United States Florida Naples
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My Adventure Story
Cabin Boy Jeff - Log - Day 18 - 22
We left the Keys attempting to reach port under the sun for a change expecting a 24 hour run. Here are the details:
-We had a wonderful beam reach all day long. It seemed everyone was taking their next passage as we sailed and passed enough boats during the day to lose count. We actually raced another 45 footer for much of the day and evening. It seemed as if it was meant to be, ending this adventure with dream sailing.
-Night came as it always does and as if on cue, as I came on watch at 11pm, along came the high wind and waves. What's new? Later that night I was below decks and was walking towards the hatch and holding onto the stainless bar in the forward portion of the galley. A wave picked up the boat and spun it around. I went flying while holding onto the bar with my right hand and swung all they way around into the galley, airborne, and hit mid thigh on my left leg on the gable edging. This is a place that normally comes to above my belly button. I'm just lucky I was able to barely hang on. Big bruise!
-The Coast Guard stays very busy. We received one Mayday and two Pan Pan's. The mayday was unknown with with instructions to keep a lookout. One Pan Pan was a overloaded boat (refugees) and all were asked to keep a close lookout and transfer the information to the Coast Guard. The last Pan Pan was a thirty foot boat that was crossing the gulf stream to the Bahamas in the same high wind and waves we were in (idiot).
-What time did we arrive? 3am of course. We were all on deck, as usual, with me at the wheel with following wind and waves corkscrewing down 7 - 10 footers coming into the port of Ft. Lauderdale. Although it was less than an hour, my upper body muscles were on fire and all I can say is that is was a mighty fight.
-We tied up the Ft. Lauderdale Marina in order to fill the boat with fuel and sleep a couple of hours in order to complete the channels during daylight. Price to stay tied up to the marina? $45 per hour! We were of course next to billionair's yachts that included the largest yacht built in America. Of course you have to have your own helicopter with your yacht.
-That morning I took the helm and drove Stella Marris the final miles to her new dock. I turned the helm over to Mike to park her in the narrow channel next to her neighbor, an Oyster 655.
-Jerry put us up in a four diamond resort on the beach and we took the first day and just slept and cleaned up.
-We spent half days, the next two days, cleaning Stella Maris and preparing her to be on her own for a while. We spent the other half days just resting and enjoying the scenery and atmosphere.
As we ate dinner the other night celebrating our journey Jerry told us that on every journey he has ever taken, there has been pain and difficulties. As I thought about that, I was reminded of football, the Army, being called up to duty for Panama, the first Gulf War, Children and so many other things and I have to say, I agree. This has been an amazing journey with memories I will never forget. I learned more about myself, coastal sailing, and what I want in my future than I could have ever imagined I would. I'm glad that Jerry, Mike and I all came up with this journey over two years ago and I'm even more satisfied that I have completed it. I shall remember it with the same fondness that I have reserved for all of my life's journeys.
We fly out soon. I'm excited to see my family and I can't wait to wrap Sandy in my arms. I appreciate my family, business and especially Sandy's constant support. There were times in this journey that I was so exhausted, hungry and beat to hell, that I simply wanted to jump ship and it was her voice and support that helped pull me through.
Dreaming of you Beautiful!
Cabin Boy Jeff - Final - Out
Note - I feared for my life twice. I want to make clear that this was boat delivery with a time schedule among friends. No one has to do what we did in order to coastal cruise. We journeyed when conditions were barely acceptable, due to the time and certain family restraints. If you have to be somewhere on a particular date, expect that 35% and up will be brutal. Hunger, sleep deprevation, pain and even more pain with some of the most uncomfortable moments in your life. Sustained until the sea gods pass some kindness your way or until you arrive and your journey is over.