OK...we have been well and truly out of our comfort zone. And I mean, REALLY out of our comfort zone – or maybe I should say “my” comfort zone. (Sometimes I think Jim is way too laid back to even know what a comfort zone is or isn’t.) Just imagine trying to follow the narrow and shallow channels of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and controlling 44 feet of boat where you have to keep track of what is beside you, under you and above you!
|Linn and Chris on Annie C going through a swing bridge|
How about the trauma and drama of trying to get into fuel docks, anchorages and moorings and doing it with some sort of dignity and without hitting anyone or providing great entertainment for those watching. Then, there are the challenges of running aground, having to set the anchor more than once to get it set, and the unexpected such as a stuck roller furling which necessitated Jim’s climbing up our 60 foot mast. The generator quit working which caused problems keeping food cold, let alone frozen. And navigating: trying to translate what we see on the paper charts and chart plotter to what we actually see in front of us (especially at night) is no simple task. Fighting through 2-6 foot rolly seas for over 29 hours en route from Ft. Myers to the Dry Tortugas with winds pretty much on our nose meant that we motored most of the way only to find that our anchorage was no restful haven...it was also rolly. I guess this has been the official rite of passage out of our comfort zone - literally and figuratively!
|Proof that we put our dollar on the wall at Cabbage Key|
Gently rocking at anchor or on a mooring is peaceful and makes one privy to amazing sunrises and sunsets. The Dry Tortugas were a great destination (more about them later) although the afternoon we arrived I felt a tiny bit envious of those tourists who were heading back home on the sea planes. (Another 29 hours of rolling and bouncing was not appealing.)
|Four buddy boats at anchor at the Dry Tortugas|