Friday, April 20, 2012

The Most Difficult Turn

There is one turn that is nearly impossible to make on any boat. It doesn't matter if you're power or sail, large or small, one engine or two. Making a 180 degree turn and retreating once you've left the dock or anchorage is difficult. Not necessarily technically difficult, but emotionally difficult.

We've just completed a terrific MTOA Rendezvous held at Fernandina Harbor Marina and had a wonderful time - good meetings, good venue, good marina, and great people. Our plan A was to leave and head offshore for an overnight to Charleston for a stay at the Charleston Harbor Marina - a new ActiveCaptain Sponsor - to visit dear friends, and to get our much needed Charleston fix. Plan B was to divert into Brunswick, GA by early evening if the weather was not good to stay with another Sponsor, Morningstar Marinas at Golden Isles. Plan C was to head back to Cumberland Island and anchor until we could execute Plan A or B.

All week we've been watching the weather forecast. It's hard to remember more confusing or changeable predictions. There's a system coming through mid-weekend and it was never clear from one forecast to the next what we should do.

So we decided this morning we'd throw the lines off and just stick our nose out and see what the conditions actually were. After all, we had some pretty good alternative plans at the ready.

We knew the inlet would be bouncy as we would have current against the wind but the wind wasn't predicted to be terrible - how bad could it be?

As we came around the first bend, I was still on the bow stowing the lines and fenders, I commented to Jeff that it seemed windier than I'd expected. He agreed. And sure enough as we started out the inlet we had a moderate bounce. The captain informed us we had about 20-30 minutes and then we could turn into the ocean and hopefully find calmer seas.

Another 10 minutes and aCappella was bouncing and bucking like a wild stallion. We could hear various items we'd failed to stow finding new locations on the boat, including Jeff's guitar. Fortunately, nothing was damaged.

The kids began to mutiny and the captain wisely said, "We're turning around."

So we're tucked into our favorite anchorage off Cumberland Island. Sunday is predicted to be the worst day, so maybe by Tuesday or Wednesday we'll stick our nose out to sea once more. No matter what, we're on our boat with those we love in a beautiful place. What could be better than that?


Carol 'n Wayne said...

Boy, you are right about how hard it is to make that turn! Maybe we finally learn, but it is tough once you are committed to "give up". I have said many times that it'll get better once we are out of the effect of the inlet. Sometimes that is even true. Congrats on the smart choice.

We hope to head over to the Bahamas by the end of the week.


John said...

We actually stayed on course for six hours!
And bailed out at Sapella Inlet, GA.
Bright spot was catching a fish, low mark was the nose emus.
And so much for, it was way off.

Bob said...

Been there, done that, and picked stuff up off the floor.
We are at Staniel, anchored in Big Major. Our girls love the Islands, and are having a ball. Us too.