Monday, November 27
Well, once again, plans changed. After remembering that there was a Whole Foods Market in New Orleans, we rethought the French Quarter idea and opted for a taxi ride to Whole Foods instead, thinking that having great food onboard for the next week was probably a better option than enjoying one great meal onshore. Once back on board, we turned in fairly early and headed out Sunday morning for Gulfport, MS. The weather forecast (why do we ever believe these guys?) called for moderate winds and cloudy skies in the afternoon but nothing more earth shattering. Instead, we had 25-30 mph winds on the beam as we crossed a large lake with some fairly decent chop, giving us a great 8-9 knot sail. Great, that is, until we had to turn 90 degrees to port to enter a really long (miles long) channel into Gulfport. At that point, we had 30-mph winds "on the nose" and had to slog our way into port with waves crashing over the bow, soaking us in the cockpit. Sue, at the helm, developed a "windshield wiper" routine, clearing her glasses after each soaking by wiping her (very wet) gloves on her jeans to dry them enough to then wipe the water off her glasses in order to see (until the next wave). And it was drizzling, to boot. (Not, of course, forecast.) We were a cold, wet, sorry looking crew (Sophie & Chelsea included) as we pulled into the Gulfport Yacht Club (found by accident, gratefully, as we were on our way to another marina farther up the channel). The folks at the yacht club were great and, boy, did it feel good to plug into power at the dock, turn on the heaters and begin to thaw/dry out. Upon waking up this morning, we have decided to stay in port today and let our clothes (still damp) completely dry out before continuing on with our next leg, to Mobile, AL, on Tuesday. (Besides that, we're still a little pooped and a day to rest up sounds really good. If nothing else, we have cemented our feeling that we're not cut from the cloth of whatever it takes to be circumnavigators. Too hard on the old body.) Wednesday should find us in Pensacola where we will link up for a few days with our good friends Jack & Tatiana on s/v Pashka. (Jack & Tatiana live on board their lovely Island Packet and are on their way to the Dominican Republic, having stopped off to visit friends in Pensacola; we have known each other since the days when we were all at Clear Lake at Waterford Harbor and it will be great fun to see them again.)
One good note re yesterday's sail: Chelsea finally found her dolphins. After spending every day for the last two weeks hanging over the side looking for dolphins (which Chelsea considers to be her job, taking it very seriously), finally...DOLPHINS!!! We had two very happy dogs for awhile...wet and cold but joyfully barking away at dolphins, who seem to enjoy the attention.
In any case, that's the latest, folks. 'Til next time....
The Crew of Wind Dancer