Lessons Well Learned

Hi to all!! All is well here!! We have had an interesting past couple of days.... and that is definitely an understatement! We did our first overnite sail... and that was the first time since we began our adventure that I had second thoughts about this crazy journey.. but luckily it only lasted a moment... it didn't take long for me to re-see the beauty in it all and to realize how small we all are in the grand scheme of life. As we sailed at 7 knots through the blackness of the ocean we were lucky enough to witness the space shuttle re-enter and listen to them chat with the Coast Guard.. that was way cool. It was one of those rare moments that wasn't planned nor expected but was amazing and will forever be in my memory. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this but those who know me well will understand... but when the sky lit up and this object appeared in the night sky I thought Capt Don and myself were going to be attacked by aliens!! I'm not even sure I believe in aliens but that was the first thing that came to mind... you hear about those kind of things happening so who really knows what exists in this universe or other universes. Anyway.. as we sailed through the night.. no moonlight only a million of stars in the sky as our only light and millions of glowing creatures in the water as Mary Rose cut through the waves at 7 knots, heeled on her side and it was obvious that Ms Mary was having a great time. Our first lesson that night was we really need to re-organize our stuff before setting sail in the ocean.. we had stuff crashing and falling everywhere.. we looked down the companionway and our home was sideways.. our aloe vera plant and jackets were leaning into the hallway.. I came down to inspect the situation and found myself being beat up by our oranges that are hanging in a net in the galley... not sure how many of you have ever been hit with a bag of oranges but for the record it does not feel very good. Later that evening after we thought everything was finished shifting Capt Don sent me down to get some sleep so I could relieve him later when he became tired... so I made a pallet on the floor so I would easily hear him call me if he needed me.. it wasn't long before I was being hit with various objects so I gave up that idea and went to the V-berth to try and grab a few winks to find myself being beat up by ceiling and wall ... so I gathered myself and went to join Capt Don in the pit. As I climbed up the companionway I found this big kid with huge smile on his face sitting back against the lazyboy chair, remote in hand and at that moment it was obvious that this man was doing what he was meant to be doing... another unplanned, unexpected moment that will forever be in my memory. Anyway we made it to the marina safe and sound the next day at 1500 which = 26 hours of sailing.. it was great! We spent the next day resting at the marina and woke up to fresh blueberry muffins, a newspaper (thanks to Sanibel Marina) and Mary Rose grounded at low tide. We waited until high tide and off we went for our next destination... Boca Grande. This trip went well in the beginning .. to save time we decided to take the Gulf around to the Boca Inlet. As we were sailing out we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow. As we sailed along quietly we tried fishing but twice something snapped our lines like it was a string so we gave that idea up since we were not sure what was following us and we were not sure we wanted to know! The winds were fair and we didn't save as much time as we had expected... we arrived at the inlet after the sun had set ... Lesson 2.. never try to enter an inlet after dark! Half way through the inlet a storm hit us... the rain poured and the wind blew .. we couldn't see 100 feet in front of us... Capt Don acted quickly and appropriately when we realized we were in a bit of a situation... he turned the boat around and headed back to the last lighted buoy where we called Port Charlotte Boat US for assistance. These guys were great!! They were patient and helpful.. they gave us coordinates to enter into the GPS that took us straight into the channel .. which brings me into Lesson 3.. never try to navigate the ICW (intercoastal waterway) at night! We arrive into the harbor.. it was dark you could'nt see a thing! The Boat US advised us of a close place to anchor but it was a channel that was not well marked and the water shallow .. next to Red 74 marker but there was no way we could navigate into this unknown channel.. so we called Boat US back on the VHF... We finally set anchor at 1043 pm... and then we collapsed for the night!! What an adventure!!
I will leave you with the words of Ben Franklin
Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die from old age, but they die young.

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