Lumpy, Bumpy Boat Delivery
Last Friday, I was invited to help with a friend's delivery of his recently sold 1979 Hunter 30. On board were myself, my friend, and the new owner and his girlfriend. It was to be a simple 36 statute mile trip from Fulton Texas to Corpus Christi via Port Aransas, traveling mostly south across Aransas Bay to Port A, then west across Corpus Christi Bay to the Corpus "T" head docks with temperatures in the 80's.
Sounds like fun doesn't it? Well, it wouldn't have been much of a story if the wind hadn't been blowing sustained 33 mph with gusts to 43 and .... you guessed it ..... from the south. And my buddy hadn't cleaned the prop in many months. The boat under power couldn't make more than 1.5 knots into the wind. So we motorsailed double reefed and 3/4 furrled headsail making many, many, many tacks across a very angry Aransas Bay. We had a really wet and bumpy first leg of the trip. The new owners were both first time sailors. They had a case of the BIG EYES the first time the side deck dissapeared under the foam. "Is it OK, is that supposed to happen?" After plenty of reassurances they started enjoying the wild ride.
As soon as we made the turn to the west in Port A we silenced the deisel.
We were in a protected portion of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, flying along at 7-8 knots on a beam reach with smooth water, the girlfriend went forward to relax and study for College finals. All to soon we came to the end of the protective islands and entered the exposed final 9 miles of the ship channel. The wet ride resumed. As the white-capped rollers slipped under the hull, we would first dip the starboard rail, then the port rail with a good dousing of water.
We finally entered the calm water behind the breakwater at the "T" Head docks, furled the sails and motored at 1.5 knots upwind to the slip.
The new owners were quite excited to start their own sailing adventures, not bummed out by the less than ideal conditions of the delivery.
School and work obligations dictated the window for the delivery, not the weather. Next time we can all hope for winds at 12 to 15 and sunny skies.