May 18, 2012 - Day 58 27.2978N,90.5981W
The clockwise warm eddy that Jenifer Clark had identified was tentalizingly close to my north at about 27.3N, and earlier this week at 27.1N, I could observe my boat on its periphery, moving WNW whenever the wind died. Alas, the contrary NW winds never gave me a break in time, I had to move on west at the first chance. So I gave up on the New Orleans idea...
There has been no rain activity in the last 48 hours and the skies now cleared entirely. Yesterday I received NNE winds and NE today. The north chop is subsiding. Winds are forecast to turn easterly this weekend, so are the swells. With that, Galveston has become an option to reach land soonest. This is about two days' distance closer than Corpus Christi though I will have to navigate oil fields on the way. I will not be shy about beaching my boat, or anchoring then swimming to shore to get off the water soonest.
I am already among the oil platforms now, drilling at over 1000m depth! The nearest shore is 110 nm to my north, at Louisiana. I first found them on my horizon at the early hours of 16 May. They were well lit, their orange glows looking like hamlets on the countryside seen from a hilltop, each representing a hive of activity. Since then I have counted 10 platforms, and two drilling ships over a seafloor feature called the Green Canyon. Along with their fast support barges, it felt crowded. Yet I was hailed by radio more than once asking if I was alright, if I needed anything. While their presence create hazards especially at night and while I sleep, it also could provide a safety net should that be necessary. I wish I had my AIS display now...
If I could cover my 30 nm/day average, I would reach Galveston in about a week.