We arose early on the first of February, 2011 and were motoring out the Florida Channel by 7:15 AM. Gary hoisted the main sail while still in the channel and as we neared the ocean, three to six foot swells met us on the nose.
Gemini "Alley Cat" going out the Florida Channel, Key Biscayne
As we bounced out the channel we passed another Gemini catamaran, Alley Cat. We met the nice couple who is cruising aboard Alley Cat during our days spent at No Name Harbor. They were on their way to Titusville to meet up with other cruising friends.
As we turned north after the last Florida Channel marker, we sailed with full sails taking us at a speed of 6 to 7 knots with swells hitting us on the side. The semi-rough ride was not ideal, but we made it to the Ft. Lauderdale inlet, traveling 27 miles in six hours. That sounds like a long time to go 27 miles, but it was good time for sailing, with nothing but the wind as power. Sweet!
There was a lot of boat traffic leaving the port as we came in, but we easily navigated to our anchorage for the night at Lake Sylvia. Alley Cat arrived a short time later. The nice couple chose not to go with us to explore the area via dinghy. We found many mega yachts at the nearby Ft. Lauderdale marinas (the norm for southern Florida).
Tow Boat U.S. pulling another Tow Boat U.S. at Ft. Lauderdale. These are the guys we depend on when White Swan breaks down...HELLO!!!
2-2-11 Another early start puts us motoring back out Port Everglades Inlet around 7:30 AM. The wind was lighter today at five mph and the swells were only 3 feet. The channel was clear of boat traffic as we left Ft. Lauderdale.
We motor-sailed all day and arrived at Palm Beach Inlet by 2:45 in the afternoon, logging 38 miles, taking 7 ½ hours. We anchored for the night near Singer Island.
Our new acquaintances aboard Alley Cat stopped by to chat for awhile and wanted to know if we wanted to go ashore with them, but we had to decline because of my current necessity to stay near the “head“. This nice couple from Kentucky, cruises every winter in Florida and sometimes the Bahamas. We hope to meet up with them again.
Container ship going by us at Lake Worth Inlet
2-3-11 For our last hop “outside”, we left Palm Beach Inlet (aka Lake Worth Inlet) at 7:30 in the morning with the lack of wind power to aid us. The wind didn’t even measure on our wind meter and the seas were calm.
We motored at a good speed, 5.5 mph, under an overcast sky and light winds from the northeast, until the wind shifted directly from the north at which time the seas brought three to four foot swells right on our nose. This slight change in wind direction slowed our speed down to 4 to 5 mph.
This trip offshore was the longest day of the three days we traveled “outside”, taking nine hours and traveling 49 miles. We arrived at Ft. Pierce Inlet around 4:30 PM and proceeded north another three miles up the ICW to a new anchorage for us. (Boaters, we turned east at the R174 marker to follow the local channel past the spoil island on the right, and then turned in to anchor behind the spoil island in four feet of water. White Swan’s draft is only two feet.) It was a calm anchorage, as the spoil island gave protection from the ICW boat wakes.
2-4-11 After a 39 ½ mile journey, motoring 7 ½ hours up the ICW, we arrived at Telemar Bay Marina, our home port. The trip was uneventful other than having to motor through dense fog for the first four hours. We went slowly and used the chart plotter and radar to help us navigate through the markers until the fog lifted. Under normal circumstances we would have waited for the fog to subside before traveling, but we wanted to arrive at our home port in time to get my specimen culture to the lab before it closed for the weekend.
As soon as White Swan was securely tied in our boat slip, Tom Dennis gave me the specimen bottles needed for lab cultures our family physician ordered, and Gary immediately drove them to the lab. We had made all these arrangements while in transit: After a phone call consultation regarding my illness with our family doctor, Dr. Caroliese Schmidt, our friend, Grace Belcher, who is also a patient of Dr. Schmidt‘s, went to pick up the written order and specimen bottles. She gave them to Pat and Tom Dennis, our friends who live-aboard at Telemar Bay Marina. And then Tom presented them to me upon arrival, giving Gary enough time to get them to the lab before it closed. (As I’ve said before, it takes a village to raise the Glenns.) Our long distance arrangements worked like clockwork. Now we have to wait for three days for the results.
We stayed overnight on White Swan, before going back to our home in Melbourne the next day, unaware of the long recuperation that lay ahead.
Long story made short: Numerous tests and numerous trips to Dr. Schmidt and a gastroenterologist indicated, without a positive test result, my illness was clostridium difficile (aka c. diff.), caused from all the antibiotics taken to cure the MRSA. Treatment: another antibiotic, Flagyl, plus probiotic pills and a strict diet. The only good thing that came from all this is I’ve lost some weight, but this diet is not recommended!
While I recuperated at home, Gary stayed busy working on White Swan. He took out both gas tanks and thoroughly cleaned them and added a second fuel filter on the fuel line, so when too much condensation occurs in the line causing the engine to stall, he can simply switch it over to the backup filter (brilliant). He changed the oil and the filters; varnished the salon’s dining table and experimented with various types of varnish on the back side of our berth’s closet doors, as eventually his goal is to varnish all the wood inside the boat with the hope of eliminating most of our mold problem; and he accomplished a lot of other little fix-ups necessary before we start another cruise. His time was well spent and, as always, productive. He has White Swan ready for her next adventure.
I did manage to pull off a surprise celebration for Gary’s birthday on February 6th. E-mail made it easy to contact everyone to show up on the afternoon of his birthday to surprise him. Grace insisted upon getting the cake and ice cream for me and it was a blessing that she did, as my morning would not have allowed me to leave the house. Gary and his guests enjoyed the wonderful chocolate cake with a cheesecake center. Grace got the cake from Toojays, a gourmet deli at the Melbourne mall. The guests stayed an hour or so for a proper celebration of our special guy’s special day.
Gary's birthday celebration 2-6-11
Hail, hail, the gang is all here for Gary’s birthday celebration. From Left to Right:
Doug, Pat, John, Anna, Tom, Matt, Gary, Grace, Lady Bug (Cheryl’s mother), Cheryl & Ed