It has been six weeks since we’ve had the boat out. Way too long! Life seems to get in the way of sailing for now. But, fortunately, life is good.
Since I last posted on this blog, we’ve done some traveling and visiting family. In early June, Cindy and I flew out to California to help our daughter-in-law, Dr. Francesca Carey, celebrate her graduation from vet school at the University of California, Davis. It was great visiting with Fran and our son, Jeremy, who is working on his dissertation at University of California Berkeley. It was also nice to visit with Fran’s family members, who we consider our dear friends.
Later on in June, we flew into Atlanta to visit with my sisters and their families, and to attend the Chipper Jones Braves’ Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon. We also caught a couple of Braves games, including his number retirement ceremony. The Braves swept the Diamondbacks that weekend, making our visit to Hotlanta even better.
In between trips out of state, I’ve been working a lot. Today, was the first day we’ve had a chance to take the boat out… and what a gorgeous day it was! Not much wind, but flat, calm seas and lots of sunshine. (We returned just in time, however, as the summer thunderstorms arrived shortly after we docked and secured Beatitude. As I type, it is pouring.)
On our sail today, we saw several dolphins and a sea turtle! Wildlife sightings never get old! We also spotted a frog… on our yacht. 🙂 As I was pulling the traveler line out of the little compartment at the helmstation, a frog leaped directly out at me and bounced off my chest! Who needs a formal cardiac stress test! Let an unexpected creature leap out at you from a concealed space! That’ll stress you!
Our daysail consisted of a quick trip out into the gulf and back (~ 6 hours). We motored down the Manatee River, raised both sails and motorsailed out into the gulf. Once in the gulf, the wind picked up to 7 knots (from 3-4 knots), so we shut off our duel Yanmar 39 hp diesel engines and sailed for about an hour. About 5 miles out into the gulf, we had lunch. Mmmmmm! The most delicious jerk turkey sandwich you could ever imagine. We then turned Beatitude around and retraced our steps. I had to fire up the engines again if I wanted to make more than 2 knots in speed. As I mentioned previously, we made it back to the marina just prior to the arrival of thunderstorms. It was a race to Regatta Pointe. Of course, the wind and the current were blowing me off the dock. But, with patience, Cindy and I were able to secure our vessel without incident.
We did have another excellent fishing adventure. Once again, I have no fish to show for it, but I do have pictures. I am woefully unprepared for this whole fishing thing. Two items on my immediate supply list are a gaff and a large net. There was a net on the boat when we bought it, but I don’t think it was intended for the size and kind of fish I hooked today. I’m sure the fish was laughing at us when he saw our puny net. Well, our fish story goes this way: We were on our way back in from the gulf. About 1-2 miles out, suddenly the drag started clicking and I knew we had one on! I did learn from our previous fishing adventures — The first thing I did was kill the engines. I then began to reel in our catch, and after perhaps 5 minutes of fight, we had him up to the boat. But, that is as far as he got. There was no way I was going to let that barracuda with those menacing razor-sharp fang-like teeth on the same boat with me. A gaff, and I would have attempted it. I was ill-equipped to land this 3-4 foot barracuda. I’m guessing it weighed 20-25 pounds. Because I was ill-prepared, I had to cut him loose. Next time, hopefully, I’ll be ready.
We have quite a bit of sailing planned over the next month, so stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Barry and Cindy aboard Beatitude!