Day 29 – One to Six Books

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gulf of Mexico N 30 21’ W 087 00’ to N 29 40’ W 85 16’ Anchorage

(See Photos – Week 5, Day 29)

The morning routine was pretty normal – roll out of bed shortly after 6 AM. 6 AM boat time, that is. When we left Turner’s and Alabama we were on Central Time. But we would be soon passing into the Eastern Time Zone. Hugh wanted to keep the meal times and watch schedule as it was when we left Turner’s. So even though our cell phones, as smart as they were, tried to tell us it was an hour earlier, Eastern Time, we stuck to Central Time or boat time.

It was a morning of hearty oatmeal with plenty of raisins, apple and walnuts. Bill’s been putting peanut butter in his oatmeal for a little extra protein and Hugh and Andy have been eating cottage cheese with theirs.

“No thanks, I’ll pass.” I tell them.

We’ve been spotted by dolphins a couple of times. They know that boats, going fast enough, create a bow wake which provides them with a pressure wave that they enjoy riding. If we weren’t going fast enough they didn’t want to play, so they went to play elsewhere.

There really isn’t much more to tell you about the day and night as it was pleasantly uneventful. When one of us wasn’t on watch we were generally eating a meal or sleeping; according to the motto “eat and sleep when you can.” Terry and I would wile away our time by chatting about sailing trips and anything nautical, about other adventures we’ve done, swap college stories and what to get our spouses for Christmas. We both enjoy reading. I brought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In the time that it took me to read my one book Terry read six. Huckleberry Finn, Rising Sun by Michael Crichton, The Rebels by John Jakes, Don’t Know Much About the Universe by Kenneth Davis, and then borrow my copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He then found and read at Turner’s Marina its sequel The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson. Terry generally reads a book a week. I could read that much but a lot of the time when Terry was reading I was cooking or writing and editing photos for the blog.

In the northeastern part of the gulf, there is a missile test zone that Terry and I sailed through. A couple miles south of us there was an Army helicopter hovering for extended periods of time over the water. We could see it was trailing a line out of its cargo hatch. We surmised they were doing something with sonar; maybe listening for subversive submarines or an even better story, according to Terry, is that they were looking for unexploded hi-tech missiles.

We thought we’d be sailing through the night but Hugh decided to bring us in close to shore and anchor for the night. We had made good progress and strong winds and biggesh waves were predicted. We set down anchor just after sunset and the 6 – 11 watch of Mike and Bill stood anchor watch. Assuming we hadn’t dragged anchor by 11 PM it was thought we would be secure and could sleep.

“If you guys want to be good sailors and check every once in a while, that would be well.” Hugh commented to Terry and me referring to checking our position to make sure we hadn’t dragged anchor.

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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.

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Day 28 – Leaving Mobile

Hi Friends,

Just a quick note to let you know we’re almost about to cast off our lines from Turner’s Marina on Dog River near Mobile.

We’ll be sailing 24 hours a day from here to Fort Myers, FL out in the Gulf of Mexico. Because we’ll be so far off shore I don’t know what our phone and email and internet access will be.

Rex has joined us for our last leg and that means we’ll have three watches, which means more rest of all, except of course the Captain.

I’ll get posts and pics put up for Sunday through present as soon as possible.

Happy sailing!

Julie & the Crew of Appledore V

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Day 27 – Take Two

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turner Marina

(See Photos – Week 4, Day 27)

Oatmeal is the standard fare for breakfast when we’ve been underway. Eggs and bacon, and grits if we have them, take a while to cook so I’ve only served them when we were at a dock. We didn’t have any grits left so yesterday I had gotten some raisin bread for tasty toast instead to go with this morning’s eggs and bacon.

Last night I realized there were needed a few more groceries, bearing in mind that we had an additional crew member on board and that we would be arriving in Fort Myers most likely on Sunday. Bill wanted to go with me again as he wanted to get some shrimp bait to fish off the dock with. When I came up on deck there was a new face examining the boat.

“Are you Scott?” I asked.

“No I’m Roger,” he replied. “I’m the crane operator.”

Another Roger. Talking to the guys on shore was someone else I didn’t know. I walked up to him.

“Are you Scott?” I asked.

“Yeah.” He said.

“Hi! It’s good to finally meet you,” and I extended my hand to shake his. Instead I got a hug.

