Finally Open Waters

I never tire of watching these beautiful creatures.
They love our bulbous bow!!

                                    November 18, 2018

We finally are on our last leg of our journey south!!! Departing Beaufort at 1600 hours. The weather forecast is for calm seas for the next three days. 

Our course gives us an ETA of 1400 hours to Fort Pierce Inlet.  We start our watch schedule with 3 of us taking 4 hour watches.  The first night was very uneventful but God  am I happy i’m Out on the wide open sea.  I love the feeling of cruising out there.  I read once :Consciousness is like a vast infinite ocean of peace and stillness that underlies everything in existence.  The feeling I get when I’m at watch and the vast ocean is around me astounds me.  It just gives you such a feeling of peacefulness.  The wide open sea reminds you of those who had sailed these seas for hundreds of years.  Just the enormity of what is in front of me.  I learned to love the sea early in my life.  My father passed his love of the sea onto me. He served in the Navy in World War 2 and though he never spoke of his time in the Navy he did bring back his love and respect of the great wide open sea.  We summered at our house on Cape Cod Bay and every day was spent on those chilly waters.  By the time I was 12 I was the owner of my own 14 ft. Boat.  As every young girl(lol) I was gifted woth the boat, motor and 25 lobster pots that I was charged with checking and baiting daily.  I always had the opinion that my father thought this was an excellent way to keep me away from the boy.  I mean really who would be attracted to a girl that had been handling rotting fish all day. Any day my Dad has off work in the summers were spent on his boat fishing for the elusive striped bass, flounder and the always disgusting mackerel.  I would get home and promptly e sent to the bridge over the brook that ran through our yard to gut and cut the fish.  Those are the best memories or gift my father and mother could have given me..  For that love of the sea is something I treasure and something that has been passed down to my own boys.
The second day at sea finds us off the coast of Charleston.  A city I usually love to visit but this trip I just want to get to where I’m going.  When once I enjoyed the trip itself I find myself just wanting to get to Florida.  The reason for the rush is probably because Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I have missed only one home cooked Thanksgiving Neal.  

The year we had to bail on our home cooked dinner and go to a restaurant was 1987.  We were in Fort Lauderdale and my now husband showed up at the boat and informed me that we were getting married on November 25.  We found a Justice of the Peace and two witnesses whom I hadn’t seen in years volunteered to do the honor.  The Justice showed up and made us promise the boat would not leave the dock while he officiated our wedding.  And just one that I was married.  Now for the honeymoon!!! We left the dock on Thanksgiving Morning heading to Key West for a few weeks.  The turkey was stuffed and I. The oven. Bread was baked but the boat did not smell of a fantastic Thanksgiving meal.  We smelled diesel!!!! One look downstairs showed us 2 inches of fuel in the hallways and aft staterooms.  We quickly pulled into Monty Trainer’s.  I’m not even sure the place still exists but at that time it was a godsend for us.  We had dinner on Coconut Grove and had the boat cleaned up.  Cause of the fuel leak: a fuel filter that was not replaced correctly.  The one and only time we had a company come on and change our oil and filters.  

Enough of nostalgia.  On our second night at sea I was awakened by my husband with the words: “ get the ditch bag we have water coming into the boat”.  I quickly grabbed the bag and head to the wheelhouse.  Further investigation as to why the bilge pump was constantly running showed a small leak at the shaft bearing.  We readied our second pump and took pictures of the problem to get advice from a mechanic we found in Stuart, Fl.  It was now 5 am and the sun was rising we were praying we could make it to Stuart where the mechanic would meet us at the dock.  It was one of the longest days of my life.  Hoping the whole thing didn’t let go.  Finally at 1600 hours we docked and the we finally shut the engine down.  The only thing I could think of was the Nordhavn that San at it’s slip in Mexico.  The picture is imbedded in my mind at this point. 

The mechanic looks at the shaft and the housing and determines we must haul nout.  Remember it’s the day before Thanksgiving and we didn’t really kvnow of any boat yards in the area. Luckily American Custom Yachts came through and hauled us out at 8 am November 21.  We were high and dry but at least the Java was safe!!!

Another Thanksgiving nightmare!!  I’m starting to dread this holiday at this point.

The Java safe and sound!!!


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