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PatiCat - Jacksonville to Key West, Florida

Our first real family passage including Patricia and Catherine was Spring Break - March 2002. We chose to leave Jacksonville in the late evening during low tide (due to the 65' bridge in Jacksonville we needed to get under). The winds were brisk and in the right direction for a good reach, and the seas did not look too bad when checked before sundown at the beach.

However, this plan turned out to be a bad idea. The lack of visual references, and the contrary seas due to the outflowing current of the St. John's river at the inlet easterly winds made for some rough going at the start. Frank found it invigorating, but all three girls soon succumbed to the motions. Fortunately, since we started late, the girls were able to fall asleep. It was cool, so they wrapped up in blankets and slept on the cockpit cushions.

We had an excellent sail during the night, and by morning the seas were calmer as we were staying close to shore to avoid the Gulf Stream. The girls were watching for dolphins all morning, but only a few appeared in the distance. This was weird after the dolphin-dancing trip down to Miami for the boat show. As it turned out, we hardly saw any dolphins during this entire trip, and only had brief visits to our bows. After all the talk and videos of dolphins Dad showed the girls from the Miami trip, this was a big letdown.

To be continued...

Key West Pictures

(click on a picture to see a larger version)

© Copyright 2002-2008 by Frank Taylor. All rights reserved.
Last modified: Tue Jul 08 18:29:12 2008