Reflections on a Gulf Crossing

DSC01066A week after completing our crossing from Port Aransas to Fort Myers, I think I’m ready to reflect back on the trip.

  1. Statistics: We sailed 789 miles in approximately 6 1/2 days. Our average speed was 5.6 Kts and our top speed was an incredible 18.2 kts! We saw winds that peeked at 55 kts and had winds as low as 15 kts (on our last evening out). Waves are always tricky to estimate, but the weather buoys in the area were reporting 15-17 foot waves. We burned 137 gallons of diesel, running the engines a total of 53 hours. We also ran the generator for 96 hours.
  2. The difference between 35 and 40 knots of wind is significant, but when the wind blows in the upper 50’s, the entire boat begins to shudder. Not a pleasant experience!
  3. I’m so happy to own a well found boat. We may have been wet and uncomfortable for a couple of days, but I was never worried about our safety aboard Double Wide.
  4. I was lucky to have such good friends with me that were good, seasoned sailors. We all worked hard to keep the boat moving safely through the water and I knew I could count on both Jack and Tim to step up when needed.
  5. The memory of the discomfort fades quickly when weather improves. The last 6-8 hours of our trip was wonderful, with calm seas, warm temperatures, and light winds. By the time we arrived in port Thursday evening, we were talking about the “next adventure.”
  6. Many have asked if I would change anything if I could turn back the clock. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do differently. We left Port A on the tail of a front and we were counting on the fact that we’d get another front with strong North winds sometime during the trip. That’s just the way it is when you cross the Gulf in the winter.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get many pictures when the weather was at its worst — we had other things to do then, but here are a few pictures.

The crew on Friday morning before we left Port A. Jack Green, Clark, and Tim Clipson.

The crew on Friday morning before we left Port A. Jack Green, Clark, and Tim Clipson.

Our Route, as recorded by Tim's Ipad

Our Route, as recorded by Tim’s Ipad

Shaka good weather...

Shaka good weather…

We had to wait 6 days to get a decent sunset.

We had to wait 6 days to get a decent sunset.

 

This is the only picture that we took when the weather was rotten.

This is the only picture that we took when the weather was rotten.

 

We counted 26 rigs within eyesight at one point. If anyone tells you there's no offshore drilling going on, they're crazy!

We counted 26 rigs within eyesight at one point. If anyone tells you there’s no offshore drilling going on, they’re crazy!

Safely ashore in Fort Myers.

Safely ashore in Fort Myers.

 


   4 Comments


  1. Don Turner
      January 17, 2014

    For us “land lovers”, thanks for sharing the interesting stats and wonderful pics. The sunset with the flag is incredible, I got sea sick looking at the waves! Congrats to 3 great sailors. “money doesn’t buy happiness but it can by you a sailboat to pull up next to it”.

  2. Ginger Perkins
      January 17, 2014

    Enjoyed your post and pictures. Was just wondering where your shoes are in the last snapshot (lost at sea?)

  3. Don Turner Sr
      January 18, 2014

    To you, and your crew, well done.

  4. Dixie
      January 30, 2014

    Cousin Tim…WOW! What a trip for you! Why do you look so thin? Was that from being sea sick or what? šŸ™‚ Very happy for you to make such a trip….love, Dixie Lee

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