Dec 13-14 Days 65/66 From Fog to Friends

As I write this I hear those elusive dolphins right out the window blowing air to get my attention. Every time I run out to get a picture they dive, only to return a few minutes later. I have even tried pretending to go in and hiding but they don’t return until I give up.  I am waiting to post the perfect Jacques-Cousteau-picture. So be patient! But in the meantime, we have these cuties all around us all the time. I love them. Ziggy has learned the blow sound too and goes on high alert too!

Well, we made the second leg crossing after another 5 hours and just shy of 100 miles again. It was an awesome crossing but a bit surreal. The fog was very heavy and dense so we had to rely on the instruments to zig-zag out of the Suwannee Delta (which btw, is SO pretty and natural/undeveloped and well-preserved—good getaway vacation spot for anyone interested in fishing, kayaking, manatees, birds, beaches, etc).

Waving goodbye to Suwannee’s Miller Marina…w/ no idea that the fog was so heavy once out the little cut.
Picture from our sister boat that was about 50 feet behind us. Don kept radioing that we were out of sight so we’d slow down a bit as he followed our wake trail.  Again, the water depth was rarely more than 12 feet; yet we were miles from shore in any direction.

We felt confident (aka N can’t stand to go slow if there is ANY chance of it being ok to go fast) so since the water was flat (yay..B was happy! Not to mention pukey Ziggy) so we went our happy cruising speed at about 22 mph with both of us constantly double checking the instruments, the heading and on the look-out in the water for prop-wreckers.  The tricky part was at that speed in that fog, we could suddenly be right on top of a crab pot buoy so we did more than a few slalom course zigs and zags since there are crab pots galore laid out in lines all over the place.

Every once in while the sun would power through the fog and we’d have a little blue for about 5 minutes.

We made it to Marker 1 Marina in Dunedin, Fl.  That’s pronounced Duh-Need-In. (it’s Scottish)  There are a lot of Loopers here so the dock-talk is non-stop.  We were quite happy to meet in real life the guy we depended on to give the weather thumbs up or down for the crossings.

Eddy and Linda on their Grand Banks.  He’s a former pilot who sends out a daily detailed weather post on the specific crossing Loopers take. He has never incorrectly called it. Not sure our local weatherpeople can make that claim! Really great couple.

Another special bonus of this Marina was the introduction to these new mottos:

Words to live by, for shore!

And the real bonus of Dunedin for us, is that it is the home of N’s college roommates, Alan and Jeanette!  We’ve boated with them in the British Virgin Islands and Croatia too, so it’s especially nice to throw around the boat talk with them in addition to just getting caught up.

Downtown Dunedin is really cute and nice.  Great dinner….Luckily for us Alan and Jeanette are used to N’s scruffy look since we’ve boated with them so much before.
Great after-dinner brewery stop where it was bring your own drum night…Hypnotic!

The next day we met Jeannette for a bike ride to Tarpon Springs (20 miles round trip on a really nice rails-to-trails path (it’s flat in Florida…yay! Although Nick insists it was uphill both ways)

Ziggy’s first time biking…she was in the basket the whole way.
First stop: Dimitri’s Greek Restaurant for some grilled octopus, spanakopita, horta (dandelion greens), tziki and pita, feta and olives, and yummy homemade bread.
Tarpon Springs is a MAJOR greek town.  Due to it’s sponge harvesting potential, Greeks from 2 islands known for sponging immigrated and filled the need here. So, of course, the Greek orthodox churches, restaurants and shops came too…..and then so did the tourists!
Look how cool these sponges are. I love their shapes.
And then this!

Next stop….

Hellas Bakery for some baklava!   But we’ll have that for dessert later tonight.  Glad we biked 20 miles!

One of the nice things about making the crossing is that we are now oriented properly again for this west-coaster. From the shore, the sun is now setting straight out (basically), North is to the right and South is to the left.  It feels SO good and normal!

Pic from our marina at basically the same location on two consecutive evenings (missed the exact time by 20 minutes or so) but note the fog difference!

We had a great dinner of yummy shrimp, big green salad and the baklava at Alan and Jeannette’s…so great that I forgot to take a pic. Got to get to know Ethan, their son, too who is in town in transit to new beginnings….job in Boston anyone??  Nice to be at home with family.

Those aren’t buoys!  They’re 3 people fishing knee, waist and then chest deep!


3 thoughts on “Dec 13-14 Days 65/66 From Fog to Friends”

  1. You’ve covered some ground, Maldens. Do you think Santa will stick a radar on your boat while you come back to Tacoma for Christmas? Looking forward to hearing firsthand about your zillions of adventures!


    1. No radar investment planned, but we’ve just found out (on Bayliner Owner’s Club Forum) Simrad has updated software allowing us to auto-plot a course on our plotter like we can on the I-pad. Going to download that as the I-pad locks up from time to time while the plotter does not. Don’t know if other brands do that, but Navionics on the plotter and I-pad is cool.


  2. Thus ends two days of breath holding while awaiting this report. Congrats on the safe crossing and thanks for the great pics and narrative.


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