Left in the Fog

Wow, what a way to go! We couldn’t see anything as we left The Harborage.

It was time to go back to The Bahamas, and we couldn’t wait. But we weren’t prepared for this type of send-off. Our boat neighbor, Brenton, hopped on board to go with us to the fuel dock, and we very slowly motored our way up Salt Creek. The trip to the dock was uneventful, as every trip to the dock should be. But getting out into Tampa Bay was another story.

As soon as we pulled out, it was pea soup thick fog, and impossible to get your bearings. Thank goodness for our chart plotter. Wait. What? Our chart plotter wasn’t working? But, why not? It worked yesterday! Oh, well, thank goodness for redundancy. Turn on the iPad. Wait! What?!? That’s not working either?!? Well, crap! Hold on, what’s that beeping alarm? The radio doesn’t work!?!?! Holy crap!!! Well, at least we have radar to help us get somewhere to drop the anchor and figure out what’s going on. Wait!!! What!?!?!?! The radar isn’t working?!?!?!?! Well, shit!!!!

It was like some weird space time continuum. All of a sudden, nothing worked. We dropped the anchor and took a breath. What the hell was going on? It was eerily quiet. No wind, no waves, just ambient Tampa Bay sounds. Then, a faint sound of a motor. Man, I hope whoever is in that boat is going slowly and sees us. And he did, but not until he was way too close for comfort. Then he chastised us for not having bright enough lights. I was so put off by him, that I didn’t think to chastise him for not having ANY lights on! Whatever.

One thing at a time. We figured out our problems slowly but surely, all but the radar. That was going to take some time. But as the fog started to lift, we decided to leave. We had our hand-held radio that would work until we could get to Ft. Lauderdale to fix ours, and the chart plotter was back up and running. As was the iPad. And we’d sailed from the BVI’s to Ft. Lauderdale without a radar. So, we went for it.

As we were sailing nicely toward the Sunshine Skyway bridge, we were talking through all the reasons the radar might not be working. Power. Lack of power. But why? “Hold on!” Jeff jumped off the helm seat and ran to the control panel.

Ugh, oops, OMG. Total operator error. He flipped the circuit breaker switch to “on”, and lo and behold, the radar sprang to life. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for us on our journey back to The Bahamas.

December 2021