After motoring directly into the wind all afternoon, we rounded the Northeast corner of Puerto Rico a few hours after sunset. At 8:15 we were able to turn off the wind. We set our sails and are now flying northeast towards the Dominican Republic.
In the books
After a good night sleep ashore in Galveston, I dropped Captain Tony off at Houston Hobby Airport and made my way back to Sun Suite. We cleaned her up and secured the new dock lines for a permanent docking solution and prepped her for our departure.
1533.4 nautical miles
Many mistakes were made, lots of things learned. I’m a better sailor now and have much more confidence in my skills with this crossing under my belt.
I made my way back to Galveston some some wonderful crab bisque at the Cajun Greek before another nice night of sleep ashore in Pirates Cove.
Galveston, oh Galveston…
We made it to the Galveston jetties around 08:30 Friday morning. It was nice to be back in familiar waters. Lots of morning traffic in the Houston Ship Channel. Four hours later we had passed under the Kemah bridge and were approaching the dock in Clear Lake. Clear Lake has changed lot since my sailing days with Lawrence, I barely recognized the place. We hit secured Sun Suite and met the new neighbors.
Thursday 20:00-24:00 watch
A couple of storms early in the watch. Massive lightning strikes less than a mile away from the boat. Not much wind or rain though.
I can see the glow of Port Arthur (about 30nm) off to the starboard,
There are some vessels moving out here, keeping in my eyes open for anything headed our way or in our path.
I’m case you missed the earlier post, here’s Spot satellite tracker link, you can follow us here:
Thursday 08:00 – 12:00 watch
I have clear skies and open seas for my watch this morning. Quite a bit of a difference from the slalom course of oil platforms last evening and night. Still no wind, it’s a good thing that we topped off the fuel yesterday.
Wednesday 18:00 – 20:00 dog watch
Well… It’s been a trying day. Shortly after sunrise, I contacted a nearby tug boat who informed me that the marina at Grand Isle would be an easy access location to top off the fuel and water. On arriving, we find that the diesel dock was closed for repairs and that the only other fuel dock on the island that is deep enough for a sailboat is set up for work boats that are purchasing 4-5000 gallons at a time. They were kind enough to sell us 19 gallons to top off our tank so that we can safely make it to Galveston if the wind stays flakey like it has been.
Tons of dolphins playing in the bayou, but they were fairly camera shy.
We are back in the gulf now, about 2 miles offshore in 30′ of water motorsailing our way home. With both the motor and the light winds we are making an easy 7.5-8 kts. At this rate we should be in Galveston Friday morning!
Lots of oil rigs out here, there are at least 75 visible from our location. We’ll have to keep our eyes open tonight.
Wednesday 04:00 – 08:00 watch
Gentle breeze out of the West tonight. Storms in the distance, and a few ominous clouds floated over us. With less that 100nm from shore, we decided that it was time to crack up the engine. I chatted with a tugboat shortly after sunrise and he confirmed that our destination of Grand Isle would have deep enough water for a sailboat. With a minor course alteration, we should be making landfall by mid afternoon.
Lots of oil rigs out here, and a hefty about of traffic coming in and out of the Mississippi.
Tuesday 16:00 – 18:00 dog watch
With the light winds, we have had to make a difficult decision. We are still currently ~400nm away from our destination, and with the flaky to light winds, that could take us another week. As a result of that information, we have decided that the best course of action is to fire up the iron horse and in the near future and start putting some miles under the keel.
We’ll pop into port on Louisiana for refueling so that we’ll have enough fuel for the journey home.
Tuesday Midnight to 04:00 watch
Once again the overnight shift had some good wind. I was able to get Sun Suite up to 7+kts for a bit. Alas, the good wind didn’t stick with us for long.