First sail on our own – woo hoo

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Beth suggested to me that it was time to take Moorahme for a ride……so…..do up the dishes, complete the spill check, check the engine to ensure it was ready to go…

Cast off those lines my dear….and off we go! Out of Palafox marina, and out into the harbour. Beauty of a day, light winds, very little traffic and a 47 foot sailboat chomping at the bit ready for some sail time.

With Beth at the wheel, I began to hoist the mainsail…..and realized far too late that I had neglected to ensure that it was in the mast track. Crap! What a mess we were in now…..the mainsail had to come all the way back down…and of course it did not furl in very nicely on the in boom furler. I managed to start the sail properly on to the track, and then had to manually unfurl the entire sail and ensure that it was going to track properly up the mast. Believe me, that was a lot of winching, tugging, sweating, and cursing myself for being so neglectful.

 

Randy taking a break after all that sweating, George (our Autopilot) is at the helm.

Randy taking a break after all that sweating, George (our Autopilot) is at the helm.

 

I finally got the mainsail fully raised, properly, and away we went, heading for the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. Our hull speed slowly crept up…..and between Beth and I we were able to figure out the new to us electronics, and headed out into the Gulf of Mexico…and our speed increased to over 7 knots speed over ground with about 13 knots of apparent wind…oh yeah! Oh yeah!

Lovin' this!!

Lovin’ this!!

Suddenly off to the starboard side, a pod of about nine dolphins easily kept up with us….only to disappear when Beth went forward to take their pictures!

Missed the shot of the dolphins

Missed the shot of the dolphins

We sailed out to the end of the channel to Pensacola, and turned around because we were running out of time, and I wanted to return to the marina before darkness set in. And we did! The foresail, or genoa, is huge, and really adds to the hull speed. Compared to Kewalo…well, everything is bigger, heavier, faster…you know the old saying….bigger, badder, meaner, faster! She handles the gulf swells like a dream come true.

So, to backtrack a wee bit, we spent yesterday shopping…trying to determine how to best have a hotspot, or cell coverage so that we could have a hotspot…and we are still looking at that. A trip to Wal Mart for some cheap supplies for cleaning and such, and back to the boat. Oh, by the way, we have received official notification that Moorahme is officially ours….and the name will remain ours. Yes! Progress!

Palafox dock is located at the very end of Palafox street, in the old part of downtown Pensacola. That being said, there are a ton of GREAT restaurants within easy walking distance. The fish tacos at Jacos Restaurant, which is located right at the marina, are absolutely awesome..and they have a very nice wine list to compliment the rest of the menu. There is also a refit yard for the oil field ships a block or so away, so we are treated to viewing some of the huge ships that work in the oilfields when they come in for maintenance. The American Navy has their base at the entrance to Pensacola from the Gulf, so we are treated to navy ships, and a ton of navy jets on patrol and training sessions. Pensacola is the home of the Blue Angels, and they usually practice on Tuesdays, but we have yet to see them over the bay practicing. We are really looking forward to seeing them!

Tomorrow we are heading to a crab boil over in Alabama. We have met some folks who are taking sailing lessons here at the marina, and they invited us over for a crab boil. Caroline and Aaron are getting into sailing, and are very interesting to talk to, both engineers by trade. Gulf Shores is less than an hour away by car…and Aaron is catching the crab fresh tomorrow morning! Oh man, cannot wait to taste them that fresh.

As with any boat of this vintage, we are having some small issues to deal with. Our refrigeration is not quite up to par, I am suspecting it needs a Freon charge..and we are hoping to get that done asap. Keith, the former owner, has hooked us up with a local repair guy, I will let you know how we make out. And tomorrow, a local canvas company is coming down to give us an estimate on a new dodger, bimini and full enclosure installation. The dodger isinglass is hard to see through, the bimini leaks when it rains, and we want a full enclosure for when we sail in areas with bugs.

So, we docked pretty well again today, no major issues or problems, and I expect that each time docking will become easier and more efficient. Beth did a great job handling the lines and getting Moorahme settled into her dockspace! Yes!

So, enough for today! Carry on as if you are normal!

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