We were all set. Reconditioned engine, all rigging tried and tested, the stanchions and hatches all secure and non leaking; the navigation planned and our route out of Seabrook and across the Gulf to Florida all ready.
Alongside cargo ships we followed the shipping lane down to Galveston before heading off at sun up the following day for the 700 mile trip across the Gulf. We were looking at anything between 7 and 10 days. We had been following the weather closely and all looked good for our crossing, the last thing we needed was to hit heavy weather whist negotiating the thousands of oil rigs that dot the seascape. Some are large platforms with lights and sound signals, others are smaller and some are unlit. What with the fishing boats working the waters, the first three days were hazardous and tiring as we got into the routine of watches and life at sea.