Dec 7, Day 59 Reprise

We have an unwritten rule that one should never review history on these posts, but I really feel compelled to further discuss our stay at Baytowne Marina…. particularly the weather. Everyone knows it rains a lot in Seattle, but what you may not know is it rains more inches per year in many towns in the south east; it just comes across fewer days. Take Baytowne for example. You cannot believe how much it can freaking rain!

12-7-dock2
No, it’s not “soft focus” on the dock, there’s just buckets of water coming down

 

As described, our boat was leaking from every orifice! Imagine someone constantly dumping a 5-gallon bucket of water on your head. That’s what it was like.

Full props to B for insisting we make room for the hillbilly tarp when we packed the boat in September. That tarp was the only thing standing between us and a night on a soggy mattress and wet blankets! As it was N had to make multiple trips into the night in his swimsuit (no point wearing anything else…see water bucket comment above) to ensure the tarp didn’t blow off or the boat didn’t get slammed into the pier. I have no idea who invented “fixed docks”, but what a hassle versus the floating variety.

To top it off we had tornado warnings and high winds. N stayed up watching the weather on his weather app (pretty accurate) and bracing for the next “red spot” to pass over our location. Brutal.

12-7-cover
The day after! Notice N had the tarp off ASAP the following AM. Effective as it was, the trap was a “bridge too far”! Even though the worst was over, notice ho our flag was still really flapping.

OK, enough of that. We survived the night with a renewed respect for the power of nature (particularly when you’re on a 28’ boat!) and appreciating again the good weather we’ve had and the many more good weather days we hope to enjoy on this trip!

 

12-7-dock
The way it’s supposed to be! Peaceful following night at same dock. 

 

We are waiting for a weather window to cross the gulf. For the record, there was a 110’ boat at the same marina waiting for weather so we’re not the only ones! In a perfect world, the wind will be less than 10 mph and seas under 3’ as we have something like 170 miles of open water to cross. You might wonder why we can’t hug the coast, but doing so would add a lot of distance, it’s shallow up to 10 miles out and there are no services along that stretch of shore. We just don’t have the range. The passage is probably the biggest nautical challenge of the trip given our boat size and range. It appears we’ll have a good weather window next Monday so we’ll be piddling along the panhandle until we reach our jump off point of Apalachicola / Carrabelle which is about 80 miles away. To that end we left Baytowne this AM and cruised the ICW to St Andrews Marina just outside Panama City.

12-7-icw
Big navigation challenge! Basically straight line through “the big ditch” as it’s called here. Pretty unfair characterization as it was scenic. Notice we’re 1,977 miles into our trip.
12-7-bag
Geez…this is Florida, it’s supposed to be hot! This bag thing works great.
12-7-bridge
N remembers crossing many of these bridge on his motorcycle in 2012. PS: Just fiddling with technology and this filter is called Napa….what in the world does this color have to do with Napa!!???
12-7-bay
Look at this HUGE expanse of water and you still need to put it between the buoys on the way into Panama City!
12-7-golf
We arrived at the Marina in plenty of time for N to play golf in the afternoon.
12-7-fish
Wednesday night FUN at the marina. Feeding chicken scraps to catfish! Sort of goes with the whole rain tarp/gas cans on the bow motif!

One thought on “Dec 7, Day 59 Reprise”

  1. N+B, Your are very right to be extremely cautious about the “Gulf” crossing. I have an old buddy (not as old as Nick) that lives on the gulf side of Florida. He shrimps and fishes etc. Rob has told me hair raising tails about that crossing! He fished in Alaska so knows big water. No one got in trouble by waiting for good weather. Rob says about the gulf crossing… “The gulf doesn’t care if your late or have a schedule”. Thinking of you guys, have a safe crossing.

    Dave and Alix

    Like

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