Crisp departure March 13

Departure from isla Mujeres was crisp, well done by crew.

Watering the yacht and disassembled to folbot before the realized we were on the dock Huge waves on Mias reef put water up onto the cabin top and ran rivers down both decks. Setting sail in 15 kts of breeze we were soon joined by 20+ dolphins and hundreds of flying fish. Ray caught a bluefin tuna within 3 hours of departing and we were eating it within four!

Northern current was quite something, it swept us north at 5 kts adn we motored to make forward progress. As the day and night progressed the winds were persistently easterly causing us to bear more north than planned. If it does bear more to the south Monday it will work well and we will round Florida nicely, if not we tack or motor sail.

Night sail is starry and about perfect, not cold nor to breezy.
Now Monday the winds are light, 10 kts. We shake out the reef and are under full mainsail.
Beautiful out here, very little sea, moving at 6+ kmph. Late morning winds increase and we sail at 7.5 kts Ray catches a perfect barracuda with lines in the water for only 1/2 hour. Made 150 nm on first day, the is on rhum line, actual distance was 172 Hoping current will drive us faster still around Florida. Goal to exit Bahamas in less than three days. Rigging failure, worn shackle on main sheet snapped, preventer line keeps it from moving to much. Replaced and away in ten minutes. Use of preventer at all times is a good thing!

As nightfalls we are sailing very fast 10+ kts. Winds from east so we plan to tack at midnight to gain sea room to round the cayos of Florida. Sailing into the night is rough, confused currents. We are not able to make plentiful headway and decide to reduce sails and motor sail on main only to get more easterly. Early in the morning the winds shifts to the SE and seas become very large and confused, the beginnings of the Gulf Stream. Overnight we blow out our fishnet safety trampoline on starboard, have some leaking, then blow out one of the jib cars while adjusting it. All for big winds and sea conditions.

The day gets much better but winds are not favorable enough to sail by Florida on one tack, then they shift for the less favorable and we are tacking up the coast.

Ray suggest we pull into Key West to try and obtain a new jib car to either replace of bolster the suspect one. He has experience here and we decide to make a quick stop where there are every sort of marine supply store. We are on track for a nine day passage but now will be delayed for a good reason.