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40+ Winds and 15-20’ waves

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

I started a blog at least 5 times since last Sunday and could never get it completed (kept falling asleep) and forgot to save a draft! So here’s hoping this one can get finished!

I‘m pretty sure I’ve never had this much of an adventure plus challenge in my life as this one. Dave, I’m sure, has many stories to tell about all of his (5x across the Pacific to Hawaii). His motto is “Do everything, now”. I love that. Life is short. Colliding with Dave is the greatest adventure overall. It’s been amazing to collaborate and work through all the details of pulling off a trip to the Caribbean to race. We‘ve laughed, fought, loved each other well and lived out some awesome accomplishments together. We really just enjoy each other immensly. I love to dream big but my gosh, Dave dreams bigger and actually makes it happen. Go big or go home!

Sitting on the delivery sail hoping to get it repaired...

We and Dave alone has spent countless hours getting ready to make Such Fast sailboat ocean ready. Dave’s passion for sailing is crazy big and it’s exciting to see his Atlantic/Caribbean trip come to life after years of dreaming about it. He told me the other day it’s been the hardest challenge he’s had yet. Months of preparation, hard work, rum drinks and the help from others has been amazingly big.

Speaking of “others”...there is NO way we could have done this trip without others coming alongside us. In the blogs I plan to mention others who have helped us in this adventure because there are so many! Our first BIG shout out is to Dave and Andi in Coconut Grove providing housing, comfy bed, laughter, rum, warm showers, storing a truck, weather information and being our land support and storing SO much sailing stuff and more. We are so thankful for them and their friendship!

Each day we feel like we are granted an angel to help us accomplish what we sometimes feel is daunting. Today our angel is Michael (above pic) - in in Stuart, FL. We bricked up our damaged sail from yesterday’s high wind sail and jumped into a Lyft to humbly see if there was anyway they could do the repair. Of course we were told it probably couldn’t be turned around until Friday night at the earliest. We graciously shared our story and plea without graveling - well maybe a little graveling ...and low and behold, the sail maker took pity on us and said he had a 1.5 hour window today and repaired our sail! How amazing is that! Michael did an awesome job and we are very thankful to him and wish him all the best with his job and beekeeping work! What a cool combination - sailmaker and beekeeper!

Tonight, we hope, we finally set off for the Caribbean. We are ready to go and the weather looks good. Dave Martin will be our blog contributor while we are at sea. He’s our ground contact and will be providing weather through our Satelite phone for us each day. Thanks Dave!

Yesterday’s sail from Coconut Grove Sailing Club (thanks to Missy and Eric for being so awesome while we were anchored out) to Riviera Beach, where is located. It really happened to be the best place to go to dry dock and get our propeller fixed. Dave had the prop off and replaced in an hour! Shazaam! It works beautifully.

The yard guys were like, no way man, you can’t start that project now, that’ll take you all night. He literally cut off the propeller - it was held together by failed rubber casing. It started to drop off in pieces. The boatyard guys all stood in amazement that Dave could do what he did. Who cuts off a propeller?!! But he did it...with special thanks to John who has a sister ship 1D35 (Shrek) in Seattle and allowed Dave to take his prop off to learn about it. That really helped him understand the intricracies of the prop. What a process!

Sailing up here yesterday is a whole other story! The sailboat draws 7’7” (how many feet is below the waterline) so it’s sometimes hard to find moorage. Many boats only draw up to 5’. 7’7” is a pretty big draft. Even the buoy we were on at Coconut Sailing Club our keel was digging a hole in the muck at low tide. On our way out Tuesday night we got stuck in the channel (-2 feet) so we had to go back to our buoy until a higher tide. I think we eventually left around 2am...sorta unclear as I was feeling a bit groggy.

Wednesday’s sail up the Florida coast sure gave us a surprise. We knew that the winds were going to be big coming out of the North but what we weren’t anticipating was the squalls that lasted longer than 30 minutes. The second storm we hit gave us consistent 30-40 knots of wind and swells 15-20 feet high. It was horrendous! Some of the gusts were upward towards 45ish. I really had to put on my big girl pants (and try not to shit them) and focus. I was pretty wide eyed and scared but had no time to be scared. We had to focus to get through such horrendous conditions. I’d never seen seas like that before. Dave on the other hand was as cool as a cucumber. He seemed to be either grinning or grimacing the whole time! It was very difficult sailing! We had only our delivery sail up with a reef but it was too much sail. We finally put up “orangey” the storm jib and rode it out to safe harbour. We of course were harnessed up with tether lines to the boat. I got tossed around and beat up quite a bit - my bruises tell the story - I guess I should eat more bananas!

Calm before the storm.

Of course I couldn’t take any pictures during that time as the boat was heeled over and I was hanging on for dear life. Okay not dear life but it felt like it at times. I just remember trying to focus at the helm on riding those waves just right and trying not to pound the boat. Hopefully that will be the worst of the sailing for this trip so pray for calmer weather, just the right winds and hope that we can get through the Gulf Stream!

Such Fast out!

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