This was Captain Scott Hooper, a good friend of Hugh’s. When he’s not living on a tug boat, based out of Morgan City, he spends a lot of time in his home city of Destin, FL. Hugh had called him and told him about Appledore V’s arrival in Mobile, did he want to come see the boat? The two of them have spent a fair number of hours on various schooners and other sailboats. Yes, he’d be at Turner’s in the morning. And here he was, with climbing gear and all ready to help us rig Appledore V.

“You’re welcome to eat lunch with us and if you’re still around at dinner time, we’ll have a plate for you.”

“Thanks.”

“I look forward to visiting with you, but right now I have some errands I have to go do.”

Bill and I went off to the grocery and bait store. He had hoped to find a cheap fishing rod, but there wasn’t anything that fit the bill.

“I’ll just use the carpet thread and hook I have. But let’s stop at Lulu’s for shrimp bait.”

“Okay.”

On the way we passed a convenience store that advertised Krispy Kreme donuts.

“Let’s take some back!”

There were large buckets of ice with dozens of bottles of beer in the tiny store’s aisles, but no donut counter.

“Do you have Krispy Kremes?” I asked the owner.

“No, we’re sorry,” he said, “they took them away because we didn’t sell enough.”

Back in the car I said to Bill, “It’s a good thing we didn’t promise the guys donuts.”

“Yeah, then they’d really be disappointed.”

We slowed down as we passed the creek where Bill and Rex had spotted the crocodile the day before.

“There he is!”

We parked on the shoulder and walked back to the bridge and looked at the ten to twelve foot monster. Soon he began making his way into the water, he had gotten a whiff of the chicken neck that was being dangled in the water. A local guy was fishing for blue crabs with it.

We stopped at the bait shop, even though it wasn’t called Lulu’s and talked with Patty and admired the egret that hangs around while Bill got $2 worth of shrimps. He was determined to catch us a fish.

Even though we had been gone only about ninety minutes, the masts were back in. “Take two” obviously went smoothly. Too bad they hadn’t gotten the truck crane the day before. The guys were scrambling around the deck, port and starboard, attaching rigging to pin rails and shrouds to the rail. I wanted to help but with the addition of Rex and Scott, who helped Andy aloft, there really wasn’t much for me to do. So I leisurely put my groceries away and fed them snacks.

“Take two,” I said and passed a bowl of No Bake cookies around for the hungry guys.

As I stood on shore, I had the privilege of answering on lookers’ questions.

A man walked by, obviously admiring the schooner.

“I’m new to sailing and we’re thinking about buying a sailboat,” he said. “I have a question for you.”

I was afraid he might ask how much a schooner cost, with the idea that he might buy one. If he was new to sailing, I knew a schooner like Appledore V wasn’t the best option for someone’s first boat. To my relief he asked, “What are those things?” An pointed up to the mast.

“Oh, those are giant Amazonian caterpillars.” I said with as serious of a face as possible.

He was perplexed.

“They are actually called baggy wrinkles.” I then proceeded to tell him their purpose.

Not two minutes later a woman approached me.

“I have a silly question,” she asked.

“Sure, what.”

“What are those fuzzy things?” She pointed up high on either side of the foremast. “And what do they do?”

I paused a moment.

“Those are giant Amazonian caterpillars.”

She didn’t know what to say or do. She wasn’t sure how serious I was. I waited a few moments for it to really sink in and then answered, “Those are baggy wrinkles.”

Again she didn’t know how to respond.

“Seriously they are called baggy wrinkles and help protect the sail from chaffing.” I informed her.

“Oh…”

We chatted a bit about sailing, and menus and one pot meals. That reminded me that I had water trying to boil on the stove so I excused myself and went below to prepare lunch.

“Lunch is ready!” At 12:30 we gathered in the breezeway of the marina for a nice lunch of pork and pasta.

By 2 PM most of the rigging was in place and we moved Appledore V back to the wall where we were originally tied up. The guys were working on lacing the sails and Mike was working away below. He quickly became our resident electrician when he crawled into the top bunk in the captain’s cabin and started reconnecting our lights, VHF, horn and radar.

There wasn’t much for me to do so I took the opportunity to stroll the dock yards and boat slips.

“You’re on Appledore aren’t you?” A guy working on his sailboat asked.

