We finally made it out of Hawk Channel ... with the help of a 6 hour sea tow.
Hit a really nasty thunderstorm this AM. Last reading we had was 54 knots of wind .. that was before the TWO flash-booms that blew out our autopilot and the aerometer (the wind speed/direction gizmo), the new isinglass front covers, and caused use to loose our directions in the blinding ( 50 foot visibility) which is when we obviously ran over the lobster pots which fouled the prop but we didn't know it at the time. The dingy then filled with water ( sound familiar???) and started jerking the davits out so we cut her loose. Then another storm hit and started driving us onto a lee reef ... anchor plowed into the grass but would not hold. Pulled it back up and got it cleared and holding ... not an easy task in 30 knot winds as you know. Anchor was holding but I had no propulsion ... engine ran ... transmission good ... shaft connected. Called sea tow. They said that they would be right there within an hour. The phone rang and it was the coast guard ... they had found my dingy on the beach totally torn to pieces.... as though it wasn't bad enough to start with ... they recommended throwing it in the dumpster and even volunteered to do it for me. I readily agreed. USCG stuck with us until tow boat got there. A six hour tow to Miami and as we were being tied to the dock the captain says "wow ... you've got a lot of line wrapped around your prop!" ( NO SH^%)
So tomorrow I check the prop ... can't do it tonight ... another thunderstorm beating on us. The next question ... with just Ginger and I and no autopilot and wind speed/direction do we go up the intercoastal with its 97 bridges ... or do we do the outside with only a few places to pull in???? People are calling us to tell us that a tropical low is developing over south Florida but we can't find that info on the Internet.
Of course this is no where near as complex as crossing the Atlantic.
But then we do not have XO to console us and give us advice."