3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Group at Greg and Carl's on Thanksgiving

Carl with introductions

Ed, Flint and Leslie, & Carmen and Bo

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

The marina we are staying in has "Harbor Hosts".  They are Carl and Greg Vernon and  they invited 12 Looper couples from the Panama City area marinas to their home for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. They even arranged to pick us all up.   Thank you Bo Johnson from "Old Grumpy" for chauffeuring us to and from.  Sure was a different Thanksgiving for us (no snow or hunting) but we had a great time.  Thank you Greg and Carl again for a delicious meal and great company.

It has been warm and sunny here; about 75 to 80 degrees until today. We had rain last night and a little this morning and it cooled down some this morning but it is starting to warm up again now.

We are planning to cross the Gulf of Mexico as soon as we get a good weather window. We need at least 2 good days as it takes 18 to 24 hours straight across from Apalachicola, FL, to Tarpon Springs, FL. Our plan is to leave about 15:00 and with a little luck go all night and reach the other side by about 11:00. We are going in a group of several boats and it looks like our first shot at crossing will be December 2nd and 3rd.

CO's comments:  I have a "crappy" job to do today; I have to replace the seals and flush ball on one of our heads.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Under way watching the sun rise
on Choctawhatchee Bay

Mile 234, Mid Bay Bridge crossing
Choctawhatchee Bay

GIWW narrows-Looks just like
we are back on the river

N30 08.632
W85 43.671

We got to Panama City, Bay Point Marina, yesterday about 14:00.  We had a long day ahead so we were on our way by 05:55.  It was a beautiful morning; 55 degrees and clear.  The first 30 miles or so we spent on the Choctawhatchee Bay which is another huge body of water; we had a light chop and it went good.  Then the next 20 miles we went through the narrow man-made GIWW to West Bay, a much smaller bay and calm.  I am getting better at driving a straight line.  Keith sets up way points and all we have to do is follow the line.  When it is calm it is easy but when it gets wavy it is a little harder to go straight.  This is good practice for when we cross the gulf.  After West Bay we entered St. Andrews Sound and then into Bay Point Marina.  We put 70 miles on for the day.

Today we were busy getting caught up on things.  It is about 75 degress and sunny.  Connie, you would love it here. This is a beautiful marina but it a long ways from town and there is no public transportation and the marina does not have a courtesy car.  Our friends, Roy and Elvie, have friends that live here and they came and picked us up and chauffeured us to the grocery store, liquor store, and West Marine.  Very nice people.  Hopefully we can do the same for some other boaters someday.  Now we are good on supplies until after we cross the gulf. 

There are several other loopers here too.  Two boats are leaving today to try and cross the gulf on Wednesday.  They are faster boats, about 26 mph, and can make the trip in daylight.  Another boat is leaving because of transportation, or lack thereof, and going to Port St. Joe where the marina is close to public transportation and is also in walking distance to many places.  The rest of us are staying until after Thanksgiving and then hopefully we will find a good window to cross the gulf by early next week.

CO's comments:  It is important to always have a backup system.  A Looper had his GPS chart plotter quit when entering St. Andrews Sound.  They did not have a backup GPS and had to rely on paper charts and their compass.  Once they lost their chart plotter, they also lost their depth sounder and radar because it all goes through one unit. Now they cannot leave until their chart plotter is repaired and due to the holiday they will be one week behind schedule.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Free Dock at Fort Walton Beach, Mile 223.0

Fort Walton Beach

It was a very windy and wavy day on the GIWW.  We spent most of the day on the Santa Rosa Sound which is very wide.  We stopped at Fort Walton Beach City dock at about 13:00 for the day.  It was a warm sunny day and we walked around the downtown area; nice little town.

N30 24.097
W86 36.385