0600 | Tuesday, April 4th, 2021
My buddy Captain Mark Rosetti and I arrived the previous evening to a rather typical steamy Miami-April climate. Even though we had checked the forecast, it still made you immediately appreciate cold beverages and the invention of air-conditioning.
Taking an Uber to the local Publix supermarket as per normal Florida deliveries, we provisioned for the week and a half, four-passenger voyage to Norwalk, Connecticut.
It doesn’t often happen like this, but the owners wanted to experience what turned out to be an incredible journey. Aside from having just purchased their first and only [65-foot] yacht, they’d never felt the pulse of the North American East Coast the way they were about to.
The Floridian leg of this trip boasts an expansive 350 miles of coastline from Miami to the Florida Georgia line and can either be some real fun-in-the-sun cruising or the longest load-of laundry turbulence of your life. The offshore Florida waters are nothing to take lightly and just because they are warm and inviting, doesn’t mean they won’t kick up during the year’s sporadic storms or seemingly constant presence of pressure systems.
Luckily this wasn’t the case as we were able to run the first few [200-mile] days at a moderate pace, giving the owners the boating experience they’d hoped for, while still maintaining a safe and timely estimated arrival to their end destination of Norwalk, Connecticut.
The trip progressed and days became more trying as the weather, although remaining mostly sunny, wasn’t producing a sea state for the faint of heart. This undoubtedly pushed our arrival time back, finally deciding on Baltimore, Maryland as the owner’s final destination – we would take it the rest of the way home from there.
Having said, even the smoothest yacht deliver comes with unforeseen circumstances:
Day 1 – gifted me an inch-long gash on my big toe from an old sea strainer
Day 2 – escorted by pink river dolphins to a gorgeous Palm Beach sunrise
Day 3 – dined on melt-in-your-mouth local catch in the oldest continuously inhabited pirate town of Saint Augustine
Day 4 – rested at a sleepy low country island resort and golfing mecca, beside a picturesque lighthouse in Hilton Head
Day 5 – began our marshy and shrimp-ladened Intracoastal Waterway adventure via the Southport entrance
Day 6 – forced to detour to the most isolated 200-mile string of barrier islands on the East Coast in Gale Force winds – knows as the Outer Banks or simply, OBX
Day 7 – snaked through the salt marsh cord-grass of both the Plamlico and Albermarle Sounds, past massive brushfires, further winding into old Native American Indian country
Day 8 – harbored with battleships at the iconic Waterside Marina in Norfolk, Virginia
Day 9 – fought our way up the mighty waters of the Chesapeake to Baltimore, gorged on great sushi at the Four Seasons, then passed out for the evening and called it Leg #1.