Monday, October 15, 2012

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

Most boat people know that when you try to plan something on a sailboat, the weather takes it as a personal challenge to wreck havoc on your plans.  Well, it's our birthday week and I think the weather gods have given us the ultimate gift... the gift of perfect weather.  We plotted a list of possible stops and it looked like we would have fair and favorable winds the whole week!

We had planned to go to Flato Cut with the BYC bunch on Saturday but it was called due to high winds.  This left us hanging out on the docks Friday night with our Ex-BYC dock mates... which left us nursing a hangover all day on Saturday.  No worries... I needed a day of rest anyway.  

We consulted the iPad for weather information on Sunday morning and found it was time to go.  We got up and prepped for a noon departure for Ingleside cove.  The winds were light from the South which were just enough to counter the current against us as we took the cats on their maiden voyage up the Corpus Christi ship channel.  It was smooth sailing and  I took a little snooze.  I awoke just in time to take the helm while Bruce dropped/furled the sails.  We proceeded to the anchorage where we had no competition for a spot... we were the only boat there.

We dropped the anchor, tidied up the boat and floated the dinghy.  We took a quick dip... the water was quite cool and it wasn't a very hot day.  It wasn't long before we abandoned the swim and found sunning ourselves on the veranda to be more to our liking.   

After a long leisurely lounge in the cockpit with a sundowner, I roused myself to produce a fabulous dinner.  I had been carrying around a spaghetti squash for a week threatening to cook it.  I consulted the Boat Galley Cookbook and decided this was the night.  It was a delicious dinner and I even made real meatballs!  No lazy meat sauce for us....

We enjoyed a(nother) marvelous sunset sitting on the veranda until the mosquitoes arrived and the weather looked like we might be in for some showers with the overnight passing of a very gentle cool front... so we zipped up the enclosure and cranked up the generator for some decadent air conditioned sleeping comfort.  I think the kitties deserved it after the day they had.  

We slept peacefully but both awoke in the wee morning hours and took a look at the weather.  We went up into the cockpit to zip in the last two panels and pick up the seat covers as it looked like a light sprinkle was headed our way.  Bruce and I sat in the cockpit for a while and watched the kitties prowl around.  It was kind of like a stolen interlude which would assume a dreamlike quality with the morning light.... did that really happen?

Monday morning arrived and I did not get up and go to work!  YAY!  I'm FREE!  We slept until 7 am and then lazed around with coffee while watching the sunrise.  Dolphin rolled near us and life was good.  The Cove was quiet, which was nice considering the dredging gear in the La Quinta channel and the industrial park just to the North which seems to grow bigger every time we come here.  

We did some housekeeping.  I made a yummy leftover quiche for breakfast and we took a dinghy ride to Cook's Island.  

I wanted to take a little walk and Bruce wanted to fish for a bit.  Well I got my walk but no fish for him...  We stopped by the Bahia Dock store for some ice and then we took off.  As we motored towards the channel, I heard a thump and a splash off the stern.  I have no idea what it was, but I guess we'll be missing something...  This adds a new item to the take-off list... walk around the deck to see what we've left laying around, AFTer we take a walk around the deck to see what we've left laying around...

We chose to round marker 43 instead of backtracking to the narrow eye of the needle channel exit via the ICW.  This makes a longer sail in the open Bay but with the winds out of the North the Bay would be nearly flat.  The winds were in the 9 to 13 range, perfect for moving us along.  I threw the helm over to tack into the Bay while Bruce worked the sails.  I happened to look up and see a full rainbow around the sun.  This pic does not do it justice.  It was beautiful.

Jezabelle trying to maintain a spot on the starboard settee
Once we were on course, I pinched shamelessly to keep the boat flat for the kitties.  Jezabelle gets seasick and tosses her cookies just shortly after departure.  She has been good to us and only done this on the floor.  

Bruce and I couldn't help but laugh as we watched her stagger across the salon floor on her way to the catbox.  Poor baby... I righted the boat and waited for her to finish, then she staggered back to our bed... where she did pay us back a little for laughing.  Well, it wasn't her fault.  So the bedspread gets a wash when we get to the anchorage.  I'll have to see if our vet knows of any motion sickness meds for felines.  Jetsam seems unaffected in her V-berth hidey-hole.

The winds were perfect for a sail across the ICW and we headed towards Shamrock Cove.  We considered Shamrock but diverted to Flato Cut which took a couple of tacks.  Bruce was in heaven and didn't want it to end.  This boat sails so easily and well... it's a dream!  We tacked again on what I thought would be the lay line to head right to the entrance to Flato.  I was navigating using the chart plotter with the iPad as backup.  The two Apps I used were eSeaChart and Motion X GPS.  The eSeaChart shows your position on pre-downloaded NOAA charts.  I love it!  One gripe is that it goes dark if you don't keep touching the screen.  It would be nice if it would stay on.  Motion X is one of the first Apps I bought and it has multiple uses.  I've got the coordinates of Flato marked on it from an earlier trip here.  

Anyway, I got us right to it flawlessly... just like I knew what I was doing.  I think Bruce secretly sits back and lets me make the calls so that I'll know what to do in his absence... Well, my confidence in the boat and in my abilities was certainly given a boost today!  We waved at the birds as we motored through the narrow cut into the anchorage in this abandoned real estate development.  

We dropped anchor right in the middle of Flato Cut at 5pm.  Perfect slide into sun downer territory!  

We settled the boat and then the kitties... we've decided upon a policy of rewarding them with a canned dinner after every voyage... We aren't sure they've made the connection yet, but they didn't turn it down!

We sat on the deck and had a beverage while watching the sunset and listing all the great things we've experienced these past two days, and we both agreed... sometimes you just get lucky!