Escaping Tampa Bay!

This was an old post from November 2017 that I never published: We have been looking for the perfect weather window in which to move Serenity- which is always a funny thing when the weather man says one thing, and one finds the forecast to be totally out of whack and absolutely wrong. Last Wednesday, we made the command decision- we are moving the boat. On the inside, I was still damning Poseidon, and would have preferred to have an off-shore sail. But, we have two tiny dogs who refuse to pee on their little pee-station, and, despite the initial forecast 2 days prior promising happy seas, awoke to a Small Craft Advisory in Tampa Bay and offshore. Well, hell there went my hopes and dreams of making it to Charlotte Harbor as we were getting beat up in Tampa Bay just trying to get to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Brian was questioning our decision, and I think he wanted to turn back, but I kept to my decision, “No, we are going to just do this.” As we approached the bridge, we heard the calls of a shipping vessel hail us on channel 16, “Sailboat on the other side of the Sunshine Skyway, what is your status?” There was some confusion, as there were a few other sailboats nearby, but since we were motoring into the channel, we figured it was meant for us, as our course was the only Southbound one. After relaying, “We are the only true Southbound sailing vessel, next to the red and white trawler, and will give way to you. What is your ETA?” “10 minutes.” “Copy, thanks, and standing by” we jogged into big waves (this was so not fun) and waited… It seemed like forever until he finally passed, thanking us for giving way as he did with a few toots on the horn, but once he did, we were able to motorsail a little further with a little sliver of genny out to keep us a tad more stable until we made that left-hand turn into the ICW… The journey through the ICW was relatively uneventful, as the waters were significantly calmer. In our minds, we would make great timing and just would be a lot of motoring to make it to our dock. Had we not had the pups, I would have just chanced it and sailed offshore, but with two stubborn tiny brown and white dogs who refused to pee on the boat and held it all day, we were forced to seek solace on the first night at Marina Jack’s in Sarasota.