As the Wind Blows and Blows


We are still moving south trying to stay ahead of the cold weather. Stalled in a marina for some more repairs, but plan to be further south for Thanksgiving. My suggested Thanksgiving menu is Monte Cristo Sandwiches and a salad – still to be determined.

Nov 15 – Tuesday – Destin, FL – on anchordestin-anchorage

The anchorage is nice, not too much fast traffic and waves. It is close to the city marina and services. Dunedin is a very clean, interesting town. Artsy Fartsy and the bike path runs through it, along with the Jolley Trolley.

We had our first experience with Uber. We hired Uber to take us to Luke’s aunt’s house in Top of the World. We had a really nice visit with Aunt Grace. Talked about old times and family vacations. Luke’s family drove from Ontario to Clearwater during Christmas Holidays. The family car was a Ford LTD station wagon. This is the equivalent of a current day mini-van and required for the family of 9.

We found Poochies, a dog supply and grooming salon. It is two blocks from the water. Ozzy’s tail and ears were getting knotty so off to the groomer. They did a great job and even offered to keep him while we ran errands around town. Nice folks. We took this opportunity to go out to eat at Sea Sea Riders.

Uber, grooming and restaurant – not on the original budget. Oh well…life is short!

Nov 16, Wednesday, Boca Ciega Bay and Gulfport – on anchor

We traveled down the ICW about 20 miles to Boca Ciega Bay. We chose this anchorage due to the north wind protection. Forecasts of 25 knot winds and a cold front coming our way. We anchored close to the dinghy dock at the City of Gulfport so Ozzy’s trips to shore would be short rides.

Nov 17, Thursday – on the hook

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Luke  getting ready to  make coffee

Gulfport is a cute small town, with shades of Micanopy. Somehow this little town has not been torn down and replaced with high rises and McMansions. Pleasant and friendly atmosphere with the two main streets catering to tourists and snow birds. We found a salon and Luke and I had our grooming. Now, the whole family is clean and neat.

Nov 18, Friday – Gulfport Municipal Marina

Well… the head has decided to not work so well. This is not something that you want to mess with at anchor just in case it cannot be repaired without replacement parts. Got to have a working potty. Heading to a marina.

We are in the Gulfport Municipal Marina. Luke worked on the head and I rode the bike to Save-A-Lot, Advanced Auto for parts, Family Dollar for T-Shirts and one load of laundry. The best part was that the rides back were all downhill.

Luke got the potty working splendidly!!!

Nov 19, Sat -Gulfport Municipal Marina

We went to the Gulfport 3rd Saturday event. Street musicians filled the air with interesting tunes and there were many vendors selling their wares on the street and most of the shops and restaurants were open. I love poking my toes into the waters of new places to see how it feels. This could almost be home.

Nov 20, Sun -Gulfport Municipal Marina

Laundry – Luke and I took a Lyft and hauled all of the laundry to the laundromat. Later I rode the bike downtown and cruised around.

Nov 21, Monday – Gulfport Municipal Marina

Ray Rodriguez, boat mechanic, worked with Luke on our generator. It had stopped pumping water, the impeller needed to be replaced. Then they worked on the heater and plan on labeling and streamlining some of our water system hoses. Looks like we will be in the marina one more day. Hmmm maybe more. Seems like a “special” nut on the generator has fallen into an inaccessible cavity.

As the Wind Blows…

Brenda


The twerking cult let the dogs out. Just kidding. It has been an interesting few days.

Nov 10 – Shell Island- over night anchorage

Nov 11 – Anclote North Sand Bar – outside of Tarpon Springs

We pulled up anchor at Shell Island about 6am heading for Anclote. Our Gulf passage was smooth and uneventful except for the crab pots. Argh! We had to be constantly vigilant with watch to navigate around the dang things, constantly changing course.

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Passage to Anclote

Arrived at Anclote about 4pm. This is a sand bar on which people camp and fish. There were quite a few campers here for Veteran’s Day weekend. The water was clear enough for us to see the grassy bottom about 12 feet deep. Took Ozzy to shore for potty/run time. There were hundreds of birds on the shore. People would chase them and take photos. I am sure years ago after a few beers, I would have done the same thing. Now, I feel sorry for the birds. Funny how our perception of things change.

Nov 12 – Saturday

The sunrise was the most amazing that I can remember seeing . It filled the sky and water with color. We decided to move from this spot due to incoming high winds. It would be very rocky in this anchorage. Luke needs to do a repair to the hydraulic lift on the out drive. We are headed to a marina.

Tarpon Springs City Marina is full, so we are looking a moving further south maybe to Clearwater. Then the marina called back, they had a cancellation. We are heading into downtown Tarpon Springs.

Arrived at the marina about noontime. The town is ramping up for their seafood festival so the marina is fill and the boat slips are very tight. The boats are about 10-12 inches apart, just enough for a bumper between. This was our first experience of 4 point docking.

Soon after docking, the folks in the next boat woke up and came on deck with music cranked up playing “Who Let The Dogs Out”. I normally keep a bark collar on Ozzy because he is loud. However, considering the song and the decibel level. I took off his collar and let him sing along with the music. It was pretty funny.

The festival was an interesting diversion, but I never found the seafood???  We did run across the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and joined in with a few others singing the Oh I Wish song… The festival vendors were all resellers, no original art (bummer). We got a couple of items and yummy desserts from the local bakery. Also, at the suggestion Mike, the dock master, we went to the takeout Greek restaurant. I had the best gyro ever!

