Sunday, January 16, 2011

Delivering The "Sweetest Thing!"

Thursday morning as I was teaching school for the kids I received a call from a lady in St Thomas who was trying to find a last minute Captain to deliver a 48 foot Fountaine Pajot catamaran from Annapolis, MD to St Thomas.  She gave me the owners name and before I could call him he called me.  Wade and his friend Bob had bought “Sweetest Thing” this month and wanted to move it to St Thomas where it will be available for captained charters in the Virgin Islands (see for details.)  One of their friends, John Liggett, who had owned and lived aboard his own  sailboat in New York Harbor in the 70 and had sailed offshore to Bermuda, signed on for the passage as crew.  They decided that it would be a good idea to have a delivery skipper along as well so... Wade asked me if I was available for the delivery and when I said yes he asked me if I could leave that afternoon.  I talked them into bringing along another crew member, 15 year old Dylan Milton, who you might remember from this years passage on “Changin’ Tags” from Norfolk to St Thomas.  Dylan was great crew on one of the tougher offshore passages we have had, and that’s saying a lot on “Changin’ Tags.”  When I asked Dylan if he would like to come along he hesitated for about 5 seconds and said, “Sure, why not?”
Dylan and I flew out of St Thomas that afternoon and landed in Washington, DC at 8:30 that night.  The next day was spent getting “Sweetest Thing” Ready for her offshore passage.  For those of you who have bought a boat you will understand the lists of things that need to be done to bring them up to offshore standards.  We spent the day running some new halyards (Dylan up the mast) , topping lift, secured the dingy and dingy engine and worked through a few issues with some of the boats systems.  Saturday we provisioned the boat and sent Dylan back up the mast again to rig the new topping lift.  We fueled the boat and were ready to head down the Bay.  As we approached the mouth of the Bay this morning we received a call for our weather router who told us that we had missed our window which opened on Friday and now we would have to face north winds crossing the Gulf Stream and possible 50 knot winds on Tuesday.  I have been in 50 and even 60+ knots (on Changin’ Tags) so the decision to wait out that weather was an easy one.  We turned the boat toward Norfolk and are now tied up at Waterside Marina until Tuesday morning.  We will try to bust out of here on Tuesday on the back side of that cold front and get across the Gulf Stream as quickly as we can.
If you would like to be a part of our trip please check back here for updates every day or so.  I will try to keep it updated as the weather permits.  Spot will also be active every 6 hours while we are underway.
Oh and did I mention that Dylan and I are FREEEEEEEEZZZZZZING?

Waitin’ on  Weather
Captain Tofer, Bob, John and Dylan onboard the “Sweetest Thing”

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