Monday, March 24, 2008

Boat Delivery

(The photo here is of Tampa Bay off Apollo Beach, after we'd survived the heavy wind and waves of the lower bay.)...
I spent a few days down in Tampa last week, and during one of those days I helped my friend move a big sailboat from Cortez to Apollo Beach. Her name was Moon Song, an old 41' wooden ketch, with a bum diesel engine, suspect rigging, and virtually inoperable radio. Of course, we had a hellish wind right on the nose the whole way. We had steep 6-foot waves which had us believing we were riding a bronco rather than a sailboat. The first thing the diesel did, was to throw a hose as I was casting-off the lines. Nice. My buddy fixed that quickly, but all I could think was, "If the engine has ANY problem while we're underway in these channels, we'll be in real trouble because of the heavy wind... We'll be blown immediately into the shallow shoal water and lose the boat. Of course, it's so shallow we could just walk to shore from there, but I don't want to be on the evening TV news after losing a half-million dollar yacht!"
Once we got out the channel and into open water, we had more room for a busted engine, since we could simply throw over the anchor, let out the line, and go below and try to fix the thing. But there were WAVES, baby! And the engine didn't push us too well. We'd SLAM into wave after wave, almost coming to a stop every time, trying to simply HANG ON...
But we made it. An all day trip of some 30 miles. Man, we were sore.

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