The first Blog Post of Sailing Vent d’Ete

I can hardly believe it has been almost 2 months since I completed 3 months of daily, in-water work on the hull and topsides and later on April 7, celebrated Vent d’Ete’s 40th birthday.

See the video here: It’s Her 40th Birthday!

Since then, a lot has happened. 

First, the weather turned really bad for about 10 days of early-season storms, accompanied by so much flooding it affected fuel prices.

The tanker trucks that transport offloaded  fuel from the shipping ports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, were unable to move in the flood waters, and the disrupted supply chain caused a rapid spike in fuel prices in South Florida.

We had a brief respite in the bad weather and I was able to get a few items on the check list ticked off, including the procurement of a dinghy from a friend for use for the next 6 months or so. 

That was a real coup because with the warmer weather of a quickly approaching summer, the water has also warmed significantly, enough to bring in the “sea lice” to the shallow waters such as where Vent d’Ete lies careened.

My last day of work on the hull and topsides ended in a bad case of these little buggers from my knees to my waist, and they are not fun to deal with I can assure you.

Thus the dinghy, especially at no cost was a virtual God-send. Now I can scull (with just one oar), out and back to the boat bringing materials and supplies and  most importantly, the First Mate, (now 1st Class), Shelly.

After the brief window of a few days of good weather, by the third week of April it started pouring again with daily storms, culminating in a wicked F2 tornado touching down in North Palm Beach on Saturday April 28th at 5:00PM, in precisely a place I visit almost daily to walk the First Mate. 

I was on my way there that very day and time of impact and suddenly (just an hour before) changed my mind and stayed where I was in Stuart.

Had I been in my usual routine and with only 3 minutes of warning before impact, the outcome could have been existential.

Thankfully, the good Lord has other plans for me, not the least of which I hope is a total restoration of the Vent d’Ete in the coming months and into 2024.

But the devil was not done with me and just a few days after the tornado, I ended up in the hospital for a brief time with bad chest pains. 

That turned out well (or so I thought). I walked out of the hospital with an “all clear” from the docs.

3 days later I got a variant of Covid and was in bed for most of the next week and unable to do much for a week thereafter.

So all in all, I lost about 6-7 weeks of work on Vent d’Ete in preparation for moving aboard and making the trip to the Northeast before the weather window closed.

As of this writing, that window is not nailed shut yet, but it is just opened a crack and I am wondering how I can possibly put all the logistics together of time, money, materials and equipment necessary to leave before the weather window slams shut in early to mid-June.

We’ll see what happens and update from here.








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