It’s another 2’fer blog day as we stayed in Carrabelle a second night waiting for favorable conditions to cross the Gulf. Remember we’re in a 28’ boat so we have some limitations! In our defense, even the big 50’+ sport fishing boats arrived at the dock saying it wasn’t much fun out in the gulf (maybe if they slowed down from 40mph!). As it is was, we were prepared to venture out in anything less than 10mph winds and seas up to 2’. Since that wasn’t happening on Sunday, it was a good day to hang out at the marina as the weather improved. In fact, it got warmer and sunnier during the day so we had a chance to explore the bayou’s around the town, listen to some live music outdoors, eat oysters and drink beer. Now that’s the Florida we were planning on!
As you might expect, there are a lot of “loopers” in port waiting for the same weather window we are so it makes for a bit of a party dockside as people walk up and down chatting. Of course, Ziggy is a big conversation starter. Obviously “THE CROSSING” looms large in everyone’s thoughts. People are organizing to cross in groups, maintain radio contact, watch on radar, etc, etc…
Not sure if N is cavalierly irresponsible, or just doesn’t know any better, but we figure we’ll turn the key, leave the marina and head SE with little fanfare. Since we’re a fast boat we’ll get it easily done in daylight whereas others will leave in the dark and arrive next day.
The weather today was good so we left on our “CROSSING”.
The vast majority of Northwest boaters never really get out of sight of one shoreline or another so it was an experience to motor for hours out of sight of land. It was pretty disorienting at times and without an autopilot N got off course at one point before THE “autopilot” (B) kicked in with a correction. Some things never change! It’s amazing to think how ancient mariners got this type of trip done without all the technology we have today.
After a calm start we ran into some to rollers forcing us to slow from 25mph to 7. If you know N, 7mph is only going to last so long (“We could have been in a trawler if this is what we were going to do!”). After 45 minutes and watching Ziggy throw-up and then eat the result, N had enough! We still had 75 miles to go. We powered back up to 20mph and although B and Ziggy moved to the cabin the ride smoothed out and we made it across with only minor issues….one of the cabinet doors fell off…. you go Bayliner!
Fortunately, that’s the kind of repair N can deal with. It could have been worse…. Don and Joan lost the outboard off the back of the dinghy they tow. At least it tows a bit better now.
We had hoped to stop at Steinhatchee, but all the big boys (read “better organized”) had reserved all the marina spots. We could have anchored, but needed to stop for gas so we opted for a marina further south in Suwanee. The good news is it’s a pretty shallow entrance so the big boys can’t easily get in here, but we can…. you go Bayliner!
Bottom-line, we made it 102 miles across the Gulf today and will be heading south now for quite some time. We still have another 100 miles of open water to cross before we get into the ICW and calmer Florida waters, but we’ll finish tomorrow.