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Blowin’ Offshore


White Swan is headed back to her new home at Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. Last night, Gary and I decided we would try the first leg of the trip offshore, if the weather looked conducive to do so. We also agreed if the ocean was too rough, we would not hesitate to turn around and return to the safety of the ICW and take that route.

After checking the NOAA website, again this morning, we decided it was okay to leave the security of our anchorage and venture out the Miami inlet, Government Cut. However, before leaving Crandon Marina at Key Biscayne, there were last minute tasks necessary for a safe voyage. We reviewed the charts for our course, made sure all hatches were secure, attached the jack-lines, took the grill off its stanchion and stowed it away, tightly secured the dinghy on the dinghy davits so it wouldn’t swing back and forth from the sea swells, put the life raft and ditch bag in the cockpit, took the sun canopies down from the bow of the boat and put the sun canopies up around the cockpit, and after putting our life jackets on and releasing the boat from its mooring ball, we were off to our adventure in the high (literally) seas.

Up to this point in our sailing experience, we have been, what our cousin on the eastern shore of Maryland calls, “pond boaters” because we’ve only sailed in bodies of water where there is land all around us and some of it within our sight at all times. This is the first time we have sailed offshore and we were excited, yet a little anxious until we got past the rough waves of the inlet and turned north to set our course. After

doing so, the new direction allowed the swells to come from nearly behind us (“stern quarter” for you nautically minded people), instead of directly on the bow (which causes a lot of bouncing around and a very rough ride). The swells coming upon the side of our boat were not unmanageable and we decided to put the jib sail out and motor sail. The wind was SSE (south/southeast) at 165 degrees and varied between 9 to 15 knots.

Gary enjoyed the voyage today tremendously. He is in his element when he is at the helm. He put a trolling line out from the stern while he sailed, but did not catch a fish. (Who says men can’t multi-task???)

I enjoyed being out on the ocean and following our voyage on the paper charts. The ocean really is a deep blue…beautiful. Preparing lunch in the galley was quite a challenge. Balancing myself while swaying with the rhythm of the swells took some getting used to. Frequently catching the refrigerator door so it wouldn’t fly off its hinges while I took the necessary items from it, was also challenging. Enjoying the chicken salad sandwiches, marinated artichokes, and multi-grain tortilla chips made the memory of the effort involved in preparing the meal quickly fade. And life doesn’t get any better than having chocolate for dessert while sailing on a deep blue ocean.

Our trip took about 5 ½ hours today. The first hour was spent motoring from Key Biscayne to the last marker of the Government Cut inlet where we turned north to set our course. The last half hour was spent going into the Port Everglades inlet at Fort Lauderdale and navigating to Lake Sylvia, where we are now anchored for the night. After such an exciting day on the North Atlantic Ocean, relaxing showers refreshed our bodies and the reward of successfully accomplishing our first offshore sail refreshed our spirits. We are so AWESOME. Today, the Glenn’s RULE!!! After e-mailing our dear friend and fellow sailor, Pat Dennis, she e-mailed us back congratulating us and said we have now “grown up”. We’ve waited a lot of years to “grow up”. But, we plan on being kids at heart forever…








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