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THERE IS HOPE March 1, 2010

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

Got to go sailing again. This time with another friend with a Catalina 34. He has 4.5 foot draft and got stuck coming home New Years day and had to sit at anchor waiting for the tide to come in to get home. He has therefore been stuck in the canals as have I. It was gorgeous. Maybe the second day of the year with the temp hitting 60. Wind S-SW at about 12 knots. He has a 135 Jenny and any more wind would require some reefing somewhere. I have raced a Beneteau about the same size. The Catalina track perfectly, even in the 15 kt gusts that were overpowering us. The rudder had easy feel and did not stall. My choice.

Because of commitments on time we only got about 2-1/2 hours to play. It was good. But, things get better.

Good old Nightwatch has not grown to the ground. Thursday we got the Catalina owner and the Gemini owner together and out we went. Stirred up the dead sea grass that has gathered in the entrance, but made it out on a rising tide. Had a good 15 to 18 knots out of the north, which gave us good speed to make it out in the bay and be totally alone on another beautiful day. Just not quite as warm, but with the enclosure it was still a sweatshirt day.

One of the reasons for going out was to play with my new toy. With the wind as it was and as steady as it was, those are the breezes Nightwatch loves. By the time you get it on course, she falls into her grove and you do not have to touch the helm for long periods of time. I put the auto pilot on one time and we sailed for over 15 minutes and it never corrected the helm. My batteries loved it. I need to go out get set up with sails and chart plotter with a route set in and let her take us sailing. Only problem is once I hit my starting mark, my second way point is my line up spot right before the beach bridge. I am not there yet for letting her drive herself through a bridge. I know I will never be ready for that. I have to learn how to shut it off in mid route and restart 2 way points later. Practice, practice, practice. I am so ready to go sailing. I also want to track targets and let the system calculate CPA’s and times and all those good things.

Maybe later this week. We have a front coming through tonight and tomorrow will be rainy and cold with things looking up for Wednesday. Maybe. Hope.



1. Darcy - March 5, 2010

We have the same problem! In our Islander 34 (around 4.5′ draft), we’ve been stuck in the canals up in NC for over a month now. We were planning on being in FL by now, so it’s really hard to keep sitting here and doing nothing, but we don’t exactly have a choice.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I feel your pain..

2. Darcy - March 5, 2010

Oh, I should probably add that our water isn’t related to the tides as much as it is the wind direction – a north wind blows all the water out of the canals, and we don’t get many south winds in the winter.

sailingnightwatch - March 5, 2010

i agree the wind can have a lot to do with our tides. If you look at the tide tables for the year, you will see that our highs and lows are lower during the period from around Thanksgiving until late February. Now we are entering the time of spring tides that can have a higher high and higher low. Another problem is weather during the winter. Could be just to uncomfortable to go sailing. Wind, rain, low temps. Then there are the low tides during the day. I have a hard time getting my crew up at 3 a m to go sailing. Short of being in harms way, I would have a hard time getting her up at 3 a m period.

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