Sunday, December 20, 2020

Florida’s West Coast makes me L A Z Y…apparently!


Underway from Tarpon Springs FL

It’s been well over a week since my last post and I have no excuse except…we’ve been busy enjoying Florida’s west coast and the company of great friends!  So in the interest of catching up…here’s the run down:



We departed the city dock at 8:22am in Tarpon Springs…at low tide.  Hearken pulled out first & “held position”. We thought he was waiting for us to take the lead.  As we turned a little wide we abruptly “held position”.  Yep, both vessels “soft aground”…sigh…  However, everyone was fine and with the experienced captains and a little teamwork – Hearken pulled off then staying in the channel, Charlie tossed a line to Hearken. Once the boats were secured bow to bow, Hearken finessed & maneuvered The Lower Place to deeper water…and we continued on.  Geesh!!!


Our goal was to top off with fuel in Gulfport FL then anchor in the Boca Ciega basin and that’s exactly what we did!!  Hearken followed to the fuel stop then they grabbed a slip in the marina.  Motors off at 2:47pm – yay, nobody cried!!


Sunset 12/13/2020 Boca Ciega Bay, FL


Lots of wind and waves correctly forecast for the day – so we stayed at anchor!  Yes, I could have updated the blog but I kept busy with boat chores and completing my application for 2021 health insurance – the fun never ends!


Charlie needed a haircut - the barber's chair is open


Low wind and no waves (as predicted) made for the perfect departure at 8:12am.  And this was a special day…we were headed to a private dock at Jim & Jackie’s house (sorry, that’s all the identification you get)!!  Loopers love loopers and yes, we become family fast!  They reached out to us early in our trip, extended the invitation and we were looking forward to seeing them for a few days!  By 12:18pm we were tied up, giving AIR hugs and high fives and just so happy to see them!!


Good times with great friends


As is my typical routine when access to land is in reach…post office, walmart, laundry (but not in a Laundromat) was knocked off the list quickly.  Then lots of visiting, cooking, eating…


Thursday the 17th Charlie replaced our boat batteries!!  Why? Because he could and Jim had a truck to get them to the boat and Jim had a friend Steve to help!!  Because TWO batteries had to be removed from the boat first…the batteries weighed 160 pounds EACH and of course they are held in the “belly” of the boat.  And then TWO batteries of the same design and weight had to take their position!  Core strength and boat yoga are necessary requirements when travelling by boat – especially for DIY projects.


Everything went well, no one cried or got hurt although a few band-aids were necessary.  Thankful for Jim and Steve!


The magic room below the floor...


It was time to move on - our time visiting friends is always a highlight.  Jim & Jackie might head to the Keys by car later this winter so we are hoping to see them again soon!  We waved good-bye and backed out of the slip at 9:28am.  As we entered the channel outside the marina basin…at low tide... things looked a little different.  In short order, we slipped outside the channel, bumped bottom, turned around and headed back to Jim & Jackie’s dock at 10:00!!  Sigh…what is wrong with us???  16,000+ miles under the boat and we are acting like rookies?!!?  Geesh!!


Charlie dove the boat in 61° water and it looks like we have a dinged prop – not surprised.  But we do have spare props for each engine!!  Several phone calls later, we have a diver coming on Monday to help remove the damaged prop and replace it with the spare.  We can get the damaged one repaired in Ft. Myers after everything opens following the Christmas/New Year’s closures.


So, if all goes well on Monday we will attempt to leave on Tuesday…at HIGH tide…and continue south!!


Perfect sign...with palm tress swaying...

Stay tuned for the “rocky” adventures of The Lower Place!!!  We are still smiling…with an occasional eye roll. HA HA HA!!!


Stay healthy and God Bless!


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