Sailing South

S/V Mariah with Trish & John Billings

15 January 2017 | Tropical Mexico
27 November 2016 | Mazatlan
25 May 2014 | Mission Bay, San Diego
04 May 2014 | Isla Mujeres, Mexico
05 April 2014 | St. Maarten
17 February 2014 | Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, DR
31 December 2013 | Thompsons Bay, Bahamas
20 December 2013 | Long Island, Bahamas
01 December 2013 | Exumas, Bahamas
01 December 2013 | Exumas, Bahamas
11 November 2013 | Marsh Harbor, Abaco
31 October 2013 | Grand Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
21 October 2013 | Folly Beach, SC
15 August 2013 | Folly Beach, SC
17 July 2013 | Charleston, SC
14 June 2013 | Hilton Head, SC
14 May 2013 | Key West
18 April 2013 | Key West
25 March 2013 | Venice, FL
06 March 2013 | Orange Beach, AL

Home Again

25 May 2014 | Mission Bay, San Diego
It is Mariah’s second birthday (at least since we have owned her). It’s hard to believe that it’s only been two years since we purchased our sailboat and took her off to “parts unknown.” And now, we’re back.

But first, I’ll finish out the rest of the trip from Isla Mujeres, Mexico to Rockport, Texas.

We left Isla Mujeres on a perfect day, blue skies, wind from the NE and had some wonderful sailing for two days. We chatted with a couple of ships that we saw on AIS also heading for Texas through the Yucatan Channel. We were interested to see what six days of passage would be like as the most we’ve done so far was three days. We hoped that we’d get into a rhythm, settle into the movement of the boat, get some polishing done, maybe a few light repairs, etc. So, on day four, we were looking for our “aha moment.” In reality, the only change we got on day 4 was a need for more sleep. As the days wore on, we just got more and more tired…to the point where we were merely doing “tag-team” sleeping. Ah well, so much for that experiment. I don’t think you’ll be hearing that we have gone on any long passages in the near future.

On our last night at sea, motoring through calm seas, about 100 miles off the coast of Texas, I decided to see if we were close enough to get the weather reports that are broadcast 24/7 on VHF by the US Coast Guard. This is an amazing service that we had dearly missed while outside of US waters. When I turned the radio to the weather channel, this is what I heard…”Small craft are advised to seek shelter immediately. Any craft in the area from Rockport, Texas going west to Corpus Christi must seek shelter. Rain, thunder & lightning will occur from 7pm through 10pm, with winds around 40 mph, gusting to 60 mph. If tornadoes or funnel clouds are seen, please report them immediately. The storm is moving in a SE direction.” Of course, we were moving in a NW direction, right into it. Yikes! We battened down the hatches, secured anything that might fly around, put on our safety harnesses and headed into it. It hit us in the dark which is a bit of a blessing as I couldn’t see if there were any funnel clouds. But it hit hard with pelting rain and only a little thunder and lightning. We could see the more severe part of the storm off to our left and were lucky that we only got side-swiped by it. Whew!

We arrived safely in San Diego last week, after driving straight through from Rockport, Texas, with Buck Smith (of Sandy & Buck fame) in his “Big Buck Truck (see picture). When Buck heard we had to take the boat apart to ready her for trucking back to SD, he offered to drive all the way out to Rockport (1500 miles) to help us. He did so, spent almost a week with us (missed all the fire excitement back home) and cut our workload in half. As a result, we are back in San Diego 10 days earlier than expected. Whoo hoo! We did it!

When we left St. Marten in mid-April, we were never sure if we would get back here by June 1st. Unfortunately, the truck company had to push their arrival date to June 13th, so Mariah is still sitting in Rockport all by herself getting all prettied up for her San Diego launch.

That left us with another problem…where to stay while we await her arrival. Johnny’s friend, Ryan, came through for us and we are nicely ensconced in a beautiful studio apartment in Mission Beach right on the bay side. After Mariah, a studio is HUGE!! And Shaylor has given us the use of her car, the Hetheringtons have given us the use of a couple of bikes and we have been able to reserve a 45’ slip at Driscolls Marina for the boat. Almost all our ducks are lined up now thanks to so many of you who have pulled through for us. Thanks so very much.

So, until we decide to venture forth on another adventure, this is goodbye from the blog. Thanks for following us and commenting on our crazy adventures.

With love, Trish, John & Mariah
Vessel Name: Mariah
Vessel Make/Model: Morgan 41
Hailing Port: San Diego
Crew: John & Trish Billings
About: John & Trish hail from Mission Beach in San Diego, are avid body surfers and dinghy sailors. They are in their first year of full time cruising.
Extra: We are cruising the East Coast of the US until November when we will head South again.
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