Day 28 – “Hello Gulf of Mexico”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turner Marina to Gulf of Mexico N 30 14’ W 87 27’

(See Photos – Week 4, Day 28)

Although my alarm was set for 6:30, I woke up at five o’clock and began thinking about taking a shower. It would be quiet, hopefully no one else from the marina would be up and using it. Turner’s Marina was renovating their bathrooms and were operating on one shower when the office wasn’t open; there was a full bathroom with shower in their office building available for use.

Hoping to beat any of the guys to the bathroom I quietly slipped out of my bunk, gathered my fresh clothes that I had set out the night before and took the key. Terry was on my heels as I went up the companionway. I let him use it first as he was just washing his face. Then with no one else in sight, it was my turn. I quickly undressed and stepped into a nice hot shower. I had left the outside door unlocked should anyone else need to use one of the two toilet stalls, as they were the only ones available this early. Plus anyone staying at the marina had a key, just like ours so the lock was a moot point to keeping others out.

Rex was the next one to come in.

“Julie, is that you?” he asked.

“Morning Rex.”

“Is it okay if someone comes in to use the toilet.”

“Sure,” I said from behind the dark brown shower curtain.

“Are you sure it’s alright?” An unfamiliar voice asked.

“Come on in. It’s fine,” I reassured him.

It’s an interesting life living on a boat and at a marina, even if it’s for a few days or a month, as was our case. Today marked the end of four weeks on Appledore V. So much for the delivery taking two and a half to three weeks. We weren’t even fully prepared for sea and still had hundreds of miles to go. Hugh was hoping we’d be ready by lunch and leave shortly thereafter when the tide was coming in. We had a shallow channel to navigate back out into the Gulf of Mexico and a storm coming in from the North that he wanted to beat. If we waited too long the North winds would blow the water out and make our channel passage precipitous.

Veggie scrambled eggs, with the green pepper, and bacon and toast were the morning’s tidings. On my list of final to dos was another small load of laundry, get some ice for the ice cooler and fill the water tanks with fresh water.

Mike worked and worked and worked on the wiring all morning and past lunch trying to get the connections in the circuit box properly configured. He and Hugh walked over to West Marine supply store a couple of times to get better electrical connectors so Mike could properly wire the lights. Finally about thirty minutes before we were ready to leave he crawled out of the cabinet where the electrical connections were and did one last light check. The starboard running light still didn’t work. A quick check determined that it was a bad bulb. That was the easiest of his problems to solve; he had worked about three or four hours yesterday and another seven hours today. It was working and properly wired.

With ice and water on board, we said good-bye to Captain Scott; but not before he gifted us with a fishing rod and appropriate tackle for trolling to use on our trip through the Gulf. At 2:25 PM we blew the horn as we exited Turner’s Marina. We had decent water and were hoping to get some distance made before rain came down on us.

We now were in a mind set of sailing 24 hours a day. Hugh changed our watch times. We were now working on a modified Swedish watch — there would be four shifts of five hours each and one shift of four hours. There were three teams now with the addition of Rex to the crew — Mike and Bill, Terry and me, Andy and Rex – Hugh as captain would help and be on deck as necessary.

Bill and Mike had the first watch, being the A Team. They had a short watch beginning at 3 PM. Then Terry and I took over after dinner, from 6 to 11 PM. Andy and Rex had the 11 PM to 3 AM followed by Bill and Mike back on at 3 AM until 8 AM. Meals were at 7:20 AM, 12:20 PM and 5:20 PM. The two watches not on watch first ate then the off-coming watch would eat and clean the galley.

When we were underway motoring out of Mobile Bay, we raised the staysail for stability. I sat enjoying the water and admired the rigging the guys had worked hard putting back in place. On the boom of the fore I noticed a piece of blue tape. Terry had placed it with a note “knot this side.”

“Terry, doesn’t the jiffy reef line go here?” I asked.

“Yes it does.”

“Captain, would you like us to put the jiffy reef in?”

“Sure, that would be well.” He replied. “I think I saw a line that didn’t look like a dock line floating around here.”

We easily located the jiffy reef line in the lazurette, located in the stern of the boat. Finally I got to help with some of the rigging. I had wanted to help with the rigging the previous days, but there were already more than enough hands on deck. I now felt a sense of fulfillment.

That evening, even though Terry and I were on watch, I ducked down below periodically to the galley. That night we had baked fried chicken, brown rice and broccoli. Dinner was promptly ready at 5:20. Terry and I ate and cleaned up after we turned the helm over to Rex and Andy.

It would be an interesting night was we motor sailed through the night.

About juliemckaycovert

I am a therapist, teacher, photographer and published author. I am a lover of life and nature. My husband, Hugh, and I live off the grid on a remote 40 acre island, Shelter Island, just off of Drummond Island in the far eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This blog is about my life, a life I thought I'd never be able to live. This blog is about dreams and ideals being manifested. It is about daily events with a backwoods twist. It is about the simple pleasures and wonders being brought forth. I invite you to be inspired and even, as some friends have, live vicariously through my words.
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