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Published: September 12th 2010
It only took us 5 years, but we sure did love flying the spinnaker!
We woke up early Monday morning and made the decision to go. It was time to cast off the lines and set sail across the Gulf of Mexico. The preparations were done and the crew had arrived and everyone was anxious to get underway. So Jen packed up Kona and her stuff in the rental car and hit the road, driving across the country with the help from her dad, who was flying into Miami later that day. And the Rum Runner set sail for its final leg of the journey home, to a small coastal community in the Bay Area of Houston known as Kemah, Texas.
Overall the trip was good, although hot... very very hot. The first day or two we were able to do some sailing, which was great. The highlight of the sail was when we flew the spinnaker for the first (and only) time on the Rum Runner. It was an awesome sight!!! It really makes the boat glide thru the water. And we were making good time until we hit the Loop Current on the third day, which was a 2-3 knot current right on the nose- bummer! Needless to say, it really slowed
One of the thousands of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
us down and we had to turn on the motor to make any progress. So we ended up motor sailing the rest of the way.
By the fourth day, we caught our first glimpse of some of the oil rigs in the Gulf. Although it didn't take long before we were surrounded by them. There are over 30,000 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and they are really an amazing sight. Little floating cities, all different shapes and sizes, with large supply boats dropping off food and people day and night. Once we were in the thick of it the rigs were spced out in a grid pattern not more than a mile apart from eachother, it looked like a scene from Kevin Costner's movie "Waterworld". Crazy! And fortunately, we didn't see a drop of oil on our passage across the Gulf.
Later that day we were lucky enough to catch a mahi-mahi, so we had fresh fish for the rest of the trip- yum! So that provided some excitement along the way. But otherwise, the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, just long, hot, and boring with plenty of time to read and reflect on
Luckily we didn't have any big storms along the way, but we did have to dodge a couple of big squalls from time to time.
We pulled into Kemah on Saturday morning and Jen was waiting for us at the dock behind our house to catch lines. It was good to be home... finally, home sweet home. It took us just over 5 days to sail the 800 miles. Whew! What a long, strange trip it has been. From Portland, OR where we dreamed about sailing away, to Charleston, SC where we picked up our boat, to the Bahamas where we learned the ropes, to the Caribbean where we cruised the islands, and back to the mainland... to Texas... which I now call home.
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