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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013, Saturday

Panama City Marina, Panama City, FL:  We were greeted by dauphins again when we left Joe's Bayou anchorage at 06:15 and they followed us in the channel for while.  We had 3 foot rollers on Chactawhatchee Bay.  At first we thought we could beat the rain and thunder storms but by 09:45 it started heavy rain but the thunder storms were still out in the gulf.  We had 2 more dauphins jumping our wake again in the rain; they looked like they were enjoying themselves.  We were going about 10 mph and they were keeping up with us.  By 11:15 the thunder storms got closer to us and we had to find a place of refuge to wait the storm out.  The only place we could find at this point was under the West Bay bridge, just west of Panama City.  We tied up to the bridge with a trawler and a fishing boat and waited an hour and 1/2 for the storm to pass.

We got to Panama City Marina by 14:45 and got settled in.  We met friends for dinner at a Mexican Restaurant and had an enjoyable evening.


CO's comments:  First time at the City Marina, Active Captain's boat was also there.  We will definitely stop there again.

12-14-2013 Dauphins jumping our wake on a rainy day

Kim Jo IV tied up to bridge

Lone Wolf was in front of Kim Jo IV at bridge
Fisherman decided to fish as long as they were waiting
12-14-2013  Taking refuge from the thunder storm, tied up under the West Bay bridge

12-14-2013 Out to dinner with friends in Panama City, FL; Carl and Greg and Larry and Theresa (it was Greg's and Larry's birthday)

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013, Friday

Joe’s Bayou anchorage:  Beautiful morning and sun rise but it was still pretty cold; 35 degrees.  It got down to 30 degrees during the night.  When leaving anchorage, I saw my first dauphin of the trip.  We crossed over into the Florida Panhandle early this morning.  It was a pretty quiet day and we got to our anchorage by 13:00.  I did some cleaning and Keith did some preparations for our gulf crossing.  Then it was a quiet night and early to bed.


CO’s comments:   If it doesn't have wings, tail, aileron's, rudder, elevator, and flaps, I will not fly it.

12-13-2013  Sun rise leaving Ingram Bayou anchorage

12-13-2013 Kite Plane at Joe's Bayou just before sun set

12-13-2013 This shows how straight you drive with auto pilot on

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 12, 2013 Ingram Bayou Anchorage

Thursday:  Got going about 10:00 after putting on 300 gallons of diesel at $3.61 per gallon, pretty fair price.  Mobile Bay was windy and wavy again, like the other day.  We had 3 footers coming at us on our stern.  After we got past the first way point it calmed down some.  When we got to the GIWW at Red 120 we immediately met two tows very close to each other; they were going west and we were going east.  Also going west was a Sport Fisherman and he felt he had to pass both tows even though we were in the same, very narrow, and shallow channel.  We ended up slowing way down and were almost out of the channel in very skinny water (only about a foot under our props) so this fisherman could pass.  Why he couldn’t have waited until we were past we will never know.  That just confirms what we already knew about Sport Fisherman.

It was a beautiful, sunny, 65 degree day, but the wind made it feel some what cold.  We got to our anchorage by 15:00.  Ingram Bayou is one of our favorite anchorages, so beautiful and peaceful.  We passed a total of 3 tows and traveled 45 miles for the day.  Keith saw the first dauphin of the trip but I haven’t seen any as yet.


CO’s comments:    Forgot to tell you yesterday about the guy in the 40' boat.  His Danforth anchor was so bent out of shape he couldn't or didn't pull it all the way up and it was dangling and hitting his bow all they way through Mobile Bay.  He had battery problems and a hard time starting his engines and was at Dog River, a very good maintenance facility, and didn't do anything about it.  Instead he was headed to New Orleans, Good Luck.  By the way, downtown Mobile is a "slow zone".

12-12-2013 Waves on Mobile Bay

12-12-2013 The Tow, St. Elmo, at about Mile 150 on the GIWW, first time we have encountered one in this area.

