December 19, 2010, Sunday, the day outside.

Sam & Roberto overslept after they were the ones who went on about getting up early!

Six sailboats sailed out that morning into the fog and darkness.

Heard from turbulence by email: they are still up on stands with a prop shaft rand cutlass bearing repair.

Weather heavier than expected. Thought about turning back but didn’t want to be the only boat. Wanted to stay with the flock.

Tried to just sail and cut our engine, but that made us fall behind and Good Goose and Dream Catcher went on ahead.

Worried and afraid, we regretted not staying inside and hanging out in St. Augustine for the day.

Sam stayed with us which helped calm us.

Couldn’t sail comfortably down wind but didn’t want to get too far from shore. It wouldn’t have been fine but we were afraid and scared. Just flew the jib and had to motor sail the whole time.

Towing the dinghy was hell. It filled with water from the huge waves and submarined and was constant worry for fouling the prop or breaking the tow line.

A little rain, a little fog.

Watched a coast guard rescue operation in progress with helicopter recovery. That didn’t make us feel too comfortable with the weather conditions.

Kept watch for right whales. No sightings.

Couldn’t eat, too nervous. Made new speed record: 11.2 knots surfing down huge swells.

Around noon we realized we were over half way! Then we took shifts and got to warm up inside for a while and stated to feel better about everything.

Never towing the dinghy outside again!!!

Inlet was difficult, to say the least. To enter it at night is to commit suicide. Met up with Roark and entered together. Roberto was ahead of us by half an hour and Sam was behind us by an hour. He had rigging troubles and came in drunk and stoned with no gps and no chart.

Sea tow talked to us on the radio before we made the inlet run, and he really saved our asses with local knowledge.

Had to round the north jetty inside the markers.

Rafted up on the nearest creek, all swinging on Dream Catcher’s anchor.

Sam couldn’t tell north from south, let alone use a gps or chart. We had to repeat directions sometimes up to a dozen times to him. We were all pretty pissed at him by the end, and Roberto was the angel that kept us on task of making sure he got in safely.

Met his passenger: the one armed pirate!

All had a good calming and processing dinner on Rob’s boat.

All’s well that ends well!

The flotilla the day after the run outside

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