I was in Palmetto, just south of Tampa Bay on Wednesday night (April 14th) and Thursday morning. Then the next morning the boat left for Key West with myself, Archie (captain), father (first officer), and Larry (Cook). We sailed through the night, and unfortunately my dad took a spill in the morning carrying dishes down to the galley. The boat hit a large wave and he went flying. We packed his foot with frozen peas, beans and carrots, and then I wrapped it in an elastic bandage. We arrived in Key west at night, spent the night on anchor, and then pulled into a dockside berth in the morning. We stayed there for one night and I made full use of it. I got to see Michael McCloud play at Schooner Wharf Bar and another guy play at some other hotel bar (it was later on in the night). My dad went to the ER and found out that he had a double fracture in his ankle that would require surgery. However, he elected to stay on the boat until we got to Ft. Lauderdale and fly out from there.
We left Key West at daybreak on the 18th (I think). We had some nasty rollers off our bow that was causing the boat to roll upwards of 50 degrees. That’s an estimate, but when the sailboat’s prop is coming out of the water because of a roll, you know it’s pretty dramatic. We slowed down a few knots and this helped to alleviate some of the rolling. It was still an uncomfortable night trying to sleep though. We pulled into Ft. Lauderdale Tuesday morning, April 20th. My dad took a taxi to his flight back home (the surgeon would be the same one who did his hip) and the remaining crew (Archie, Larry and myself) took showers and relaxed dockside. We had dinner at a nice restaurant on the water, then the next morning we set sail again for Charleston, South Carolina, which would be my final leg of sailing (the boat is continuing to Point Judith). The sail would take about 3 days of offshore sailing ( 2 nights), and with only three people on the boat the overnight watches were a little long. I was on deck (alone for the most part) from 6 – 9:30 PM and then back up on deck from 2 to 6 AM.
However, just because the sailing was over didn’t mean that my adventure was over. My cousin who was deployed in Iraq was going to be home for the week, and there was a party for him on the coming Saturday. So I canceled my flight and instead rented a car. But not just any car, a Cadillac SRX. It was only $140 for 24 hours, not bad really. It was a really nice ride, and the 70 MPH speed limits in SC, and NC make the miles go by fast. It had a Bluetooth-enabled radio that allowed me to hook up my phone’s MP3 player, so I was all set. Windows down, tunes cranked and singing along, and loving going 80MPH (sometimes 90) instead of the boat’s 8! I made a stop at South of the Border for some “gifts” for my cousin and continued on to Maryland where they live.
Party on Saturday, where I finally got to try a Texas “Shiner Bock” beer that I’ve heard so much about. Then do the DC tour thing on Sunday with my brother, his wife and kids. I bummed a ride with him on Monday back up north, and he dropped me off at the Old Saybrook train station. I bought a ticket from there to Westerly (only $13) where my mom picked me up and drove me back to their house. I was full from road food, but she was making my dad’s birthday dinner of Lamb chops, and they smelled so good I couldn’t resist. Three lamb chops, a baked potato and two glasses of wine later I was an extremely satisfied man.
This morning she drive me back to Johnston (where I live now), I picked up my truck and drove to work….The end.
Whew, that’s the “condensed version” believe it or not.