OK… our last leg of an awsome adventure!!! It is 29 degrees and blowing from the north. Charlie decided to let me sleep in the warm v berth, pulled the anchor and started westward toward Panama City. It was so cold, that Charlie suggested 15 minute watches. That seemed to work well, but didn’t keep us from still being so very cold! We hugged the coast to keep the seas managable and proceeded westward. We arrived at St. Andrew Pass and held up wondering if we should just point the boat back southward :-) Got back to PC Marina early afternoon.
This is our last blog entry for this trip. We had so much fun on this cruise and made lots of memories that we will always hold dear!!! We met so many great people – Lyle and Micki, and William and Judy, at Twin Dolphin Marina in Bradenton, and Steve and Karen our ICW partners southward, the folks at Frenchy’s in Clearwater Beach, and many more. What an adventure!
Our map is updated to show our path and pictures are posted. This was our longest voyage so far, but definitely not the last. We are already planning our next journeys. Thanks for following us! Till the next time…
Charlie and Pam
S/V Jouvert Spirit
Panama City, Florida USA
We some provisions and fuel and are making our way to St. Joe today. Traveling north on the Apalach River north was a pleasant and easy trek. We crossed Lake Wimico (all fresh water now) and proceeded to the White City canal which runs south to St. Joe Bay. Anchored in St. Joe Bay, north side, for the night preparing for the final leg to PC. We answered a radio check and discovered that it was “Mountain Mike”, whom we had previously corresponded with on Sailnet. What a small world, again! They were on their way south, but having some mechanical issues. Nice night, but COLD!
New years day! We arrived in Apalch and got a transient slip at Scipio Creek Marina. Had oysters and dinner at the Owl Cafe and turned in for the night. Sailing in fresh water now.
Arrived in the Carrabelle area behind Dog Island for anchorage. Wind was from the south, so we took lee north of Dog Island and settled in at anchor. Around 3am, Charlie felt the need to go topside to check the anchor, as he noticed that the wave motion had shifted. A cold front had moved through during the night shifting the wind from the south to the northwest. Our main anchor was beginning to drag so Charlie put out the secondary anchor (our danforth). The wind was so strong that even both anchors were slipping in what apparantly was a silty bottom, being very close to the beach we decided to hoist anchors and move near the St. Marks river entrance for the duration of the night.
Although we had to relocate, we stayed warm, went back to bed and woke up ready to proceed.
We left Clearwater Marina this morning with a small weather window to cross the gulf between cold fronts. Our departure time coincided with the departure time of the charter boats leaving the area. We fell in line in a narrow channel with several power boats headed for the day’s fishing. The channel was narrow, the other boats were pushing, and we ran aground. Charlie was able to get us off and going again in no time and we were off to the open gulf. Overnight was tough for Pam but not as bad as the southward crossing. Seas were rough and it was getting colder, but we pushed ahead northward heading for Carrabelle, as that is the closest crossing from Clearwater.
We are at the Clearwater Municipal Marina – slip 130 – and are docked right next to Nash on the Watercolor. He is our neighbor at the PC Marina – what a small world! Breakfast this morning at the Marina Coffee Shop, and then a short walk to CVS for batteries. It is 47 degrees here, so we are bundled up and staying for another night. Savannah is driving over from Orlando to visit :-).
We motored up the ICW today. It is very windy – 30 knots from the NW – and chilly! We left our anchorage and arrived at the Clearwater Municipal Marina at around 3:00. Dinner at Frency’s tonight.
We fueled up this morning at Twin Dolphin and headed north. We decided to find anchorage north of St. Pete in a cove near I-275. We could hear traffic for the first time in a while.
We arrived back at Twin Dolphin last night in time to have Christmas Dinner with Lyle and Micki at Mattison’s – Prime Rib and it was delicious! Got our same slip, too – C18. Micki and Lyle took us to Publix to re-provision, so we are stocked up and ready to head farther north.
After realizing we had spent too much time at various marinas and anchorages, we knew we would not make the Tortugas and decided to head back northward. We pulled anchor early and proceeded north across Charlotte Harbor. During this trek we managed to run aground hard just off the ICW in CH. Good thing we had the main sail up as we were able to heel over and get off. The wind was really blowing and we motor sailed until the ICW narrow northward.
The rest of the day was on the narrows of the ICW with many bridges and lots of sights. Eventually toward dark we reached Sarasota Bay and anchored where we did on the way south.
Upon awakening a front was moving through and the wind was near 30 knts. The anchor had dug in deep and we had some difficulty getting it back on the sprit (we had two anchors out but the Danforth came off easy and the Delta was hung). Charlie used the main sail mast winch to pull the anchor out of the bottom though.
Once free, and realizing we were nearly out of provisions, we called on the radio and found only a couple of marinas open being Christmas Day. With the wind blowing strong we motored on and decided to head back up the ICW to Bradenton and the Twin Dolphins marina. The rest of the journey north was nice once we got lee of the wind in the ICW. Not many boats out.
BTW, Pam has done great with no more sea sickness issues. ALLFUN!