Dragons and demons . . . or, wow can we sail well under double reefed main and staysail!

November 8, 2009

Grounded into the slip at Marc and Colleen’s house, Indian Harbor Beach

We seem to have slowed down a little in Florida, enjoying some 20 mile days and actual days of sailing.  We loved St. Augustine, explored Fort Matanzas, learned (by going aground) how to get into the anchorage in Flagler Beach (you use those nasty wakes to your advantage, that’s how!), ogled at dolphins and manatees in Mosquito Lagoon, and finally have arrived at Marc and Colleen’s house today, right near the former dragon guarding the entrance to the Banana River.

Today was a great lesson in how well our boat can sail.  We have taken advantage of northerly winds to sail along merrily at 6 knots with just the jib out, using less than 10 gallons of diesel in the past week of making southerly progress.  This morning Jeremy woke me up with, “Bad news.  The wind has shifted another 30 degrees south.”  Not so easy sailing now.  Still, we rolled out part of the jib to help us along, past the space shuttle launch pad and the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral.  Then the wind picked up.  And up.  And up.  We rolled in the jib, deployed the staysail.  And Jeremy said, “I want to play.  Let’s see how we do with 2 reefs tucked into the main.”  Never before have we tucked 2 reefs into the main!

Well, after about 10 minutes of screaming along at 6 knots (and a double reefed main is TINY!!!), we shut the engine down and had a (wet and salty) ride all the way down to the Dragon.  The wind was easy 20, gusting 25 plus.  Tomorrow is supposed to be more.  Glad we are safely aground in the slip here! (we did that on purpose, honest.)

Plans are (as usual) weather dependent.  We’d like to stick around to see the space shuttle launch, currently scheduled for November 16.  If, however, a good weather window opens up to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, we will shoot south and be ready to jump on it!  (Right now, I’d say we will still be here come November 16 – weather looks great for being safe and sound somewhere cozy)

Demons – not so many.  Sorry – I couldn’t resist.  Enjoy your days!

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2 Responses to Dragons and demons . . . or, wow can we sail well under double reefed main and staysail!

  1. bruce terry says:

    Nice timing Calypso! Up the indian River and tucked-in for whatever IDA does – who says hurricanes hardly happen in November! We were anchored off St Augustine when weird, aimless, (tropical-storm-at-the-time) “Gordon” rolled across Florida and Anhinga the night of Nov 16 1994, so we’ll be watching closely the next couple of days with a sort of sentimental curiosity!

    Happy to hear (and see) that Maddie and Julian copped a Big Halloween in the midst of your most excellent inside-outside run south.

    Oh, the dragon is gone??? Ahh, progress.

    Bruce and Anne

  2. Jeff Hills says:

    Still enjoying your blog! We played paddle tennis at the DFC on Saturday next to your Mom and Dad. I sailed by Cape Canaveral and SAW a shuttle launch from the water that morning a few years ago. We were en route from Hilton Head to Harbour Island in a Morgan 40. This same time of year. We had huge winds from the North on the way down the coast – the starboard rail under water a lot of the time. If I remember right, 8 knots (or was it MPH) was the hull speed, and we did that a lot.
    Best,
    Jeff Hills

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