“Yeah.”

“We’ll you all are invited to dinner on the breezeway tonight.” He said. “My wife likes to cook and she’d cooking up a big pot of soup.”

“Okay.” I was surprised. “Does the captain know?”

“Yeah, we talked to them earlier.”

“Oh, thanks.” I said. No one had told me. It’s a good thing I hadn’t prepped the fried chicken I had been planning.

“Julie, Scott wants to get a bunch of shrimp for us for dinner.” Hugh told me.

“Okay, sounds good.”

“This area is the best place to get shrimp,” Scott said.

I had no objections. I’d been looking for some fresh fish or seafood, but surprisingly had not seen any available.

“I’ll ask around where to get some,” Scott said.

“Sounds good.”

“Ya’ll going to run errands?” Rex asked.

“Yes, we’re going to get some shrimp.” We had decided to do shrimp as an appetizer and then wander over to the soup potluck at the appointed hour of six.

Rex wanted to go with us and go to Walmart to get a rain suit. Although he has his own sailboat, a 27 foot Cape Dorey, and knows all about foul weather gear, he didn’t pack any. I had asked him yesterday if he brought some and he had replied that he hadn’t but he’d be okay. He must have had second thoughts and realized that it might be worth spending a few bucks for even a cheap rain coat. So off to Walmart we went then Mudbugs, the local place to get fresh fish and seafood. It was closed on Mondays, hence my not noticing it yesterday.

When we got back Mike was still working away on the electrical. He’d spend the next three hours working on it. The wiring of the lights was perplexing him — lots of wires to connect in a tiny spot. At least there was time in the morning for him to finish, hopefully. Everyone else was doing a little of this and a little of that. I heard water sloshing on deck and scrubbing as I steamed the five pounds of shrimp and seasoned it with “Slap Your Mama” cajun seasoning that Scott had bought.

We munched on shrimp and smoked tuna dip, cheese and crackers compliments of Scott, when all tasks were done. We were so full of shrimp that when we finally got to the potluck none of us were very hungry. That night we enjoyed getting to know others who were at the marina and swapped stories. Scott decided he’d drive the four hours back to Morgan City in the morning, so we pulled out the starboard bunk in the saloon for him. That night we sat around listening to Captains Hugh and Scott talk about tugs, sailing and other adventure stories.

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Day 26 – The Joys of a Marina

Monday, November 7, 2011

Turner Marina 

(See Photos – Week 4, Day 26)

Breakfast was a bit more leisurely than normal. We were docked at Turner Marina and had no where to go until about 2 PM, when the masts would be stepped  — put back in place on the boat. We were waiting for the water to come up with the tide as the marina was shallow to start with and we were going to need every inch of water that we could get. Pulling in to the dock last night was tricky as we came across a high mud spot that Hugh had to work around.

Rex, Hugh and Andy’s buddy from Indiana, drove a rental car down on Saturday night to join us for the Gulf of Mexico leg. I needed to pick him up at his hotel when I did grocery shopping. My first order of business was to make a shopping list and get the courtesy car. I had it reserved for 8 AM and had it for three hours. That should be plenty of time to go pick up Rex, get some groceries and stop at Lowe’s for a washer for the water filter. Bill wanted to go with me and take a shower in Rex’s hotel room, which had been offered. So we dropped him off and while he showered I went to Best Buy and got a memory stick because all my photos from this trip were taking up too much room on my hard drive.

Then we stopped by two banks in search of pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters minted this year, 2011. It’s a tradition to put that year’s coin under the mast. At the first bank, the teller checked her and another’s drawer and didn’t find any. The second bank, Rex and Bill went in while I was across the street putting gas in the courtesy car.

“Nope,” Rex shook his head when he got back in the car. “They wouldn’t even look.”

On our way back to the marina we passed by a creek.

“Look!” Rex shouted.

“A crocodile!” Bill said.

Since I was driving I didn’t see where they were pointing to.

“It was just laying there in an opening.” Rex said.

“Cool.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Rex and Andy took a walk back there to watch it.

We got back to the marina at 11 AM. Hugh and the rest of the crew were busy unlashing the masts and taking as much off the decks as possible — spars, gang plank, dock steps, sails. The clearer the decks were the easier it would be to lift the masts and place them. Lunch of leftover lasagna and sandwiches soon followed and we were ready to get to work by 1:30 PM. We were just waiting for the water to be high enough and for the crane operator to be ready.

