Wednesday, July 16, 2008
We pulled anchor from Great Sale at 7:30 a.m. There was no wind and flat seas. I wasn't complaining, though. Motoring across the bank to the rhythm of the flogging mainsail and clanking rigging was one hundred times better then the seat-of-the-pants adventure we had the day before. We motored alongside Jim, Tammy & gang on Sweet Chariot - over the bank and into the stream. As the morning faded into afternoon, the aqua-velvet water of the bank transformed into the indigo blue water of the gulf stream. Chris and Park conducted a quick ceremony to Neptune to secure favorable passage conditions by making an offering of a can of Budweiser. Chris proclaimed his offering of the King of Beers to the King of the Sea, as Park poured the beer from North to South and East to West. It must have worked because the seas were kind and gentle for the entire crossing. In fact, it was so calm that I was able to boil eggs and make potato salad while underway. When I wasn't boiling eggs, I spent some time fishing off the stern.
Every time I put the lure in the water I got a hit. One was a very large barracuda. When I pulled him up alongside I could see he was about 4' and had many very sharp-looking teeth. Deciding that I did not want to part with any of my ten fingers, I cut him loose - favorite lure and all. We watched on XM weather radar as the thunder cells built off the south east Florida coast, and miraculously we were able to skirt each one of them without hardly a rain drop of water felt on our heads.
We took turns finding tankers and cargo ships in the distance and watched them over a fixed point (such as a thumb held in front of an eye) to confirm they were on a different course than we were. As we hit the Gulf Stream our speed picked up to over 8 knots, even without the assist of wind, and we had to throttle back to keep from arriving too early at Port Canaveral. And so it went, as the afternoon turned into evening, the motor droned on as we skimmed along on our course home.