Sunday, January 16, 2022

Gale Warning, Gulf Crossing and Snow

Who knew that the entire nation would go weather wild while we are trying to find a weather window to cross the Gulf of Mexico…but that’s exactly what happened!!!

1/13/2022 The Lower Place docked in Carrabelle FL

While cruising along the Florida panhandle we typically research upcoming weather to determine how fast or slow we should plan our Carrabelle FL arrival.  So with that in mind, a Friday, January 14 4:00pm departure looked promising…arriving in Clearwater around noon on Saturday, January 15.  What we didn’t expect was that was the ONLY opportunity…unless we wanted to hang out in Carrabelle for another week to 10 days.  Predictions for Small Craft Advisories and Gale Warnings were being mentioned!!

So on Friday morning, January 14 we secured anything that might move, topped off the water tanks and I made a quick trip to IGA Carrabelle for the standard snacks – ginger snaps, graham crackers, pretzels, ginger ale.  Do you see a pattern?

1/14/2022 Heading out into a lumpy Gulf Of Mexico

Starting out we had a little confused seas, starboard beam and no wind to speak of…it wasn’t comfortable but I was determined to survive.  About 7-8 hours later the beam seas subsided, changing to a following sea – again, not perfect but ginger is my friend and I was surviving!!  Just before daybreak another water change…we were now facing 3’ waves on the bow.  Sigh…I will survive, I will survive, I will survive…and I did!!!

1/14/2022 Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

Around 10:00am we reached the magical R4 marker at the Anclote River!!!  Instead of proceeding to our favorite Greek town of Tarpon Springs we turned south on the ICW and by 12:30pm (with the wind speeds increasing) we were safely tied to a dock in Clearwater Beach Marina!!!  Whew!!!  Not the best crossing we’ve had but by far not the worst!!!

1/15/2022 Sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico

Once docked, we worked on our lines anticipating strong winds for a long period of time.  It was so comforting to know we were not going to be at anchor for this weather event.  We grabbed a nice mid afternoon meal with our buddy boat Copacetic and said good night!  It was 3:00pm!!!

Once back to our boat, the Lower Place was given a quick fresh water rinse to rid her of the overnight salt bath, we double checked our lines and called it good.  A nice long shower and in the bed for the night…it was 4:30pm the winds were really picking up.  Just before 9:00pm the boat was really rocking, the wind was howling & I felt AWFUL!!!  Yep, a few minutes later I was hanging over the port side of the boat…seasickness while tied to the dock is a first for me!!  Who knew?!?!  Once “the event” was over, I washed down that section, felt so much better and slept until 5:00am. Woke to check the lines and all was well, so back to sleep until 8:00am.  What I didn’t know was that Charlie was also checking the lines…we’re such a great team!

Today is Saturday, January 16 and the wind is still howling!! We haven’t left the boat so far but we have enjoyed relaxing, cooking turkey chili and making lots of phone calls!!

The wind is here to stay...

Wherever you are I’m sure the weather is equally bizarre and certainly much colder.  We will be in Clearwater until at least Tuesday January 18 but I’m not sure where we are headed.  So far, we are not finding availability for an extended period of time and that’s ok too.  We can anchor off and on until something opens in the Punta Gorda area.  But if you happen to “know a guy” let me know if he has a slip available for a month or so, thanks!

Stay healthy and God bless

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