47.70 Miles Traveled Today
327.70 Total Miles Cruised
Today was our "nervous" day. We would deal with many miles, much traffic and our first scheduled bridge opening. We left the peace of Taylor Outfall early with the sun coming up on the glassy water. We turned our nose out into the ICW, ghosting past sleeping barges banked against the shore. There was little chatter on the VHF at this hour. For sure, getting an early start is beneficial, especially when you have tricky waters to navigate.
|Last look at Texas|
We waved goodbye to Texas shores and I thought, how unassuming it looks... just slipping away.
|Red is our path, blue is where the issue occurred|
He told us to go around, that he would hang back. We powered, up slowly gaining momentum from a near stop. But as we drew abreast, Elmo powered up again and we went quite a ways before realizing that we would not make it around before the bend, and the oncoming tug just appearing there.
To compound the situation, there was a huge load coming hot up on our stern as if we weren't there. I hailed Elmo again requesting his recommendation and suggesting I hang back. He said he would contact the tug gaining on us both to determine his intentions and I listened as he tried in vain to contact the Mary Roberts. Radio silence.
Things seemed to happen very quickly at this point, I found myself bouncing from the turbulence behind St. Elmo, a new tug was growing larger as he came on towards us and NOW, Mary Roberts decides to grow vocal cords as he asks us if we WANT TO DIE! Well NO, we do not but we have nowhere else to be as you barrel up our butts! None of this did I actually say on the radio in answer to his complaints about us "stopping" in front of him. Well I was actually stopping behind the now stopping St. Elmo due to the oncoming newcomer!!!
|That's him there on the right in front...|
All of this happened while we were talking to the folks in Lake Charles trying to get a time scheduled for us to pass beneath the Ellender Bridge. We originally (before all the ruckus) scheduled 12:30 pm. After all the drama, we were looking more like 2:30. We contacted the bridge and they said to call them when we were about an hour out. This was more doable. We were dealing with some current against us by this time, but Mary Roberts provided a bit of a draft we could ride.
And then we were done! We heard the whistles again, signaling the bridge was dropping. We hardly had a chance to turn around to see it go, before it was back down, traffic resumed and the bridge tender was standing in the doorway waving us on!
We literally said goodbye to Mary Roberts as he banked the barge for the night and we continued on to the Oxbow anchorage as planned. I hoped to chip away at the stereotype that sailboaters are all rich assholes to be hated and tormented in my own small way.
We were forced below for the night. We made dinner in the pressure cooker, roast, potatoes, carrots and onions. Yum and warm!
We nervously checked the weather and tried to see where the forecast massive cold front was and how long we had in the morning to make our final run for safety.
It looked like we were in good shape, with the front still up in Kansas. No worries. We were only about two hours from tomorrow's destination. Bord du Lac Marina would be our refuge for the big winds and deep cold of the next couple of days.
Tonight, we slumber in quiet (except for buzzing) peace.