S/V Journey

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09 August 2011
16 March 2011
03 September 2010 | Jordan Creek NC
07 May 2010 | a long time ago, far, far away....
22 April 2010
15 April 2010
14 April 2010 | can't say where
09 April 2010
12 February 2010 | a tutorial. Learn from it....
01 February 2010 | a montage of our cruise
01 February 2010
30 January 2010
30 January 2010 | Ft. George River, Fl.
30 January 2010 | Pete/Pokey/Al/Martha (photo)
24 January 2010 | with too much time on my hands
22 January 2010 | St. Augustine, Fl
22 January 2010 | St. Augustine, FL
17 January 2010 | gulf stream
15 January 2010 | Exumas

STORM! DANGER! INTRIGUE!

22 January 2010 | St. Augustine, FL
like I said, STORM!
We checked the weather before leaving Daytona Beach on Thursday AM. We knew we were looking at a 70% chance of rain with the possibility of thunderstorms in the mix. No sweat, we had been wearing our foulies every day to help keep the cool breezes at bay, so what was a little rain? We passed under the bridge at Crescent Beach, and were under motor only, in the ICW channel, heading towards the same dark sky we had been chasing all day.
Suddenly, a wall of dark charcoal descended before us, followed by a high wind that was warmer than anything we had felt so far. "This is tornado weather." I said to Al. "Maybe we should turn back." I no more got that out when we were hit by a wall of wind and water, all coming west to east.
We were traversing north in a narrow channel, marked by pilings stuck deep in the sand. Journey was immediately turned around by the high winds, and was now heading back south. I knew we would never be able to bring her back up into the wind. We had troubles doing that in lesser storms. This was MUCH worse than anything we had ever been through before.
Al battled the tiller, trying to keep her from floundering, as we were put hard over on our side. I couldn't believe how he fought to keep Journey in the channel, as there was now way we could see the channel markers, shore or even the bridge. He was on instruments alone, and we knew they weren't exact enough to keep us away from danger.
Al noticed our speed was 11.8 MPH, and we were only about a mile north of the bridge when the storm struck! We were headed toward the bridge! We would hit if nothing else stopped us first. Like a channel marker- we still could see nothing!
I was on the "high" side, and watched as the toerails under my feet (which were flat on the side coaming) were swallowed by the water. Then the genoa track went under. And I next saw the coaming I was standing on succumb to the water. Our boat was going over, and we could do nothing to save her! I glanced behind me, into the fury of the storm, and saw the entire keel laid out sideways. My feet were in the water, IN THE COCKPIT, but I could have stood on the keel and had dry shoes!
Suddenly, right ahead, we both saw it at the same time. A dock! And another! "Turn Al Turn right NOW!" We were near the bridge, too close and running nearly into some private docks near it. I don't know how he did it, and we both thought Journey was going down right then and there, but he got her turned and we next spied a red channel marker.
"Put her out of the channel, run her aground!" We were reduced to yelling to be heard over the wind and rain. Al was my hero right then. He got Journey hard on the shoal, and we kept her in gear, as he clipped on and crawled forward to push the anchor over the front.
We huddled in the cockpit, holding each other in the downpour, until the storm abated a bit and then called TowBoat US. Capt. James came to our rescue and pulled us of the shoal. As he prepared to cast us off, I realized I had a stuck tiller! It would turn right, but not left. We then realized we had more problems than just a dangerous storm and grounding.
James took us in tow to St. Augustine, and while we were still numb and clueless, arranged a slip and haulout for us, for Friday AM. He took us to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor for our slip. Our haulout was to be with Camachee Yacht Yard.
What on earth had happened to our cruising? Was the whole trip going to fall apart, or come to a screeching halt? A new rudder or even rebuilding ours would be financially impossible for us. The next morning, we met the marina and yard facility personnel. I have been given a warm welcome at marine facilities before, but the folks here made us feel like family. That said a lot for their establishment to us. Of course we had been through a lot, but the level of care was exceptional.
We were hauled out and much to our relief, we were able to have the binding rudder ground away from the hull edge, and we will continue on our way Saturday AM. We are both aware of how lucky we are to have our lives and our boat. The bridge operator had said the winds were measured at 60MPH during the storm. He had been concerned also, and had lost sight of us during the storms full fury.
Several marina boaters came by the boat on Friday to inquire if we were the boat that had been towed in after the storm the night before. They all expressed amazement that we were OK. They too, said the storm and tornados it spawned were as bad as they come.
Comments
Vessel Name: Journey
Vessel Make/Model: 1977 Islander 28 which has been sold,1/28/10 Current Journey: 1989 Morgan Classic 41
Hailing Port: Wendell, NC
Crew: Martha and Al
About: We bought Journey an 2004, and have been updating her, sailing her, and loving her ever since. UPDATE!! WE SOLD JOURNEY ON JAN.28,2010. Fast forward to Fall,2010. Our new Journey is a Morgan Classic 41.
Extra:
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Journey's Photos -

Follow the Journey

Who: Martha and Al
Port: Wendell, NC