|25 foot Catalina|
|Leaving the Marina|
He had now raised one sail, but because of the islands to our left, we were shielded from the wind. The Boca Chica Channel is about two miles long. Once we cleared the islands and the channel, things changed quickly. Now that the wind caught the sail, the boat leaned over to the right. Dan trimmed the sail and it felt better. The next amazing thing happened all of a sudden He shut off the engine and I felt like we were in outer space! Quietly, gently sailing along Stock Island and further unto the Key West coast. He said, "It's even better when sailing at night with the stars above."
|Juan Valdez heading North|
Now comes another encounter. When you want to head for a, let's say, buoy, you can’t always just point and sail to it. Wow, there is more to sailing than walking the plank! He said, “Head for those shrimp boats, several miles away”. I gently turned the rudder to the right and headed left towards the shrimp boats. All of this time, Dan is explaining rules of sailing, shrimp boat, no, no’s (they have authority if their nets are out). He said they feel that they are working and careless about sailboats. "Hence stay clear to be safe".
It was time to turn around. He said, "When I tell you turn the rudder hard to the right and keep it there". I knew enough that the one and only sail would be shifting to the other side. We had enough wind that he didn't even have the main sail up. He hollered and I moved the rudder. In a flawless moment, we came about 180 degrees. Wow, I’m thinking how does he do all of this when he’s all alone? He did give me all the details, but he’s been sailing for a long time and he didn't go around the world to get back to the slip at the dock!
|Boca Chica Channel|
I can now see how one can have the love of the sea! I had a feeling like being in outer space on the space station. Quiet, peaceful, all alone and I was still insight of land! Thank You “Captain Dan”.
That is what I saw and did.