Hugh suggested that a couple of us go to the dock where we’d be taking the boat. Theoretically we were there to help catch dock lines. But the real reason was he wanted as little weight on board as possible. Where we were going was shallow! It was so shallow that it was questionable as to whether we’d make it in the slip or not.

After the catamaran Matadore moved to another spot on the wall, out of the way of the slip, Hugh cautiously motored Appledore V towards the work slip. He was almost there. Someone cast me a starboard bow line and the port bow line was sent to a dock worker. Hugh tried to move her bow forward more. We had to be careful of the spreaders and radar that hung over the bow. She wouldn’t go farther. He gave her a little more throttle – no effect. Hugh’s a really good pilot and backed her out a little while turning her nose into the slip. Forward throttle. Then she stopped. Those of us holding dock lines could feel what he felt – mud on the bottom. Just as we had feared.

With lots of hands on each side working fenders to keep her from scraping on the metal sides of the slip and coordinated pulling on dock lines, Hugh was able to use a gentle amount of throttle to help encourage her forward. Once we got her straight we were able to slide her all the way forward. The bowsprit overhung the dock wall with the bob chain almost touching. Roger needed her as close to the dock as possible to work the crane on the travel lift to put the masts up.

Hugh knew exactly where the balance point was roping and lifting the masts. Roger roped the mast and hooked it. Carefully he lifted up our precious cargo. The fore mast was first. Being cautious of the radar and spreaders that were on the top of the mast, Roger and his crew placed it on land with supports under the mast. He then repositioned his pick point and lifted it back up.

By this time the hydraulics on his crane were quite warm and the load capacity of the crane was being stretched to the maximum. Roger was concerned that his brake might not be able to hold so he put the mast back on shore. We were done for the day. Plan B would need to happen tomorrow. A truck crane would be rented to do the heavy lifting instead. Oh well, Roger tried to save us some money. We all appreciated his willingness to recognize that he wasn’t able to safely step the masts before any real problems were created.

Even though a day was lost nothing was damaged. And that was good.

We enjoyed a relaxed afternoon of showers, laundry, and walking around the docks looking at boats. Tomorrow at 8:30 AM would be “take two.”

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More Photos Up

Hi Friends,

I’m getting closer to getting caught up in posting photos – through Day 19. Check them out through the Photo Blog page and tab.

Posts are up through Day 20. In real time we’re on Day 25 of this journey and have made it this evening to Mobile, AL. That means showers, laundry, groceries and a great wifi signal so I can (hopefully) get caught up with the uploads.

Enjoy!

Julie and the Crew of Appledore V

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Day 25 – Baked French Toast

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mile marker #87 to Turner Marina, Dog River, Mobile, Alabama

(See Photos – Week 4, Day 25)

It was our last day of the river. We were all ready for a change. Hopefully when we are out sailing in the Gulf of Mexico on the last leg to Fort Myers we won’t be cursing the weather and wishing for the droll motoring down rivers. It’s been really easy cooking with the boat not heeling over. These guys have gotten some nice meals – meat, veggie, starch. Soon it will change. The larder needs to be reduced so I’ll be cooking with more canned goods – tuna, chicken and veggies. And there’ll be more one pot meals, which are easier to cook underway and eat in shifts.

Saturday night I prepared baked french toast as a nice Sunday morning treat. They guys had been eating oatmeal for the last five or six days straight. My plan was to get up a little early, turn up the oven, stick in the baked french toast and crawl back into my bunk for another thirty minutes. While laying in my bunk, waiting for breakfast to bake I realized that sunrise was now around 6 AM rather than 7 AM. Captain Hugh would want to be underway before or at sunrise. We  were on clock time rather than sun time having set the clocks back on Saturday night for the end of daylight savings time. So much for a nice Sunday breakfast.

The sky was clear and the sun was rising quickly. There was nothing to do now except haul up the anchor. By 6:55 AM we were underway, earlier than any other morning. A tasty breakfast made motoring down the river more pleasant.

The riverbanks are much sandier and muddier. There were a lot of trees – large and small – that had been washed out by flooding. High up on the banks, we could see a line of mud still on brush. There must have been some large rains and flooding to cause a high mud line.

