Saturday, November 14, 2009
We checked the weather once again and spoke to Buddy who
also agreed that the weather was perfect for a crossing; it
really was a beautiful day. About 3 hours into the journey
it started getting choppy and by the time it was dark it was
getting rougher. We did not have the calm seas that everyone
predicted! In fact, our crossing was rough and quite unpleasant
at times, with a 1 to 2 foot chop sitting on top of rollers
of 4 to 5 feet hitting us on our stern quarter. We assume that
although the weather was perfect for a crossing, that the seas
had not really settled down yet after Ida.
Ken & Chuck altered our course twice during the night
in order to make it more tolerable. The crossing was a
life experience that Brenda does not wish to repeat. However,
on a positive note, we did have both a beautiful sunset and
sunrise. We were running parallel to the west coast of
Florida by approximately 40 to 50 miles offshore on this 170
During the night and more towards the early morning we saw on radar and by their navigation lights, other boats including sailboats, container ship, and 5 other looper boats. At 4:30 in the morning, we had to alter course as we could see on our radar that we were on a collision cours with a large sailboat, with whom we agreed on a passing protocol and did so in an uneventful manner.
We could see the Clearwater shoreline from 18 miles out and
it was a most welcome sight. We encountered many crab
pots during that 18 miles but managed to dodge them all. The
crab pots have a floating ball (most are white or orange balls)
and they are spaced in a horizontal line about 100 yards apart.
If you happen to hit on the rope hanging down from the
ball can become entangled around your propellers and result
in repairs being necessary.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Here we are 21 hours later at our destination marina. We
all arrived safely but very tired. After getting settled
into our slips, we all took 3-4 hour naps. Not long
after we arrived, Double Trouble from our marina, Tellico Harbor,
also came into Clearwater. Leland and Freddy Waggoner
and Bob Schmidt came over to our dock to say hello and discuss
our journeys thus far. Vickie was here to meet us and she took
a tired Chuck back to their hotel for some rest. We all
met for dinner at an Italian restaurant but it was early to
bed for us all.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Today was mostly a leisurely day for all of us. Double Trouble left this morning on their way to Key West. When Chuck and Vickie came back to the boat, the girls (Nancie, Brenda, Sharon, Vickie) went walking and exploring. After walking about 1 hour we then went to the beach where we enjoyed walking in the beautiful white sand. There were a few tourists on the beach enjoying the sand and sunshine. At noon, the guys joined us at Frenchy's where we tried their famour grouper sandwich and it was as delicious as advertised. We spent the afternoon doing chores and studying our charts and making plans for our travel the next few days. Tellico Lady is only going to go about 25 miles tomorrow to Gulfport while Watauga and Last Dragon plan to travel farther. We all enjoyed a potluck dinner on Watuaga and then called it a night.
This completes the Crossing section of our logbook. From now on the narrative will continue in the Florida West section.