|Boom De Yada
Look familiar? That’s our sister ship, Boom De Yada. We met these Canadians in Beaufort, SC at Ladys Island Marina… and because they have such stellar taste in sailboats, we decided we should buddy boat our way to St. Augustine with them.
We were prepped and ready to resume our southbound journey on the day after Thanksgiving as we followed Boom De Yada out through the Ladys Island Bridge at high noon. We had some current against us but the tide would turn before we reached Port Royal Sound and headed out to sea.
I decided that I should get a jump on sleep in preparation for the long hours of darkness offshore. I had traveled this way before so it isn’t like I would be missing anything… Jezabelle and I settled in for a nap in the cockpit. The smooth waters of the inland rivers lulled her into a premature sense of security… her complacency was soon to give way to (lets just call it) extreme feline displeasure…
|Boom De Yada in Port Royal Sound heading to sea
The tide turned and the current began to whisk us along at speeds over 7 knots COG. Swells began to find us as we approached Port Royal Sound and Jezabelle disappeared below. By dark, she had finished her outwardly visible signs of Mal-de-Mer and settled in on top of the engine room for the duration of the passage. Jetsam is our sailor. She joined us in the cockpit many times throughout the trip, even snuggling with me (which is unheard of) for about an hour, sometime during the dark hours.
|GPX Track of our drift with Boom De Yada
Our initial thought was that their fuel filter was fouled from the waves tossing the diesel and stirring up the bottom crud. But we remembered a recent conversation with them saying that they had recently cleaned their tank... so we stood by as the filter was changed just in case. When that didn’t fix it, and it looked like no fuel was coming from the full tank… we were stumped. They refused our offer of a tow and asked us to continue on without them. We didn’t feel good about it but they wanted to call Towboat US and get their issues worked out… so we turned south once more and continued on, listening to their calls to USCG and Towboat into the night…
Bruce took the first watch while I slept in the cockpit. It was pretty chilly inside our enclosure, but not uncomfortably so. I snuggled down with my pillow and got some fitful sleep full of wild images and crazy sounds. Not a good sleep, but still sleep… My first thought when I felt Bruce gently touch my ankle was “what is that bright light in the sky?”.
I opened my eyes to a sky brilliant with stars. Oh it was awe inspiring. We were over 20 miles offshore and the lights of the land could not reach us. Bruce went down for his nap while I sat there in the cockpit alone. I nervously kept watch on the gauges and instruments until I gained a bit of comfort. There was nothing out there for us to run into. The moon that had been shining down on us and illuminating a path on the water when I went to sleep had set, but there was still some ambient light from all of those stars. I alternated between stargazing, checking the horizon before us for dark looming hulks, and checking the chart plotter and engine gauges… Those were my duties and I take them seriously. The three hours passed quickly and Bruce awoke to take his next watch. Back to the blanket I went.
|High-Tech towel holding the door shut
|Cheesie Potato casserole with ham
|Jetsam is a much better sailor
Later in the morning we got a call from the Whale Watchers lady who wanted more info and to ask some questions. Turns out what we saw was a humpback and not the endangered Right Whale, but it was a WHALE! No pics as it dove and didn’t return to the surface before we continued out of sight… but it was about a boat length off our starboard side and we are SUPER excited about sighting our first actual WHALE!
|Courtesy of Mark and Diana At On The Water Chart Guides
When we were within cell/data range I checked out what had been happening on my FaceBook page and found a barrage of warnings about a 44 ft sailboat that had ended up on the beach the day before when trying to come into the inlet. I tried contacting those who had posted but in the end, called Towboat US for a confirmation. I spoke to Justin Daily who was very nice. He had come through the inlet the prior evening and gave me his advice. We were feeling a healthy nervousness but were OK about it.
|Our Track through St. Augustine Inlet
|The Bridge of Lions
|Looking across to Castillo de San Marcos
|Pirate ship preparing to attack!
|Coming around for more
|Boom De Yada's triumphant arrival!
|Boom De Yada almost home for the night at the Bridge of Lions
|Jetsam surveying her new surroundings
|Jezabelle fully recovered from Meowl-de-Mer
|Old friends arrive! Their Blog
|A well earned sunset
|Bridge of Lions in the fading light
|The festively lit St. Augustine shoreline