Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Breaking Point

August 20-21, 2013 - Breaking Point

St. Lucie Lock - Sky was up and at 'em and ready to help when we headed to the St. Lucie Lock.  We woke Paige so she wouldn't miss the last lock experience.  
We were dropped 13' to reach the Atlantic levels.  It was crazy to look at the back lock gates as our water level lowered and realize the amount of water the gates were holding back.  Then we were released and set off to the east coast of FL.  

We planned a stop in Stuart to fuel and provision.  There are some great marinas in the area and I was hoping for some much needed down time to recuperate.  Andrew and Dylan were watching the weather and saw a window for some great open water sailing to take us home.  I was shocked by the reality that they were ready to sail into the Atlantic for 48hrs straight.  It pushed me over some unseen edge and I had a breakdown!  Now you full-timers and veteran sailors will find it humorous that it only took me 4 days to reach the breaking point, but you have to realize we had never sailed before, both of us were coming off of an intense few days leading up to our departure, I was handling all the duties below deck as well as taking watches, and we hadn't had a day with less than 12 hours sailing.  I was burnt out!  I tried to explain to Andrew that I was hot and wanted restaurant food and to not cook on board and a shower and needed AC or a swimming pool - something to bring my core temp down!  (I know I sound like such a baby - but it was how I honestly felt in the moment)  So we amended our sail plan to stop in Port Canaveral, have Dylan drive on home and us continue with our journey on our own.  

So we cleared the last bridge and hit the open ocean of the Atlantic for the first time.  Exiting the channel got super rowdy and fun.  Paige and I were below closing hatches in the V berth when she said, "This is crazy!  I don't know whether to laugh or cry."  We decided to laugh it off and enjoy the ride.  
Open ocean!

I stayed below a little too long getting some work stuff done on the phone and felt a little queasy but a nap and some fresh air kept it at bay.  We had a long but great day at sea and docked in Canaveral around 3am in the morning.  The docking was a bit tricky combined with a bit of exhaustion but we slept well and I was relieved to know a bit of a break was in store.  

Docked at Cape Marina - Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral - Wednesday was beautiful, sunny and a great day to catch our breath.  We all showered, which doesn't sound particularly exciting, but when you've been on a boat for 4.5 days and don't remember the last time you removed the smarmy salt and sweat - it is an exciting day!  We took our time conditioning our hair and brushing out all the tangles.  Dylan got his rental car for his return trip to Jacksonville so we were able to drive to lunch at Grills and be served.  It was glorious!  Then Dylan ran us by West Marine and Home Depot to pick up an AC for the boat.  My boating experience was about to change drastically!  Dylan dropped us at the marina and headed on his way.  I helped Andrew load some stuff on Abby and then he had an AC/refrigerator guy he met come by to check out our SeaFrost system.  The girls and I headed to the pool to relax while Andrew chatted him up and learned all about our frig and freezer.  He was at the marina on other calls but was nice enough to come by and charge our system.  We held our charge and have had no further problems, what a blessing since we originally thought we would be replacing the system and had been using ice and dry ice to cool everything.  

The girls and I had fun in the pool and were joined by another yachty, Jim.  He and his wife have 4 small children and live aboard their 57' S/V Carisma 6 months out of the year.  He was so encouraging and told stories of other families they had met that homeschool as well and love the life of island hopping and raising children aboard.  He also shared stories of his years racing sailboats and I so wished Andrew was with us to hear the excitement in his voice and see the gleam in his eye as he reminisced - it sounded quite addicting.  We returned to a nicely cooled boat and Andrew was ready for a dip in the pool.  We walked to Fish Lips for dinner and it had an arcade below that was a hit with the girls!  This was the beginning of our "new" boating experience - just our family, alone on our boat, moving at a relaxed pace.  We slept amazingly in our cool cabin and headed out early the next morning. 

Our journey continues in "The Bump and Grind"

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