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

The Lia Jane from Grand Isle, LA

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

The first oil rigs, about 100 miles offshore of Louisiana

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.

Sunday 04:00 – 08:00 watch

Because of the extremely light wind, shortly after my last watch we started motoring. Coming on this watch we have now been motoring for the last 11.5 hours. I am concerned that we are burning through the fuel too quickly at the beginning of the journey and will run into issues nearing the end of the trip.

The night is starting out well, bioluminescence and meteors abound! Again there are some storms in the distance, I hope they bring us some wind.

05:00 and the navigation lights on the bow just went out.

Saturday noon – 16:00 watch

After maintaining 7kts overnight, the wind has settled down and we are only making 3-4kts this afternoon.  Calm seas, slightly cloudy skies, and little to no wind. I don’t see a single whitecap in any direction.  We are hoping for more wind in the near future.

Today was laundry day, we washed some of our clothes by dragging them behind the boat for about 20-30 minutes.  We played a few games of cribbage to pass the time.  A container ship passed about 3 miles from us.  That was all of the excitement for this shift.

Our course today is 324° averaging about 3.5kts.

Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas

Fort Jefferson

After another overnight sail, we arrived art Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas.  Wonderful place, I’d love to come back and spend a few days on the hook here.  We spent a couple of hours on the hook, then cast off across the Gulf of Mexico for Texas.

I’m on the 20:00-00:00 shift tonight, I see some thunderstorms off in the distance to the North and some bioluminescence in our wake.  Seas are currently calm and we are making a leisurely ~5kts this evening. Tons of stars out tonight, I’m working on picking out the constellations. I found Pisces, Capricorn, Sagittarius, and Scorpius tonight!

Great food and exemplary service on Stock Island

Hogfish Bar

We made it in to Stock Island, next door to Key West, shortly after daybreak.

On arriving at the dock, we promptly dropped the jib and called Peter at Geslin Sails. He came over within 30 minutes to pick up the sail. 3 hours later he was back with the repaired canvas.

After raising the jib and fueling her, we made our way to the Hogfish Bar. All 4 of us decided on the house speciality, a hogfish sandwich, which was fantastic!

Our next stop was West Marine where we picked up a replacement main outhaul and various other spare parts.

Back on Sun Suite, Captain Tony went up the mast and wrapped the spreaders to prevent another round of damage to the job. We’re didn’t have enough time for laundry, so I guess that we’re going to be prime by the time we arrive in Galveston next week.

The Stock Island Marina was extremely cooperative and helpful while we performed our repairs dockside, I strongly suggest stopping there if you are in the area.

Our destination for the morning is Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortuga’s. Assuming that we get another clear weather forecast in we will be heading out into the Gulf of Mexico on our journey to Galveston. We expect the crossing will take us around 7 days.