Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reunion - Door into Summer

Last evening I was watching Fury (which, by the way, I did not particularly like) when the phone rang. We all have caller ID  so even before opening the clamshell I knew it was Ed from Door into Summer. The last time I saw Claudia and Ed was when they waved goodbye from the dock in Lake Worth as I departed for Bermuda on my first trans-Atlantic. That was on May 30, 2012. It turns out that they were in Sadler Point Marine Center. This is where Ed (the other Ed) has Hooligan on the hard to replace the fuel tank and bowsprit. It is also about a 2 minute walk from Reboot. They invited me over for a drink and of course I went. (It should be pointed out that I, with Ed's help, made a significant dent in a bottle of Johnny Walker Black - thank you Ed.)

One of the things that I enjoyed about the Navy was that you could meet someone you had not seen for years and pick up as if they had just walked out the door the night before. The same is true in the cruising community. Of course the first questions were "where have you been cruising since I saw you last?" This resulted in the apparently inevitable decline into the "so, what medical problems have you had since I last saw you?" Ed and I shared war stories - my kidney stone, his pacemaker, and so forth until we starting laughing. Then I turned to Claudia and said, "Well, you are a young chicken - I bet you don't have anything to contribute." That got us laughing again. We are, sadly, all getting older. But as the man says: "Any day I am vertical is a good day."

Matanzas Inlet (ICW to upper left)
Ed and Claudia are headed back down to NAS Key West. But first they need new batteries and far more important to watch the Superbowl. We discussed the Jacksonville to St. Augustine leg of the ICW (I have done it a couple of times, Ed and Claudia never - even though they have made far more transits on the ICW than me. We also agreed that bypassing Matanzas Inlet was a great idea. We were not actually talking about the Inlet - one of the worst for sailboats on the East Coast, but rather the section of the ICW that connects to the Inlet. According to the TowBoat US Captains it is the most frequent place on the ICW for sailboats to run aground. I know this because I have run aground almost every time including a couple of weeks ago. The problem is frequent and unpredictable shoaling. Apparently there have been a number of studies on how to prevent the shoaling - none have ever come up with a workable solution. The alternative is to go outside - either from the St. Johns (Jacksonville) or St. Augustine (with its shoals and breakers on either side of the inlet) and thread you way between the Gulf Stream and the shore down to Daytona (another terrible inlet) or Cape Canaveral (a very nice all weather inlet.) With Stormy back on Door Into Summer Claudia and Ed try to avoid long offshore passages. We will see if they roll the dice on Matanzas...

Fair winds and following seas :)

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