Day's log for Monday, August 27th, 2001 - Gulf of Mexico
0000 - position N 29 deg 19.6' W 084 deg 12.0'
0100 - position N 299 deg 21.8' W 084 deg 12.9'
0200 - position N 29 deg 23.5' W 084 deg 12.9'
0300 - position N 29 deg 25.5' W 084 deg 12.5'
0400 - position N 29 deg 26.7' W 084 deg 11.6'
As expected when I scanned the horizon I saw a quick flashing white light. This was a tower put up by the US Air Force. I also saw a steady white light which normally means anchor light. I could only see this when I stood up on deck. I watched it for a bit to make sure it didn't move.
I would also periodically check the brightness of my running lights. My number one battery is weak because of the incident just before I got to Stuart. I did not care how much I ran it down - as long as I could keep my navigation lights on and keep from using the number two battery as much as possible. I needed it to start the motor.
0500 - position N 29 deg 29.6' W 084 deg 10.6'
0600 - position N 28 deg 28.6' W 084 deg 9.2'
0700 - position N 29 deg 28.1' W 084 deg 9.8'
0815 - started motor. Took course 290
0900 - position N 29 deg 27.8'W 84 deg 15.5'
0940 - fixed negative current problem with alternator - loose black wire
1000 - position N 29 deg 28.0'W 84 deg 21.4'
1012 - heard sonic booms. The sound was immediate and with no echo at all. I thought my diesel was backfiring like a car does sometimes. However the diesel doesn't do that. Plus this was an area the Air Force uses for training exercises.
1010 - stopped to investigate continuing alternator output problems.
1015 - finished fiddling, restarted motor. Upon startup the autohelm was in "A" mode - meaning it thought it was steering - and to compass course 295 set but it was not actually steering. I put it in standby mode, then back to auto mode. This cleared up the invalid states in the machine and it worked fine.
1100 - position N 29 deg 30.4' W 084 deg 27.0'
1203 - position N 29 deg 31.7' W 084 deg 32.9'
This tower was about 100 feet tall according to the chart and was studded with antennae. As I passed I heard a horn sound about once a minute.
1301 - position N 29 deg 32.9' W 0894 deg 39.0'
1337 - posotion N 29 deg 33.7' W 084 deg 42.7'
1340 - changed to course 280
1401 - position N 29 deg 34.0' W 084 deg 45.4'
1422 - sonic booms again - this time very loud. It startled me. It sounded like my diesel backfired - but a diesel is not known for doing that.
1500 - position N 29 deg 34.9' W 084 deg 51.6'
1506 - raised maind and secured motor
1600 - position N 29 deg 36.1' W 084 deg 54.7'
1645 - entered Government cut flanked by pelicans and escorted by dolphins
1800 - I lowered sails and started motor. Then I proceeded back into the GICW and headed toward Apalachicola. Along the way I brushed the ground with my keel once but avoided getting completely stuck. Earlier I had heard someone on the VHF getting stuck near here. Only when I got close to Apalachicola did I notice the range that was set up. You just cannot study a chart enough.
1930 - docked at Miller Marine, Apalachicola
I had a nice dinner followed by my favorite - Pina Colada. I could sleep much easier knowing that I didn't have to wake up every hour and that the boat was not going anywhere.Prev Home Next