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Leaving the USA

Port Charlotte, United States

After an intense month of working on our 37' Irwin Sailing Sloop, December 30, 2008 was departure day. I know. I know. The next day was New Years evening. However, the wather was perfect for a 4 day crossing to Mexico, we had: crew, food, water and diesel, so we were OFF!! Captain Bob just couldn't wait another day!

At 3:00 am we started the 50 horsepower engine in order to motor down the freshwater canal to the lock that would allow us to enter Charlotte Harbor proper with its salt water. We made the lock at 4:00 a.m. just in time to pass through the very shallow waters outside of the lock on a full tide.

For Sarah, our young friend,taking a gap year before university, this was her first major sailing trip ever. Her previous sailing experience consisted of weekend afternoon jaunts on our previous boat on the St. Lawrence River. We really appreciated her enthusiasm to come with us and assist

us all to expand our horizons.

Our good friend, and professional captain, Mark had previously crossed the Gulf of Mexico with us two years earlier. Mark's energy meant that we had very little work to do in the first few hours of the crossing.

Watching the land disappear through the mists of dawn is always an awesome experience and this time, it was spectacular. Still totally wound with excitement, we all passed the majority of the day in the cockpit.

As head cook and bottle washer, I had a hot time of it in the galley. As we moved further out into the Gulf we started to roll and pitch slightly, as we continued to pick up speed. Suddenly, after 30 years of sailing I discovered the meaning of being 'sea sick', in a very personal way.

By the next day, I had once again found my sea legs and was in stride again, but all of us found it a struggle to stay up until midnight to wish each other Happy New Year!

permalink written by  bobandglennda on February 26, 2009 from Port Charlotte, United States
from the travel blog: Sailing from Florida to Cenral America
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Bob and Glennda are sailing their Irwin 37' Sloop from Charlotte Harbor,Florida to the Rio Dolce,Guatemala looking for adventure and a way to help others as they travel.

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