Friday, November 20, 2015

Carabelle to Steinhatchee

We weren't planning on leaving until this afternoon, so we slept late. Especially after being kept up by the racket from the bar. It was almost 0800 before we dragged ourselves from bed.

Since we made a grocery run yesterday, we had the fixins' for a really good breakfast. Pork sausage, fried egg, and cheese on english muffin breakfast sandwich. We have not eaten this unhealthy in a very long time. And it felt, and tasted, GREAT!  I can see boat living is not going to be good for my waistline.

Bob called a short while later to talk about the weather forecast. It was supposed to be windy this morning, then lay down in the afternoon. But the winds seemed pretty calm right now. Bob wanted to leave now; I wanted to wait until the forecast drop in the wind. I hopped in the dink and went to his boat to discuss it. We finally agreed to leave now and head to Alligator Harbor. If the wind was calmer than forecast then we would continue on to at least Steinhatchee.

By the time I got back to Microship, got the dinghy put up on the boat deck, and got engines warmed up and anchor up, it was 1120. We headed down the river and out into the bay. As we turned east behind Dog Island, the seas were calm. This was looking good. By the time we cleared the east end of the island, it was getting a little rolly. But still not too bad. The decision was made to go for it.

As we headed out through the cut through the reef the seas started ramping up a bit more, but still tolerable. We did decide to limit the crossing to just Steinhatchee, though. As it was, it would be well after dark when we arrived. The number of crab trap floats in that area are legend, and I was not looking forward to trying to dodge what I could not see.

As the afternoon progressed the seas got bigger. We never got truly uncomfortable, but we did have to secure things to keep them from being thrown to the floor. Just before it got dark we started seeing lots of crab floats. This was unexpected, as we were still many miles from shore. I decided it was best if I turned on the spotlight and just left it on. I can't begin to count how many floats we dodged over the next few hours. Some were really close calls. In fact, I am not completely sure we made it though unscathed. There were more than a few big thumps against the bottom. I will have to wait for warmer and clearer water so I can dive under the boat to check the shafts for ropes.

Stylist is a much faster boat than us and arrived 45 minutes before we did. Bob called to say the area was thick with crab pots, and be on the lookout for them. We anchored about 3/4 mile away from Stylist, in a bit shallower water. Anchor down at 2110, after a 10 hour run. We were bushed. A little Scotch to unwind, and to celebrate a successful crossing, and then off to bed.

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