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travlin-easy 11-04-2012 07:57 PM

The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
After leaving the Chesapeake's upper reaches on October 2, just two days after my 50th Anniversary, I've finally arrived in sunny Florida. Yep, it took that long. 12 days lost to weather, days when I've been tied to a dock freezing my butt off, days when the winds howled at 50 or more, 12-hour days of battling waves to 7 feet, 4 knot tides, 5-foot wakes from idiot power boaters, and naturally, two groundings.

Fortunately, I've also been blessed. I beautiful, young lady, who is an avid sailor, has been with me for the past 5 days and nights. She can sail a boat better than 99 percent of the sailors I've come across during the past 7 years, she can cook, but I would rather cook for her instad, she loves my Green Coconut Margarettas, and best of all she has helped restore my sanity. This wonderful lady I'm talking about is our own Mel (Melissa), who graciously accepted my plea for help in traveling to south Florida in my trusty, old 33 Morgan Out Island. Yep, she likes the boat too.

I'm not really sure if I could have made it this far without Mel's help. Her knowledge of boating, and lots of other subjects if unsurpassed. She and I seem to have a lot in common, and in many respects we've almost led paralell lives, but under totally different circumstances. Yes, I'm in love with Mel. ;)

During these many weeks on the water I've also met a lot of other wonderful folks, Mario and I keep in touch almost daily and I hole to meet up with him sometime tomorrow. Roger and Sandy, a wonderful couple I met 500 miles to the north, traveled here from Detroit and have been on the water for three months. We get together for dinner once in a while, toss a couple margarettas, and they got to hear me perform at Myrtle Beach Yacht Club. The lady at the YC wanted me to stay a few weeks, but I declined.

The trip thus far has been mostly alone. The ICW has been nearly deserted, some days I saw up to a dozen boats, but most days I traveled 10 to 12 hours in the wilderness, completely alone.

More to come,

Gary :cool:

bljones 11-04-2012 08:07 PM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
Gary, you rock! Good on ya, and thanks for the inspiration.

HDChopper 11-04-2012 08:08 PM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
Glad to here you got there Gary :)

Nutten better than good company & intelligent conservation ! Good to know the Morgan 33 can take it one of the boats on my long list...

ShoalFinder 11-04-2012 08:10 PM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
Fantastic story, Gary. That was a joy to read. I look forward to future installments!

smackdaddy 11-04-2012 08:28 PM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
78 Attachment(s)
This is the kind of post I LOVE to read. A couple of veteran SNers sailing together and slamming back the booze! Huzzah!

Great job Gary and Mel! Pics when you can!!!

Skipper Jer 11-04-2012 08:44 PM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
Ahhh, sailing, booze, ICW, wakes, bugs, rain, and running aground. It just doesn't get any better
than that.
Glad to hear you are doing it Gary.

If you get to Malabar, stop by the Malabar Mariners area and say hi.

chucklesR 11-04-2012 09:17 PM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
Glad to hear you are in the land of bikini's and weather to wear them in.

Mel - you rock lady. Takes a real sport to put up with green coconuts and a morgan all at the same time. Hope he didn't sing to you too much.

floridajaxsailor 11-04-2012 09:38 PM

well done Gary

you have the true adventurer's spirit searing thru u

unlike other poster's focus- I'm not a fan of alcohol
yet the wilderness imagery
& the kinship

- JD

CaptainForce 11-04-2012 09:45 PM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
'Always good for me to hear of other liveaboard cruisers moving about,- especially other Out Islands. The last I recall you were in Ft. Myers. I guess we've passed by a few times. We're back in Florida too as of Oct. 19th. 'missed some of your harsh weather. I think we were ahead of the wave.

chef2sail 11-05-2012 12:17 AM

Re: The ICW - Single Handed - Well, Almost!
Great to hear from you Gary.....I still have visions of you traveling down the ICW with the speakers on deck and the music a playing.

Glad to hear you are safe and sound and living the dream.


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