12-12-2013 Ingram Bayou anchorage, Mile 164.0

12-12-2013 Eagle perched in a tree by our anchorage

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 10 and 11, 2013 Mobile, AL

Tuesday:  Rained early this morning but by the time we were ready to go it had stopped. Had a hard time getting the anchor up because of the current and the anchor was really dug in. Overcast and chilly this morning. We had to wait on a train at Mile 14 Bridge and we got to downtown Mobile by 09:45. When we were just coming into Mobile the Coast Guard drove right by us and waved and then stopped "Pontus". We thought they stopped him because he was from Canada and we were feeling pretty lucky. But, after they were through with Pontus they came back and stopped us just before entering the shipping channel. So, about ½ hour later we were on our way again. All was OK except we needed 3 new flares that work for day or night and they told us to get them at Dog River Marina. There were several huge, ocean going vessels in port all loading up with coal to be shipped over seas.

Mobile Bay was very windy with winds up to 18 mph and gusts to 25 and we had 3 ½ foot waves. It was so windy and cold they had a hard time securing us to the dock at Dog River Marina.  Keith started his oil change this afternoon and we ordered pizza in and had a quiet night watching a movie.


CO’s comments:  The Coast Guard stopped us because they had a brand, new, Gold Bar that they were training.  That would be a 2nd Lt in the Marine Corp.  Evidently his schooling didn't stick with him.  He had a hard time filling out the safety form and had to have a 3 Stripper (that would be a Sargent in the Marine Corp) explain it to him.  I don't think any of them knew what they were looking for except for the flares.  We have been stopped a few times by Homeland Security and they were all former Marines or former Navy and all had experience; they knew what they were looking for.  The poor 2nd Lt looked like he was 16 years old.  At least he was carrying a Sig and not a Glock. 

Wednesday:  Waited on mail and Keith finished changing the oil and filters.  The pump for changing the oil broke so we had to go to West Marine to get a new one.  We also had some miscellaneous work done while we were here.  While we were here we got 3 boxes of mail that finally caught up with us so that took several hours to go through.  We should be good now until Clearwater, I hope.

12-10-2013 Mobile Shipping Channel, ship loading coal

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 8 and 9, 2013; Sunday and Monday

Sunday:  Had to wait 1 hour for fog to lift in lock. Also, there was a tow in the lock too. We were able to lock through, in and out, by 08:08. It was still foggy and overcast. It started to rain by 09:00, just on and off at first. By 11:00 it was a steady, heavy, rain. We decided to pick up our speed so we could get all the way to Bobby’s Fish Camp before dark. We ended up going 97 miles for the day and got to Bobby’s by 16:10 with about 15 minutes of day light left. It was a very stressful day and we were glad to be tied up to a dock for the night. The restaurant was open until 18:00 so we went down and had catfish for dinners. After dinner it just sprinkled some until bed time. There are two other boats here and we are all going through our last lock of the Tenn-Tom, the Coffeeville Lock, at 07:00 tomorrow morning together. It was another early to bed.


CO’s comments: Miserable day, radar on 100% of the time. Again, next year we are going to leave earlier in the season. It was a busy day for tows. We encountered 7 for the day which is the most we have had in a long time.

Monday:   We had thunder storms during the night but by the time we left Bobby’s it was just misting and 59 degrees. After a short wait for a shift change at the lock then all 3 boats (Dream Chaser, Pontus, and Kim Jo IV were in and out of the Coffeeville Lock by 07:40.  After the lock we entered tidal waters again. For most of the morning we had a high sealing of about 2500' overcast.  The sun came out for a while in the afternoon.

We anchored at Mile 39, Tensas River North by 14:30 and Pontus was already anchored.   Dream Chaser got here an hour after us. We got a real good push today from the current.  At 1650 rpm's we were going about 12 to 13 mph where we normally only get 10 to 11 mph.


CO’s comments:  Much better day than yesterday, we even saw the sun.


12-9-2013 (5) Pontus from Ontario, Canada

12-9-2013 (2) Dream Chaser from Minneapolis, MN

12-9-2013 (4) Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club Burgee, the Abaco in the Bahamas