Our first passage took two attempts, but we are safe and sound in Miami at the moment, so life is good.
At about 10:00 am, when the current was at it’s least pain-in-the-arse stage for the day, we backed out of our berth at the marina, which was stressful, but Pete did a great job, and it was beautifully unexciting. With the boat show happening in Fort Lauderdale in just a few weeks, we were flanked on both sides by multi-million dollar power boats. Adds just a tiny bit of excitement to the entire ordeal.
As we headed out of the canals of Fort Lauderdale, we had several opportunities to call bridges on the VHF for openings. I barely noticed, but Pete was beaming from ear to ear when the bridge operator called him “captain” for the first time.
We were all smiles and excitement until we got out on the open water and realized that our roller furling was jammed. If you can’t open your sails, it makes it quite difficult to actually go sailing. Headed back into protected waters to play around with it, but quickly realized it wouldn’t be an easy job.
Decided to go back to our marina, get a mooring ball, and work at it while tied up. It took a few hours, but my wonderful husband managed to unjam the system, and we set out to complete some other tasks for the afternoon.
See how beautifully the red & white rope sits in those little grooves. Well, it didn’t look like that at the beginning of the day.
So, we didn’t make it to Miami on our first attempt, but on the plus side all our cleats are labeled. How did I function properly in life before I owned a label maker?! I do not know. To say that I’m in love with the thing would be an understatement. Life changing, seriously. But, I digress.
So, we tried again the following day, and we were much more successful. Sails opened up, and for the first few hours of our trip, the wind blew on a perfect board reach of 9-12 knots.
Then, the wind died. Completely. Check out that sorry, flaccid flag without wind in the picture above. So, the motors went on, and we continued on our way.
The port of Miami was packed with jet skiers out to enjoy their Saturday, barges headed out to god-knows-where, and cruise ships full of excited vacationers ready to enjoy their trip around the Caribbean.
It was a beautiful day, and a great first sail. I’m deeming it successful for two reasons: (1) We started the day in Fort Lauderdale and ended it in Miami, and (2) I’m still willing to go out and sail another day. Having a scary experience now, and being too nervous/fearful to get back out there again is something that we both are very cognizant of. Here’s a overall look of our route:
oh.. ps… then we saw dolphins. Not only did we see them, but they swam over right next to the boat. Then, they starting jumping out of the air as if to say “hello.” Life is good ladies and gentlemen. Life is good.