|Leaving Ocean Springs Small Craft Harbor|
Sunday 2/25/2018 we woke to “acceptable” weather but I’m not a fan of “acceptable” or “doable”. I went for a short walk across the street & looked out over the water…hmmm.
Back at the boat Charlie was warming the engines and throwing off lines. I asked “have you looked out there?” The response was “it’s going north of us”. Hmmmm. I wanted to press the issue but decided to bury my doubt and trust the captain.
So let me be VERY clear…I take FULL responsibility for us leaving the dock!! In the world of shoulda/coulda/woulda:
I shoulda followed my intuition & reviewed the incoming weather pattern myself because then
I coulda voiced my opinion/concern based on fact vs. intuition and
We woulda stayed safely tied in the marina (even though Captain Bathrobe would not have been happy).
So that being said, I will continue with the unsettling events of Sunday 2/25/2018 but Charlie is not 100% responsible for our dumb decision.
Forty-five minutes into our journey I was watching the line of rain coming closer, the wind was horrible and waves were crashing. Ding! Yep, Severe Marine Weather Warning containing words like “vessel may capsize” and “sustained winds 30-35mph” and some other narrative that seemed moot given the fact that we had no place to shelter!
We calmly put on our life jackets and I prayed that God would spare our lives. I’m not afraid to die but I didn’t want to die doing something stupid…when will I listen to my gut!! Anyway, Charlie stayed at the helm & I braced myself on the port side of the fly bridge. In the 2 ½ hour ordeal we had a wall of water come through the opening on the fly bridge, heard sliding, bumping & crashing below deck (we had stuff all over!) and the VHF radio saying, “The Lower Place, The Lower Place this is Tres Rios, channel 16”.
Another boat was out here in all this mess!?! We didn’t know them but they left Gulfport MS headed to Mobile (they are from Texas) and this storm surprised them as well. Crazy as it sounds I was comforted to hear from them. We only talked with them a few times then lost radio contact. The next radio communication was a sailboat aground at Horn Island; they were hailing TowBoat US (no contact). Then they hailed the US Coast Guard and a tow/barge captain offered the Coast Guard “a visual”. The Coast Guard spoke with the sailboat but we couldn’t hear both sides due to our distance from the situation.
When we got closer to Dauphin Island I asked if we could PLEASE stop for the day (it was only noon)! We did! Once we were tied up, I ate a bowl of soup, changed into dry clothes & went to bed. It hurt to open my mouth, turn my head or raise my arms…whiplash, not even kidding!!
Of course, the next morning (Monday 2/26/2018) I felt worse but we only had 20 miles to Orange Beach. I knew I could find a massage therapist at The Wharf! And Charlie was enjoying the quiet – since it was too painful for me to speak.
We docked at The Wharf by 1:00 and I was on a massage table by 3:45. OUCH, OUCH, OUCH it was so painful but I knew it would help. The therapist was very understanding and clearly knew what he was doing. Back at the boat, I took a nap then felt like going for a slow walk.
The Wharf was a ghost town! The last Monday in February was a quiet time. We stopped at the Cinema & surprised to see they were open. 10 minutes before show time we bought tickets to Jumanji and were the only people in the theater!! That was a strange feeling! LOL!! By the end I was really ready to call it a day!
With a steady diet of ice pack, water and Advil (at night) I think I will survive!! Just need a little time…
Of all the boating/navigation decisions we’ve made leaving Ocean Springs on Sunday was the #1 WORST. I can assure you – it won’t happen again. I’m too old to be “young and dumb”!!
Next post will update on Tres Rios…
God Bless all of us!!
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