Ship’s alert, all hands on deck…

I did not plan on writing this but with boats the exigencies of weather and circumstances can change plans rather quickly. Or as the poet Robert Burns said in the original Gaelic, ” The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” Yes that is spelled correctly.

We were all set to be picked up tomorrow and be home by tomorrow night. Cbay was decommissioned and prepped for a month of sitting dockside. That is when three things happened almost simultaneously. One, the marina told us that the slip we were in is leased to an individual who has just closed on a boat in Clearwater and he plans to be here shortly after the 10th and wants his slip. This meant we would have to recomission the boat just to move her about a 100 feet. We were not happy about it but had no real choice. So if we were going to have to crank up and move, why not move across the Gulf?

Two, several loopers have arrived in the last two days and are looking to cross this coming week. So we were not alone anymore.

Three, a weather window appears to be opening up for Tuesday night and Wednesday that could allow us to skate across and leave for home without the worry of how we are going to cross the Gulf in January, which is a notoriously bad month. So we put in a call to the Commander and surprised him with a request to go on full weather alert. He immediately swung into action and by 1645 we had a very real possibility of making it.

So we canceled the ride home, called our friend, Jim Peeler, who wanted to ride across, to give him a second shot( unfortunately he cannot come ) and began making plans to undo all we have done in the last few days. My stomach is in a knot.

We had dinner aboard Seabiscuit and it was excellent, swordfish with chutney, asparagus, pound cake and strawberries for dessert. What a nice night. We talked about the crossing and the work that must be done to get ready. Oh didn’t I tell you that Seabiscuit is repaired and back in the water? Well they are and we will possibly cross together.

So be prepared to travel with us as we leave in the dark of night around 0400 and move out into position to enter the Gulf from behind the barrier islands. Once committed it will be all or nothing. And with any luck we will be eating Greek cuisine at Mama’s Greek Restaurant on Wednesday night.