The Journey is Upon Us - Bringing Windsong Home

Well folks this is it. Tomorrow morning, if the weather doesn't deteriorate I will be taking Windsong out of Inglis to Gulfport, FL with my friend Jeff to help. It will be my first overnight sail, but I have been mentally preparing for it for months. I feel confident in my preparations and am ready to get it done. I changed my plans on taking it to Tarpon Springs, so now I am going further south to Gulfport near St. Petersburg. I thought about how I would have to do an overnight sail to Tarpon Springs, but would have to stop at some point to wait for daylight to enter the channel. Without a depth sounder I need to be sure where I am so daylight is required to enter. I figured why not continue sailing through the night and end up in St. Pete the next day? If things go well, I have Jenny for a whole week in two weeks to continue the ride south, through the Okeechobee waterway and up the East Coast. I have plotted a course of offshore buoys in the area and do not feel it will be difficult to follow.

The weather looks rainy and chilly, but the winds are favorable for the ride and not too high. If it looks real bad tomorrow morning we will call it off, but it has been looking better throughout the day. All of my foul weather gear is packed and safety procedures reviewed.

Forecast as of 8:00 pm Friday

Saturday
Northeast winds around 10 knots in the morning becoming southeast 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon. Seas 2 to 3 feet building to 3 to 5 feet in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop becoming a moderate chop. A chance of showers in the morning...then showers likely in the afternoon.
Saturday Night
Northwest winds around 15 knots. Seas building to 4 to 6 feet. Bay and inland waters choppy.
Sunday
Northwest winds around 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Bay and inland waters choppy.I have a slip on hold at Gulfport Municipal Marina for Sunday. I will keep the boat there for about a week then begin to take Windsong further south.

Wish me luck! The float plans have been left with loved ones and I'll call the coast guard in the morning to give it to them as well.