Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gulfport Florida to Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Holy Cow, Mr. Toads Wild Ride! I don’t know where to start. I suppose I will start from this very moment. We are in a restaurant, Ballyhoo. It is near the Customs office in Isla Mujeres, Mexico and we are glad to be here. November 21, we sailed from Gulfport, Florida, near St. Petersburg on a very pretty November day.

The weather was perfect with post-cold front stable north east winds. It was exactly what we wanted. Our now tried and true sloop, the Reliant (Relianto), excels in. We rolled off the miles for three days. The Magnificent Meridith, Joe (the statue) and myself, set into the rigors of an offshore passage. We divided the duties and life aboard Reliant had become systematic in an enjoyable away. The trip was becoming all we had hoped it would be. But then….

I will put it this way, it is colder here at this moment in tropical Mexico that it was in Gulfport, Florida when we left. How that happened was because a massive cold front busted through the Yucatan Peninsula like a bullet through cheese. We got caught. I don’t have time now to tell you how the mast came so close, so close to coming down and how there was gallons and gallons of water coming in the boat, more than we could bail and a host of other incidences that happened on this short trip. I will do that tomorrow as we dry out the boat and get ourselves back into the human race. I have sailed many passages and this on was for the books.

Note: Do not depend on paper-mache rain gear.

Isla Mujeres
Quintana Roo, Mexico

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 20th, 2013

With luck, we sail for Cozumel in less than twenty-four hours. There seems to be an endless litany of things on the “things to do list”, all to be done in 24 hours. That is the good thing about list, they can be trashed.

We hope to set out tomorrow. First stop anticipated is Cozumel, Mexico. My fine and able crew, “Marvelous Meredith” and “Hunter Joe-the Duck Dynasty snook fisher’, rejected my plan of sailing straight to Isla Providencia, about 950 miles. I like their plan better. Though I am looking forward to getting home to our house in Costa Rica, I don’t want to get in a hurry. Sailboats don’t hurry very well.

So, Relianto is set to got except for the un-glamorous job of pumping out the waste tank. Can’t wait to do that.

I will have a tracking device so friends and family can follow us on internet. I will post instructions later on how to keep in touch online and follow us.

-Captain Glenn

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lindsey was very honest and sincere and told me she would never go offshore in the boat. She was uneasy going across Lake Okeechobee. There is one segment on that leg that you can barely see land. You would have though we were in the middle of the Pacific the way she reacted. Our new plan worked out well, one for me to get the boat out of the waterway and get offshore and two, to get the boat out of the waterway. It is easier sailing offshore. Just put the boat on autopilot and just insure you don’t hit another boat. The waterway requires as much attention as driving on the interstate. Reason three and the best, I rallied two of my best friends and old sailing buddies to sail offshore with me from Ft. Myers to Gulfport, Florida. John and Terry met us in Ft. Myers and Lindsey drove Terry’s car up to St. Petersburg, her promise fulfilled, she was not going offshore.

We set sail out into the Gulf and it was great. Sailing conditions were perfect. We caught a mackerel right away, my first fish on the boat. We sailed all night on an easy broad reach and told old stories the entire time. I have some new material for my next book. The next morning, we motored into Boca Ciega Bay and into Gulfport Marina. The shakedown sail from Brunswick Georgia to here has been compIeted. Stage1 is done. However, if I counted all the stages left to go, it would look like the national debt.

Gulfport is different than Costa Rica. There is a sign that prohibits everything from fishing to having dogs on the dog to staying on the boat. I like living in a country where you can take your dog to a restaurant.