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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Clearwater and Dunedin, FL

Friday, 12-19-2014: We stayed a 2nd day in Clearwater: Had to rest up from the crossing and wait for our mail. It is beautiful here with the temps in the 70's and sunny. I got caught up on the wash and Keith checked everything out in the engine room in the morning. In the afternoon we walked to Publix’s and went for another walk on the beach at the Pier.  In the evening we went out to dinner at Crabby Bill’s. Keith had his usual; Sea Food steamed bucket; this was the first time he didn’t finish it but it is also good left over. I always have their shrimp dinner; both very good. Yesterday and today where ever we went we ran into Packer fans. They were all over the place. They were all here for the Packer-Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s game this coming Sunday.

Saturday, 12-20-2014: We had a big breakfast and got a late start; about 12:00. Our plan was to anchor out for 2 days and come back on Monday to get our mail. We tried both Dunedin East and West anchorages with no luck. Active Captain said there was plenty of water but we only had 1 foot under our props and there was still 1 foot to go before low tide so we left. We ended up at Marker 1 Marina at Marker 141.5.


CO's comment: Anchoring in skinny water is a problem when you have a large, comfortable boat. I will take comfort over anchorage any day. I am used to 8 or 9 feet under the keel when anchoring although we have done with less. Tides are the problem in Florida..

12-20-2014: Our Christmas Tree

12-20-2014: Our neighbor across the dock is really lit up for Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 17 and 18, 2014 - Crossing the Gulf of Mexico

Wednesday AM the 17th; low tide was at 07:06 so we waited for the tide to come up some before leaving Apalachicola and got going by 10:00. As it was, we only had about 3 feet of water under our props. The water was pretty skinny until we made the 90 degree turn to our port just outside of Apalachicola. After that, all was good. 32 miles later we got to Carrabelle by 13:00. It was a beautiful day and the seas were calm so we put on 200 gallons of diesel and visited with another boat about crossing the Gulf.

Wednesday afternoon on the 17th and Thursday the 18th: The weather was perfect so we were on our way across the Gulf by 14:45. We went a total of 175 miles in 18 hours. It was a perfect crossing. So good we were able to cut 3 hours off our trip by going straight across from R26 to the marker at Clearwater Harbor. Sun set and sun rise on the Gulf were both beautiful and the night was full of stars. We couldn’t have asked for a better night. When we got to Clearwater at 08:45 we put on another 100 gallons of diesel and got set up in our slip. Keith washed the boat and I took a little nap after putting everything back in place. Later we went for a walk down to the Pier and to one of our favorite restaurants for "Grouper Cheeks" and a drink (or two). Ah, life is good!


CO's comment:  In the past we had received weather briefings from Tom Conrad but this year he retired.  We got to Carrabelle expecting to get a weather briefing from Buddy and we found he retired also, went hunting, and hasn't looked back.  Therefore, the weather interpretation and the decision to go was left entirely up to us.  We made our own decision and had one of the best crossings we have had in the last 5 years. 

12-17-2014: Sun set on the Gulf of Mexico

12-18-2014: Just before sun rise on the Gulf of Mexico

12-18-2014: Sun rise on the Gulf of Mexico

12-19-2014: Kim Jo IV (in middle and in back) docked at Clearwater Municipal Marina from the Causeway Bridge

12-19-2014: Sun rise at the Pier in Clearwater, FL

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Apalachicola, FL, City dock

Monday, December 15, 2014: Another beautiful, calm, day on the water. It was 50 degrees and sunny when we started out at 07:30; the sun was so bright it was hard to see the buoys. We went 20 miles on East Bay and it was very smooth with barely a ripple. The dolphins were jumping our wake again. It is so much fun to watch them and hard to believe they can keep up with us at 11 mph. We had a good 12 feet of water in the channel when the dolphins would swim under the boat.  They got so close under us they would set the depth sounder off saying we only had 2 to 3 feet of depth. The alarm was going on and off for a good 5 miles. Just before Apalachicola we went through Lake Wimico and it too was smooth as glass. We got to Apalachicola by 13:30 Central time/14:30 Eastern time and tied up to the City dock. Got settled in and went for a walk around town as we have never been here before. We stopped at a newly opened brewery and sampled 6 of their brews. The dark one was the best and it had 8.5 % alcohol.. We met a very nice couple there that had just got married and were on their honeymoon. We had a nice visit with them. Tonight we went to Boss Oyster House Restaurant and had a delicious meal.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014: Stayed a second day. Met with John, our boat neighbor, for coffee on the dock. Also, met Mike, a local sailor, and we all visited for several hours; talked about Gulf crossings, the weather, and a number of other things. It was most enjoyable. Probably would have gone on longer but a storm was coming in.


CO's comments:  Man were the oysters good!

12-15-2014: Downtown Apalachicola, FL, Christmas Tree

12-16-2014: A dredge being moved by Apalachicola

12-16-2014: Tie up at City dock

12-16-2014:  John's boat at City dock

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pearl Bayou anchorage

Sunday, December 14, 2014: Another beautiful day. Got a later start after pumping out at the free city pump-out. Choctawatchee Bay was calm with a very light chop. It took us 3 hours to go across the bay. We got to Panama City and to our anchorage in decent time averaging 11 mph. We listened to the Packer game on line radio station while under way; they played the Bills and lost 13 to 21.


CO's comments. Another very good anchorage.


12-14-2014: Pearl Bayou anchorage