Coleen - trying to row Mike in his dinghy. This is the view from our cockpit.
We ran in to Captain Jack on our way to dinner
Well it's early Monday morning and I'm laying here quietly in the v-berth with my computer. The wind is settled, the boat is rocking very gently. I can see the sun beginning to rise through my companionway doors and it's still chilly enough to need a blanket.
We started the weekend out by heading over to Panama City Beach with Kyla, Brett and Mike. Kyla had a rental car as she decided to go home to Oregon for a while. We drove about 11 miles down the beach road until we reached Sharky's a fun beach restaurant with a playground and live music. I tried a couple of the Shark Attack's, my first conch fritters, raw oyster and some delicious crab cakes. Coleen enjoyed the playground and thankfully it was filled with children. After dinner we took a long walk down the beach and she had fun splashing in the warm surf.
Kyla gave me a ride to Mobile on Saturday morning as she was passing through on her way to Oregon. Thankfully my car was still there and after a little trouble I managed to get her started and drove back to Panama City. It was sad to see Kyla go but I guess it just didn't work out for her. Brett is planning to sail their boat alone across the Gulf - through Panama and up to Oregon to meet her.
Brett postponed finishing up on the autopilot and re-wiring work so he could spend time with Kyla before she left so we weren't quite ready to take the Glass Slipper out this weekend. Instead we went for a sail with Mike on Sunday. We'd planned to sail over to Shell Island for the day. We headed that way but the bay waters were pretty rough. We started out with one reef and then put in another. It was fun sailing but would not have been a good day to anchor at Shell Island. Instead we made a plan B and sailed over to West Bay. We had a great down wind run and were moving along at 5.5 knots under a double reefed main. I showed Mike how to heave to so he could make us some great BLT's for lunch. We then continued on our downwind run for a while.
Now the only problem with enjoying a great downwind run is that eventually you have to beat your way back (sail into the wind) which in rough, choppy waters is really not that comfortable. The crew was not too happy - although since we were reefed we weren't really heeling - it was just a lot of up and down action with spray getting us a little wet. Mike let me take the helm so I could get some experience sailing in those conditions and it really was fun. I was only just a little scared, but I knew the only way to get used to it is to just do it. Mike's boat handles really well. In fact Coleen and I decided we like his boat much better than ours - not only is she easier to sail - she has a neat little layout. I think it's an 81 Hunter 27.
We motored back the last couple of miles and it was getting late and it would have taken us forever to tack back and forth. I called Brett and he met us at the dock to help with our lines. Of course, by the time we got to the dock the conditions were much more settled and it was thankfully an uneventful landing.