Later in the morning we finally passed a tow and barge that was going north. It was the first traffic we’d seen for hours. Shortly afterwards a large cruiser was coming down river towards us. It was obvious that it was going to overtake us quite soon. I throttled down to just a few miles per hour, enough to give us steerage and waited for the cruiser to come closer. Terry hailed it on the VHF. It was Andiamo. They were very polite to slow way down so they wouldn’t throw a wake, rocking the boat and shaking our sawhorses and masts.

Within the next hour there were three more boats, My Way, Mary Francis and a third we couldn’t quite make out the name of, coming up on us. We’d seen My Way previously. Again we throttled down, this time to an idle, pointed the stern to their wake and waited for them to pass.

The river had been wiggling and squiggling and bending this way and that for hundreds of miles. There is one point where the river bent back towards itself so closely that we passed ourselves only about 500 feet away at Newman Bend. Tall tows can see each other above the tree line here. (See photos for Day 25.)

Our next landmark was Mobile River. The Tombigbee River ends where it meets that Alabama River, which also ends. The two of them merge to become the Mobile River at mile marker #45. It is here where the tide starts to be noticed. It was minimal though of only about six inches. Thirty-one miles down river is the 14 Mile Bridge. It is a railroad bridge. For three to four days at the end of October the river was closed so a turn bridge could be taken out and replaced with a lift bridge. The bridge’s turn section was parked on the side of the river and was neat to see.

The new lift bridge was being worked on and lowered; usually it is raised until a train needs to use the bridge. We quickly had to take down the 2×4 that was holding up our anchor light and take our flag down. The bridge was so low that we were able to easily reach up and touch the bottom of the bridge – fun!

The riverbanks were much more like I had expected Alabama to be – flat and more marsh-like. There were palms and cypress taking long drinks with egrets, brown pelicans and seagulls about.

Before we got to Mobile Bay there was very little river traffic compared to what we had been encountering along the Illinois, Mississippi and Ohio. Tied off on one bank were two barges full of old automobiles. I wonder if they were part of the “Clunkers to Junkers” project to get fuel hogging cars off the road. No one was going to be driving any of these anywhere — they were smushed flat!

The head of Mobile Bay was just a mile down the river and it was huge! Even though it was Sunday it was busy. There were tows and barges, as we’d been seeing since we got to Chicago. There were also a lot of ocean going freighters and cargo ships. On land were cargo handling companies and importers. On the water at Austal, a company that makes catamarans and trimarans, there was a large trimaran being constructed. It was so massive that it might be a car ferry or military vessel. It was definitely impressive to see how much larger the ships were here. The Mobile Convention Center is also located here on the waterfront. It’s a large building in of itself, but it seemed small compared to some of the freighters loaded with containers. All of these boats and ships looming around us, made our 65 foot Appledore V seem like a toy boat in a swimming tub.

Our next challenge was negotiating the narrow and shallow channel in the bay itself. At places it was only 9 to 12 feet deep. We need 8 feet. The channel was only 400 feet wide and if we were to have strayed out of it we would have found ourselves aground in two to seven feet of water. Gary Garmin plotted our way on the GPS and with the channel markers we carefully made our way out a couple of miles. Then we had to proceed west into the entrance for Dog River. This was an even shallower and narrower channel, as the only commercial traffic was fishing and shrimping boats. It was primarily used by pleasure crafts, like us.

A couple miles ahead of us was a bridge and Turner Marina was on the other side. Two cruisers came up behind us and passed. We followed their small corrections of a bit more to the right or left of the channel. Our GPS plotter tracked us and marked it with bread crumbs so we could find our way out in a few days.

It was about 4 PM when we finally arrived at the dock. Roger, one of the owners was there to catch our dock lines. Once the boat was secured it was time to visit the head that didn’t rock with the water. Dry land felt good underfoot, even though it took a little getting used to. In the near future were showers after a lasagna dinner and there’d be time for laundry tomorrow.

“Yay! We made it.” We clanked our glasses in a toast to the second long leg of our trip being successfully and safely completed.

Tomorrow the masts would be put back in place and we’d start to rig her for sailing through the Gulf of Mexico. Hugh was anticipating it would take about two days to get everything in place once the masts were stepped. This meant we’d leave on the tide, probably Wednesday night, if we all went well.

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