Welcome to the cruising blog of Wayne and Michele Sharp!

If you want to learn a little bit about cruising, satisfy your curiosity, live vicariously, or be entertained, I think you've come to the right place.

Feel free to ask questions or post comments in the comment section of each post; I will respond to all of them. You can also email us at reluctantsailor@me.com.

We've written a book based on the blog from our first journey in 2007 - Adventures of a Once Reluctant Sailor: A Journey of Guts, Growth, and Grace. It is available online from my website at reluctantsailor.net, and from Apostle Islands Booksellers, Copperfish Books, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Your local bookstore can also order it for you. We've included over 170 color and black and white photos.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Thirty-six hour passage to Florida

It's 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning. We spent the night anchored in the Gulf, somewhere about 30 miles south of Marco Island, and left at 4:45. We're ahead of schedule. After leaving Lynyard Cay in the south Abacos on Thursday morning at 5:45, we sailed 36 hours straight to Rodriguez Key, off Key Largo, and from there, to our anchorage last night. It was an okay passage, but we mostly motor sailed. It wasn't our intention to keep going, but seas were a bit rough on the Banks where we intended to anchor. We knew we wouldn't get much sleep anyway, and the winds were good, so on we went.

As I did the 11:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. watch Thursday night, I noticed a pain in my stomach that became increasingly difficult to ignore. As 3:00 a.m. approached, I couldn't wait to find something to ease the pain and curl up in bed. I knew what the problem was. It was a flare up of gastritis that I first experienced on our trip in 2007 which sent me to the ER. Since then, I've had about four episodes, but hadn't had one in a couple of years, so I assumed the bugger was gone. Checked the first aid/medicine box and found prescription pain meds, which had expired in 2011, and three Zantac, which had expired in 2010. Dang! I knew what I was in for. In desperation, I took one of the expired pain meds, but it did nothing, nor did the Zantac or Tylenol.

Spent all day Friday in bed, except for when I was up vomiting. Had too much pain to sleep or do anything else, except pray that it would go away. Meanwhile, Wayne is not having a fun day, either. The display on the cockpit chart plotter had gone out, so he had to keep running down to check the one at the nav station. I was oblivious to this, because he was too busy running back and forth to check in on me. He certainly could have used my help, but I was in no shape to do anything.

We finally reached our anchorage at Rodriguez. I foolishly kept thinking the pain would go away by itself, but eventually had to face the reality that it wasn't. I checked Around Me on my iPhone and found that there was a CVS pharmacy 2 ½ miles away. It was 7:00 and I didn't want Wayne to have to go; he'd had an exhausting two days and very little sleep, and it was doubtful that he could be back before dark, but we had no choice. He called the pharmacy to see if there was someplace nearby to tie up the dinghy, which there was, and headed in to shore with his portable VHF radio, GPS, and cell phone. Wayne couldn't find the dinghy dock, so he ended up tied to a private dock where no one appeared to be home. Fortunately, the large dog who greeted him loudly was friendly and more interested in fetching the sticks Wayne threw for him than attacking him.

About an hour and a half later I had the medicine I needed and was able to get a good night's sleep. Still couldn't eat or do much on Saturday, but the pain and vomiting had subsided. Today, I feel like a new person. Hallelujah!
Wayne wrestling with the whisker pole
Two cruise ships
Norwegian Sky 
Ha! These ship tenders appear to be colliding
Enchantment of the Seas


  1. Ahoy Michele and Wayne,

    I thought your photo of the Norwegian Sky looked familiar and a quick check on Wikipedia confirmed that she was in fact formerly known as the Pride of Aloha, sailing out of Honolulu from 2004-2009. There might already be a photo of her in Michele's archives. Talk to you soon.



  2. Hey, Richard - good to hear from you! I do, in fact, have photos of a cruise ship docked in Honolulu. I'll have to check my archives.


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