Our first, and (for a while) only, major passage is complete! We sailed Miami to New Orleans non-stop in five days. With the help of our delivery captain, Capt. Woody Henderson, we are now aware that this boat can handle almost anything. She laughs out loud at 30 knot, on-the-nose winds and 13 foot waves, and she whimpers sadly if you attempt to take that on with her sails reefed. Here are a few other things we learned on the way:
- Seasickness is at its worst a few minutes before sundown on the night of your first ever, solo, overnight watch. After that, all is well.
- We CAN go several days without vodka or rum. We just wish we’d known abstention was not required!
- Watching the sun rise on one horizon while the moon is setting on the opposite one, as that first overnight watch is ending, can bring a girl to tears.
- Losing ¾ of a toenail after banging your foot on a hatch in heavy seas only hurts for the first few hours.
- When the captain offers you the spacious forward cabin, or the tight cozy aft cabin for a long, bumpy passage, TAKE THE CRAMPED CABIN!
- Killing a fish on the bow in 20 knot winds will make your whole boat look like you slaughtered a pig.
- Nothing can prepare you for going to the bathroom while beating to wind in heavy seas. Perhaps mounting a toilet on a mechanical bull would be a good trainer.
- There is no such thing as too many handholds on a boat.
- Even in mild weather, bring your cold weather gear!
- A real captain doesn’t hesitate to climb the mast when underway to unstick a jammed sail.
- When crashing into heavy seas, turn or block the dorade vents; especially if one is located directly above your bunk! Being doused in cold seawater is a harsh way to end your slumber between watches.
- It is possible to stay awake and alert on only 2 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.
- We can survive 5 days without mayonnaise.
- All of our training has paid off. It turns out we actually know what we’re doing!
Upon arrival at our new marina in NOLA we immediately were introduced to a couple who live aboard and are planning to circumnavigate starting in January. It’s nice to know that we are definitely not alone in this dream of ours. We have A LOT to do before we set off, but that’s for another post.