It seems that every time Katie and I attempt to sail, something goes wrong. Half the time what goes wrong has nothing to do with the actual event of sailing, and catches us off guard with a whole new event. After sitting in Fort lauderdale for 4 days (thank you Brian Keenan we love you) it was time for Louise to have a formal introduction with the Atlantic Ocean. No more of this intra-coastal, need to wait for bridges to open – crap.

We left from Fort Lauderdale early, and headed south for Miami after exited the intra-coastal. Our run to Miami was better than I had planned, since I had of course planned for the worst. Wind was out of the East less than 10 knots the entire day, making for a perfectly relaxing, and uneventful sail. Katie spent the day setting up our new trolling rod, while I rocked out to Regina Spektor. Flying fish, sea turtles, and surreal dark aqua water kept us entertained and happy.

It is never possible to have a perfect sailing day. At least not in our world. Not yet. When we approached the channel that takes you into the city of Miami, several things went wrong. The moment you enter the channel, the venturi effect takes place. In our case this effect was against us.  A very strong current in the opposing direction, with contradicting winds created rough seas, and chaotic waves crashing in all directions…while navigating an area with little room for error. Recipe for a good old fashion $#%t show.

While in this chaotic mess, the engine quit the moment both sails were dropped. What? Cranked her over several times. Nothing. Eventually she started up again, not long before crashing into rock pilings on either side of the channel. Something in the fuel maybe? To be determined. The kayak we tow behind us flips over (The name of our kayak is Darbie). Darbie fills with water. Darbie is nearly submerged and is now acting as an anchor. We fear the weight will rip the fittings right out of her body. Our physical capabilities refuse to allow us to flip Darbie up right. Freighter entering the channel behind us. Freighter honking for us to get out of it’s way. Louise is now full throttle, maxing out at 1 1/2 knots, fighting current that wants to spit us back into the ocean, pulling a completely submerged kayak, and a massive, honking, angry, freighter on our tail. Gosh. What more do I need to say? We were nearly helpless.

It was an intense 10 minutes okay? As soon as we got through the evil channel, the seas stopped kicking us in the face, and we ever so slowly cruised into the first available marina to deal with the kayak issue. At least 7 men came running to help the two girls with the sinking kayak. Two of them specifically jumped all over this “manly” project. With the brains of a second grader, a snorkel mask and a speedo this manly man dove into the water like he was on a coast guard mission. I wish I could describe this moment for you better, but it was excruciatingly hillarious and frustrating as the two stooges tried to empty Darbie of water.

Stupid us. No longer will we tow a kayak if there is any chance in a hell the waves will flip her over. We did not plan for the insanely rough channel that would flip Darbie, and definitely didn’t plan on nearly getting run over by a freighter. We are now safely anchored. The moon is full. The tide is high. I think I have eaten more chocolate in one sitting than I did as a child on Halloween. Here will we sit and wait until the wind is right to cross over to the Bahamas. This could take another day, most likely another week. Mother nature is not to be messed with. Patience will be fought until the wind gods permit us to cross the gulf stream. Currently full of sugar and still exhausted. Goodnight.

5 thoughts on “It’s sinking. We’re all gonna die.

  1. The ocean is big and you are little. There is no need for you to ever lose sight of that fact. When the tidal flow is against you why fight it ? Heave to and wait…. In a few hours the trip into Miami through the channel will be a placid one. Stop looking at your watch and let the ocean tell you when to mve and when not to

  2. OK, you now really have the movie industry interested—beautiful sailing, catastrophe, hillarity, calm resolution with chocolate!!! OMG, will enjoy sharing this with Hinnerk over a glass or two of wine when we meet in Ft Myers!!! Bonnie on Elissa II

  3. I like Bonnie’s idea, but there is no one I can think of as lovely and tough as you 2 — no one right for the parts if Louise were to be a movie.

  4. Looks like the fille de joie will be making the bimini crossing on wednesday morning. Anchoring outside of no name tomorrow. You might get some company after all. Swing by if you have a chance. Cheers.

  5. Have watched your adventure from the beginning as we start ours from Boston in June. Have you procured a CBP decal yet to make coming back to the States easier? Much can be done on line but you do need to show your faces to Border Patrol for the final step…. perhaps in Miami?

    Ann on s/v Polaris

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