fact that both Joe and I managed to relax enough on this passage to actually sleep when our watches were over. Joe slept so soundly that a good shaking didn't wake him after I'd spotted approaching lights on the horizon which became increasingly brighter as we neared. A quick check on AIS and no boats came up on the screen. Same result with radar. Befuddled, I attempted to wake Joe again by shaking his shoulders, calling to him and knocking on the cabin ceiling. My first thought was, "He's dead! " I'm obviously a pessimist...after a quick check for breath and pulse (both positive), I ran quickly up the cockpit steps and continued to check the vessel headed in our direction. In a bit of a panic I began banging on the fiberglass from the helm station in the cockpit. Joe groggily stumbled out. "What's going on?" I pointed out the lights. After peering through binoculars and checking the chart he said, "I think that's Fox town on Little Abaco Island. I think the bright lights are Christmas lights on houses." I guess I should learn to trust the new equipment. Maybe I'll sleep even better next time. I know Joe will.
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