So we’re back in Maryland, sailing someone else’s catamaran down the Bay in below freezing temperatures and gale force winds. I guess we were getting a little too soft in Key West and needed the kind of ass kicking only the Chesapeake in the wintertime can give you.
Let me rewind to just two short days ago: it was a beautiful sunny afternoon and Matt and I were frolicking down Duval Street, celebrating one of our last days in Key West. We’d been analyzing the weather and decided that the end of the week would be the perfect window for us to leave for the Bahamas. Somewhere between the Whistle Bar and Sloppy Joe’s, he got a call from his old company asking if we would want to help deliver their brand new 52′ Lagoon catamaran from Annapolis to Ft. Lauderdale. It took us all of 3.2 seconds to agree to do it. Sailing a million dollar yacht with two of our good friends from back home? Sounded like a pretty good time to us! We managed to book ourselves on the first flight out the next morning and less than 24 hours later, we’re baaaack!!
Woah. Talk about what a shock to the system it was getting off that plane. I can’t believe how cold it is here. Going from 80 to 8 degrees in a matter of hours, sucks. We’ve asked each other ‘What the hell are we doing?’ about two dozen times already. The bitter wind hit us and took our breath away and froze our hands so much they burned, and again we thought, ‘Are we crazy?’ The irony that we were back in Annapolis on a boat – a place I swore I’d never be after last winter – was not lost on us.
But what a beauty she is. Even covered in ice and snow.
Even though we were only home for about 24 hours, it was great to see some familiar faces, especially my family who met us in Annapolis for dinner. But as quickly as we arrived, it was time to leave again. By high noon the following day, Matt, Mischelle, Chris and I were off the dock and headed south down the bay in a luxury sailing yacht that we would be calling home for the next week. Awesome.
The sunset pretty much summed up the first leg of our trip: serene, peaceful, comforting…one of those ‘this is so awesome right now’ moments. We never in our wildest dreams thought this is where we’d be earlier in the week, that’s for sure.
Unfortunately, the moment didn’t last. Over the course of the night the wind picked up to a howling 25-30mph that transformed the Bay into an icy version of Dante’s Inferno. 6′ waves and strong gusts made even this huge 52′ boat feel like a bath toy. We were getting slammed from all over. All.Night.Long.
At one point the MD State Police had a spotlight on our boat from the air because they thought we were a boat they received a distress signal from. It took us nearly 10 minutes of reassuring them that all persons onboard were accounted for and that we were not in distress. They must have thought we were crazy as all hell for being our there (voluntarily) in the first place and wanted to triple check that we’re were all sane.
It was such a long, crazy, sleepless night, we all huddled in the galley the next morning feeling like a bunch of PTSD survivors. Check out what the boat looked like…
Yes. That's 2" of ice over EVERYTHING due to the waves coming over our bow all night long. Think about how much extra weight was added to the boat. Now I know why the police helicopter took so long confirming our situation last night. It was a lot worse then we knew or the captain let on to be.
It took us nearly 20 hours to get to Deltaville, VA which is still about 5 hours north of Norfolk. We're hanging out here thru the night to let the Bay calm down before we head offshore tomorrow and are getting a life raft to keep on board for the rest of the trip. Here’s hoping the rest of the trip goes a little smoother than our first night!
We’re really missing Key West right now! Ha!