Bringing her home

We did it.  We got Luna Sea home.  What a crazy 3 days!  Here's the breakdown.

Sunday we picked up the rental minivan and headed over to pick up the Captain.  It was a five or so hour drive south from Savannah, GA to Melbourne, FL.  Pretty uneventful - and long.  We closed on Friday and were anxious to get there - she'd been ours for 2 days and we were sure she was getting lonely.  We were like kids waiting to get to the waterpark - we joked, but Are we there yet? kept bouncing around the whole trip.

We stopped by West Marine and picked up the whisker pole (I know what it does now!) and after a quick run through of the boat, we headed to the grocery store to stock up on a few last minute items.  There were some issues with the A/C units - in fact, we're still figuring out what exactly is going on... We also got her running and over to the fuel docks just before they closed.  The marina she was staying in was crazy-tight and crowded.  But the Captain got her around after some tricky maneuvering.

Our first sunset
Monday we woke up early and squeaked back out of our slip.  We took the ICW all the way up to Ponce Inlet, FL.  We were hit with a couple of rain storms, but for the most part it was uneventful.  We motor-sailed the whole way - it was a good test for the engine before our planned jump over to the ocean Tuesday morning.  The actual inlet was tricky.  According to the marina, the channel was well marked.  According to the motor yacht high and dry on a sand bar, we found that not to be the case.  We inched - seriously inched our way thru some super shallow areas with our 6' 4" draft.  Mark was at the helm and only bumped twice.  Luna held up well and came right off the bar fairly easily.
Cruising the ICW.  That storm caught us and we got a free shower.
Marina life is not for us.  At least not in a transient capacity.  After coughing up $112 for 6 gallons of diesel and the pleasure of tying up at the dock and using our A/C, we grabbed dinner at the dock's restaurant and got our last night of sleep before the ocean passage.  We'll anchor out in the future.  

We headed out Tuesday morning - a bit before low tide, so we were able to actually see the sand bars as we headed out to the ocean.  Motor yacht was still lounging on the sand bar.  I guess they didn't want to be bothered with getting off during the 4:30am high tide...
A pile of squirmy manatees in the inlet.
We pulled out of Ponce Inlet at 9:30am on Tuesday and sailed on into Wilmington Island, GA at 12:30 on Wednesday.  That's 27hrs of motorsailing,  nonstop.  The boat held up beautifully.  We all took 2hr shifts thru the night - everything was a new experience for us and it was very reassuring to have the experienced, calm Captain onboard.  The lightening storms, winds and night watch would've been much more unnerving otherwise.

We feel like we learned a lot.  We debated over hiring a Captain - but wouldn't trade that experience/knowledge for anything.  I definitely recommend it for any other new sailors bringing their ship home!

That's about it.  We got to the marina in one piece.  Luna was awesome - we were really pleased with the sail home and the comfort level of the 393.  Almost as comfortable as our couch when we got home and passed out for 12hrs.

We never used that $400 whisker pole.

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