Miles cruised 109 in two days, fuel purchased $0, slip fee $0, daily high temperature 83°f
Pilar was not always named Pilar after Ernest Hemingway’s fishing boat. Gabe has been to Cuba 66 times and is a big fan of Ernest Hemingway. Her original name was Iggy Biggy. A name and logo selected by the previous owners daughter. On Gabe’s AIS the boat name is still Iggy Biggy. When other boaters see his AIS signal they see the name Iggy Biggy and call Gabe on the VHF radio by that name. He vows to get that changed soon.
The original Pilar has been restored in Cuba.
Cruising on a sailboat is generally described as hours of boredom punctuated by moments of shear terror. During this cruise we had long stretches between anchorages but no shear terror. We cruised 450 miles in 8 days from Miami to the Dry Tortugas and back. Pilar is an amazing boat in heavy wind conditions which eliminated any real “excitement.” The sailing was exhilarating going 7 -9 mph in 20 -25 mph of breeze. To you non-sailors going 9 mph in a sailboat is the same as driving 120 mph in a car. The boat is heeling 20°, the waves are splashing and the wind generator is howling.
Pilar has many great features. The former owner installed many blue water cruising conveniences. No storm is going to dislodge these pans.
The navigation station could double as the luxury cockpit on a private jet.
On Monday we slept in and hoisted anchor at 9 am to motor from Marathon to Rodriguez Key. For our entire cruise the winds have been NE 15 – 25 mph. That was great for the first five days as we headed south and west. However our return trip direction is east and north so we had the wind on our nose for three days. That just means we motor and do not sail. The winds are forecast from the NE until at least Saturday. Not many boats are crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.
The white arrow is pointing to the direction the wind is coming from and the direction we are going. They are one in the same.
Monday was our last night on Pilar. We fired up the Magma and grilled steaks. Gabe made a magnificent salad and green beans. We were well protected behind Rodriguez Key. Gabe experimented with his rope anchor. We had used his chain anchor all week. Both anchors held perfectly. After seven nights on the hook we did not drag at all. Long time live-aboard cruisers Bev and Dave Feiges would be proud of us.
On Tuesday we had the anchor up at 8:00 am for the last leg of the cruise back to Miami. Once again we had NE winds 20 – 25 mph on the nose and waves 2 – 4 with occasional 6 footers. Although, I think we had a few 8 footers as we turned into Biscayne Bay at the Cape Florida Light Inlet. It would take more than a 6 footer to slap Pilar around. We got rolled twice just enough to get our attention.
This view of south Miami greeted us as we neared our home port of Grove Isle Marina in Coconut Grove.
Gabe docked Pilar like boss with strong winds in a narrow fairway. We spent a few hours washing tons of salt off of every square inch of her. When we were finished she looked like new and ready for her next cruise.
For dinner we headed back to our favorite Mobil station with the amazing tapas restaurant in the back.
After dinner John and Priscilla drove 109 miles back to Stuart. Gabe sat on Pilar and smoked his last Cohiba of the day.