Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our first long trip.... Port St. Joe

I am usually the one who writes and post the blogs and I have asked Dirk to contribute some since we will be having more stories to tell. I think having a different perspective sometimes is good. Tuesday the 19th Dirk and I decided to take a trip with a destination other then Shell Island for a change. Below is Dirk's account of the trip that he penned into our log book.

Well, this was our 1st trip past Shell Island with a real destination. The weather was reported to be good for the next 3-4 days. 5-10 knot winds with 2-3 foot seas. MY ASS!!!!!! Shortly after our bumpy departure through the St. Andrews pass we saw on our newly installed fuel vacuum gauge that our filter was soon to fail us. It was reading 18 when 0-10 was normal. So what to do now, turn around or try to change the filter while being bounced all over the place? Then the phone rang, it was Ron telling us about some bad weather that was coming our way. Oh, did I mention the cat was sick as a dog, throwing up, diarrhea, and drooling like a St. Bernard? Not only that, but the auto pilot, GPS, and part of our Nav Pod quit working. We decided to stick it out. I mean come on, we were already over 1 hour into the 8 hour trip. There is no turning back now. So we found a blown fuse which fixed some of the of the problems. Butters (our cat) found a spot in the galley from which he didn't move until our arrival. We still wanted to change the filter before the engine quit and the weather report now had a "special observation" put out. Basically what it said was "The weather has gone to shit, find a safe harbour and don't go out in it." The radar confirmed all that, so we changed the filter, got the engine going again, which is a story on it's own and battened down the hatches. We sailed in rain, 20-25 knot winds, and the occasional lighting for about 3 hours. We arrived just around sunset, threw out the anchor and called it a night. How about that for our first trip!!!!

Now back to your regular poster....My account is as follows....

Pulling out of the dock and heading into the pass was a breeze. Once we hit the pass we did experience a bit of rolling which is pretty much the norm for that area. Once we were out into the gulf we hoisted the sails and headed east. "If its gonna happen, its gonna happen out there" I wont bore you with the same details Dirk wrote about already but I have to say, the experience gave both Dirk and I a good confidence booster. Tybee Time preformed like a champ. Even in the swells and waves she gave us a comfortable ride. Dolphins came by for a visit which is still so cool to me. I have to say even with all that went wrong the trip that took 8 hours did not seem like that long at all. The day flew by and before I knew it we were headed into St. Joe's Bay. We anchored just before sunset then popped a cold one to toast the day with.

Here I am right after anchoring and still managing a smile after the long day.

The beautiful sunset that followed.....

For July, I have to say the weather was wonderful. Comfortable sleeping weather and nice breezes throughout the day. We decided that we would do some scalloping and before long we had bagged our limit. The last time we went we had a bit of time elapse from harvest to cleaning. Well once we bagged our limit of 2 gallons each we headed back to the boat for a cleaning spree. Okay, no one told me how much of a fight these buggers put up. We hung the sack off the rear of the boat and piled some into a bowl for cleaning. If you have ever seen the wind up chattering teeth you would know what the bowl looked like. The bowl was chattering with the occasional squirt that found its way to you. For someone who has never cleaned a scallop it goes something like this....First you grab a scallop without getting nipped. Usually if you put your knife into the open mouth they will close down on it. Holding it in your left hand you wedge the knife into the scallop close to the flared end. Once you wedge it in you scrape the muscle off the shell from one side. I found it very unsettling at first and winced every time they would try to squeeze back together fighting to keep the knife out. Once you have them on the half shell you scrape the extras away from the shell except the white muscle all the while they are flexing and moving. Eeeewwwww......Even with everything gone a few of them still had fight in them as you scraped the white muscle from its last holding place. Guess you really can't get any fresher then that for fresh seafood.
Just wish you could get shrimp as easy as you can get scallops. The next day we headed back to the marina and we had an absolutely beautiful sail. Once we set the sails we engaged the auto pilot (otto) and sat back and relaxed. We trolled the whole time but only managed to catch a little tunny. That's actually the name of it. It is related to the tuna but I guess it is more of a game fish from what we read so we released it. Oh well, maybe next time we can catch some mahi mahi. We ended up getting back to the marina shortly before sunset and by nightfall we had the boat all cleaned up. Geeeze, its amazing how dirty a small area can get in such a short time. So with our first "real" trip behind us we look forward to another one very soon.

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