This is your Commodore Speaking,
I’m excited to say I have made my first Gulf crossing; from Florida to Texas. Cindy and I joined Travis and Tara Townsley and four others on their newly purchased Royal Cape Majestic 53 catamaran. We departed Ft Lauderdale and made it to Key West the following day. We couldn’t avoid catching some lobster traps on the props and rudders; however, we were greeted with five fresh lobsters. We stopped at The Dry Tortugas for a day. What a unique place. Our trip across the Gulf was generally peaceful with light winds and near-calm seas. We caught some fish including yellow-tail snapper, mahi-mahi, kingfish and barracuda. We probably sailed 10% of the time, motor-sailed 40% of the time and motored 50% of the time. With that much motoring, fuel management became an issue. With the approaching storms (Laura and Marco), we didn’t have time to just go slow. We stopped at Grand Isle for fuel at the Sand Dollar Marina. The owners stayed open and met us at 9:00pm to help get us refueled and back on our way. We made it to Kemah just in time to prep the boat (and then our own boat) for hurricane Laura.
Several observations from the trip. First, there are lobster traps everywhere from Miami to Key West in the Hawks Channel during lobster season (which opened one week before our departure). Running at night is not advised. However, if you do, you should employ my approach which was “if you don’t look for them, they aren’t there”. Second, find a way to go to The Dry Tortugas. Fort Jefferson and the mote around it consumes the entire island. We were spoiled with near calm wind and seas. Spectacular place. Three, SiriusXM Weather is very beneficial when away from coastal connectivity. We were able to see nearby weather systems and their track as well as 36-48 hr grib weather forecasts. Four, if you want to use PredictWind for updated weather and current routing information away from shore, use the Iridium Go tracker which includes a seamless connection to PredictWind. Five, I believe there are about 50% fewer rigs off the Louisiana coast than what are displayed on the charts (Navionics).
As our 2020 cruising season continues, we are still challenged with opportunities to gather, hold dock parties and enjoy the social side of our cruises. We are looking ahead at some big events that may be impacted such as the Allen’s Landing cruise and the Commodores Ball. With our revenue from membership renewal down a bit, we will have to make some fiscally smart decisions how to manage our expenses.
This is also the time of year when we start looking ahead to the nominations for the 2021 TMCA Board Members. Volunteering to be part of the Club leadership is an opportunity to get involved and shape the future. If you are interested in putting your name in the hat to be nominated for one of the Board positions, please contact me or one of the current members of the Board. We will announce the Nomination Committee very soon.
Stay safe, boat smart...