Thursday, January 19, 2017

In Atlanta

It was a long day off the boat, our first in quite a while, as Dawn and I woke early to finish putting Windbird in order for our several-day absence & then caught an Uber to Daytona Beach airport for our 7am flight to Atlanta. From there it was a quick connection to CHS and then another Uber to Charleston City Boatyard, where we picked up our Nissan Xterra. I'll be stashing it in a Delta employee lot near the Atlanta airport for use whenever I'm back in town, but in the meantime we can use it to drive to and from my appointment tomorrow. It's normally a five-hour drive to Atlanta but several crashes and then typical rush-hour traffic added a bit to that. I was restricted to a clear liquid diet the whole time - I have a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow, fun fun - so I couldn't have anything other than Gatorade or Chicken Noodle Soup (hold the chicken and noodles) & was quite hungry. Once we got to our hotel here I had to start the other part of my prep - basically overdosing on laxatives. So we've had a quiet night in the room, watching sailing videos on YouTube. We finally caught the documentary Chasing Bubbles. I was familiar with the story and tragic passing of young circumnavigator Alex Rust from Cruisers Forums but didn't realize there was a documentary about him. Highly recommended.

Tomorrow I'll be fairly doped up after the procedure (which is just as well considering what's going on in DC) so we'll be staying here a second night. On Saturday we'll take the first flight back to Daytona Beach, retrieve the pooch, and return to Windbird. What happens then depends on the forecast. If the coming cold front stays strong and fast-moving, we'll get an extra night or two in the marina and ride it out there. If it peters out a bit and/or slows down, we'll likely head south to New Smyrna Beach for the night and Cocoa on Sunday. The plan is to spend a couple nights in Vero Beach next week and then press on to Ft. Lauderdale. With a good forecast, we'll go outside at Fort Pierce Inlet and do the whole shebang in one overnight. There are an absolute ton of bascule bridges south of Ft. Pierce, many with restricted opening times, which along with general congestion tend to slow one's progress along the ICW. If we can skip them, great.

I did some calling to marinas in the Ft. Lauderdale area during the drive today. As near as I can tell, they're all either full or expensive. We got on the waitlist for two of the more reasonable municipal marinas, but absent any openings I think we'll do some combination of anchoring out, mooring balls, and a couple nights at expensive marinas as needed. We still have some work to do to Windbird when we get there plus several things to be addressed professionally (related to work the boatyard did) - and of course the usual reprovisioning and other last-minute errands before casting off for the Bahamas. We'll celebrate Dawn's birthday in Ft. Lauderdale, right after that I'll fly a 3-day trip on Feb 5-7th to reestablish my landing currency, and on the 8th I have two more Dr's appointments in Atlanta. On my return we'll move the boat to Miami, where my brother Steve is flying in Feb 11th to do the crossing with us. We'll leave for Bimini or Chub Cay the next weather window after that. I've been keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts & reports and war-gaming the crossing. Thus far this year the windows have been regular and fairly lengthy (this week Tues-Fri was a good one). We'll hope that holds true into February.

1 comment:

  1. Sam and Dawn,

    Non sailor here, but really love reading your blog. Im looking forward to your travels over the next weeks. Living here in there northeast, I appreciate hanging around watching your journey into the warmth! Be well!