Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Crossing - SUCCESS!

We have arrived in Tarpon Spring FL!!  Everyone (all 6 boats) arrived in one piece – in need of a REAL nap – and no boat issues along the way! Thank you Lord!!  No doubt, this group has been blessed by the good Lord! 

Sunset on Friday - crossing the Gulf of Mexico!

Sunrise on Saturday - STILL crossing the Gulf of Mexico

Later sunrise of Saturday - Southern Cross to the right

We had six boats – one couple per boat – and not one of us had experience crossing the Gulf of Mexico!  However, Steve & Teresa on Sanctuary have crossed Lake Michigan!  So they took the lead not only in the line-up but also in facilitating the meetings and suggestions prior to the crossing…words cannot convey our heart-felt appreciation for their willingness to take on this random group of strangers and make us friends!!  There’s a lot of anxiety (and opinions) when facing 170 miles of travel at 8.0 mph!!

Sanctuary leading the way, Southern Cross second in line
Robin's Nest - FUN FOLKS!!

So here we are for Thanksgiving week…Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs FL!!  If you’re in the area, stop by & say HI!!  We are in slip #3.  Charlie & I have already skipped (ok, strolled) through the main street looking for a hot meal and Hella’sRestaurant did not disappoint.  We ate in almost silence other than commenting about “rocking” in our chairs. So we went straight back to the boat for a hot shower & nap (him).  I knew I needed to get this post completed before I forgot everything!!

As seen in a river channel - GULP!!
Our route to Carrabelle was an uneventful path across several bays, river channels & fishing communities but it certainly required our attention…water depths outside the narrow channel  was SHALLOW, like wading pool shallow – gulp!
The Moorings in Carrabelle - yep, that's a "slip"!

We reached The Moorings Marina in Carrabelle and were informed we had to BACK INTO THE SLIPS!! This was a first for Captain Charlie and while it wasn't easy and the wind picked up during the process...he did it!!  I was so proud of him & and relieved.  So we started the prep work on the boat – securing anything that could move.  I didn’t do a lot of food prep – it was ONE NIGHT of travel and honestly, I had no plans to eat heavy.  The weather report was favorable but I knew 2-3 foot swells was someone’s opinion and my interpretation of that after dark might differ.  So I started a small crock pot of white chili for our 10:00 dinner. 

I tried to eat a small bowl but tripped going up the steps to the back deck…SPLAT!!  White chili face plant!!  It was EVERYWHERE…power cords, dock steps, hatch cover, carpet…and of course, my face, hair, sweatshirt, life jacket…UGH!! And it didn’t look like chili after that…gross!!  So I did what any great boater would do, I took a bubble bath, put on my pj’s and a clean life jacket and left the mess for daylight hours.  FYI: it looked worse after sunrise.  No are welcome!

I drove a LOT in the early hours during the roughest seas and Charlie was a trooper taking the bulk of the after-midnight-before-sunrise shift but after 21 hours of constant travel we were ready to stop.  Our “looper group” was fantastic with top-of-the-hour radio checks and roll call – keeping drivers alert while the partner rested.  We talked about all kinds of stuff and learned a little more about each other.  Memories forever!!

While we spend this week in Tarpon Springs and all of you are planning time with family, friends or hunting camp I will keep you briefly updated.  Most importantly, treasure this time you have together, embrace each opportunity to create something special out of the ordinary…most of all be thankful to the Lord for every breath and every day.  Where would we be without His grace and mercy?  Pay it forward.

God Bless!

PS: Kids young and old - Tarpon Springs is a VERY unique & historic town...I know you're out of school BUT it's always fun to learn about "cool" stuff...get your thinking caps ready!!!

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