A Rainy Night in Georgia
Flashing red "34" is to port as we cross Cumberland Sound near the Florida-Georgia border, when suddenly the weather gods seek revenge for the fine skies they've granted thus far. "Time for you to take the helm," says Bill. At least he's learning the lingo.
The rains come in a torrent. It's biblical. Tucking behind the windscreen is useless. I tell Bill that the best tactic is to get out of the channel, put the hook down and the top up, and wait it out. Which isn't long. We perform a lot of work for a 10-minute downpour, but it's better than running blind.
The names of the places we pass are like candy in my mouth -- Buttermilk Sound, Little Mud River, Rockdedundy Island, and Old Teakettle Creek. Bill takes a safe line, using the range markers without slowing, cutting no corners, giving markers a wide berth. He's in a rhythm and I can tell from his stupid grin that he's diggin' it.
Our groove is interrupted only when overtaking another northbound boat. We don't want the Stink Eye from any sailor types, so I give Bill the 411 on passing. Throttle down to idle behind the boat you're overtaking so you have a flat wake when you pass. Keep to idle speed until your quarter wave crosses the bow of the other boat. Then hit it.
We pass the snailbote like silk and make Savannah around dusk as a mist comes down to the horizon and a chill claims its own peculiar edge. We call it a day because another storm is following like a hellhound. I won't get bitten twice.