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Sponge Docks

As we returned to our boat our neighbors in the marina were in full party mode. LOUD music and large older women twerking each other in front of their husbands (?). Very interesting. There was a time when we would have been the loud drunks on the block, but we changed our ways. I reminded Luke so he would not say anything to dampen our neighbor’s fun. It gets better… the next door outside bar started their live music. So, we had our neighbors music and the bar music competing with each other. This was our lullaby and goodnight till midnight.

 

Nov 13 – Sunday

I assisted Luke with the out drive repair. We were able to fix it without new parts. One of the lines had become pinched. Problem solved, so we can leave the marina tomorrow.

To prepare to leave we need to decide where we are going and do we need anything. I need to get some mail from my sister so we looked for a post office near to the water in Madeira Beach. Ooops! Sister is on a week long cruise and cannot mail my stuff. Hmmm, another plan B. Good thing we are flexible.

Plan B – go to Dunedin.

Sunday afternoon, I took the Jolley Trolley for a ride. It went from Tarpon Springs to Dunedin and through downtown Clearwater. The oddest thing I experienced was Fort Harrison, the headquarters for the Scientologist (cult). The members were walking in lines between buildings all dressed exactly alike like little robots. The Jolley Trolley is an open air bus and they would not even look at us. I had read the book “Beyond Belief” by Jeanna Miscavige Hill describing her life and escape from this group. Wow! Those poor souls.

The Tarpon Springs dockmaster, Mike, took us to Winn Dixie on his Kubota. Fun! Thanks Mike.

Provisioning

Winn Dixie front door service from Mike, dockmaster at Tarpons Springs City Marina

Shout out to Brian and Gerri on Raven! Great to meet you. Looks like you had a fun sail!

Nov 14 – Monday

I had a meltdown this morning… still trying to adjust to our new living quarters. All is good, it is just difficult sometimes.

Nice Lady got a well-deserved bath and so did we! High tide is at 12:30 so we left about that time so we had an outgoing tide on the river. Getting out of the slip was tricky with the wind and the current. The slip was maybe 15 feet wide and our boat is 14 feet. Every boat I watched leaving that marina had troubles getting out. Just part of the daily life.

We traveled down the ICW to Dunedin. In the channel we did not have to worry about the crab pots. Luke has contacted Aunt Grace to see if we can meet for lunch.

We anchored out from the Dunedin City Marina. We are within walking distance of the shopping district and a bike path. Looking forward to exploring Dunedin and seeing Luke’s family. Thankfully, I have not seen anymore twerking.

 

 

No Wake, No More And More

Sunset at Shell Island

Our adventure continues…our stay in King’s Bay at Crystal River was very peaceful. It is a no wake zone so no fast boats or jet skis! Just calm waters and beautiful scenery with a few manatees.

Nov 8, Tuesday

After yesterday’s chores, I decided that today would be a day off to relax. I read and napped. Ozzy and I went exploring in the canals to see the springs and took a long walk. We saw a few manatees in the bay. Over all it was an enjoyable day.

Nov 9, Wednesday

Started the day with a cool morning and another beautiful sunrise over the bay. Listened to the water ripples hit the side of Nice Lady saying, it is time to get up and out! Coffee made and appreciated. It is going to be another wonderful day.

Yesterday’s walk with Ozzy lead me to a different laundromat on Citrus Avenue in an area with nice little shops and eateries. This one is in walking distance, maybe a ½ mile. I loaded up the sheets and towels in my very large back pack. Luke, Ozzy and I piled into the dinghy and headed into the public dock. Ozzy and Luke took a walk as I ambled down the road to do the laundry.

I was the only person in the laundromat and was able to pick the brain of the owner about local history and happenings. Very pleasant man and willing to assist his customers. His place of business was flooded during Hermine and he is still trying to recover. I wish him the best and so many customers that he cannot count.

Kim and Bonnie Heath came to Crystal River today. We met them at Crackers Restaurant, which has a decent dinghy dock. They skies were overcast and there was an occasional drizzle of rain, otherwise known as heavy humidity. With the exception of my foreign born husband, we are all native Floridians, probably by several generations. I mention that simply because heavy humidity is not something we concern ourselves over.

Kim’s family lived across the street from mine from the time we were born until we were in Jr High School. Kim and her sister Stacey were dancers. My sisters and I also danced. We all attended dance lessons at Gloria Norman’s School of Dance.  We danced in many recitals with glitter sparkling on our tap shoes and colorful tutus and dreams of one day being allowed to dance in toe shoes. Oh, toe shoes with the beautiful pink ribbons tied up your ankles.

Kim has always loved horses. We used to pretend we were horses and jump over obstacles we placed in the back yard. Running around for hours neighing and jumping. Fun stuff and no internet or video games required. We played outside until we were forced to come in. When it was hot, Kim’s mother would give us Kool Aid in little paper cups. At my house we drank out of the hose, but the water was good and cool.

Today, Kim continues her love of horses at their farm, Bonnie Heath Farm, which is centered around the Thoroughbred industry. www.bonnieheathfarm.com. Take a look and see where a childhood passion can lead you.

After a long lunch catching up with each other, Kim and Bonnie took us to Winn Dixie and graciously waited while we did some shopping for provisions. This saved me a trip on my bike.

Back at the boat with the groceries all stowed, now it is time to take Ozzy for his walk. We loaded up in the dinghy and went back to the public dock. We seem to be on the same schedule as a handicapped man in a wheelchair with his overly aggressive dog. That dog will escape from him one day. Yikes! We avoided them again and took a walk down to the historic shopping area just to get a little extra exercise for the boy. Since it was cloudy, nightfall was creeping up on us sooner than usual. Ooops! We do not have a light on the dinghy and need to get back to the boat. Just like cars with headlights, all boats must have running lights.

We made it back safely. Time to rest.

Nov 10, Thursday, noon

No Wake, No More – End of No Wake Zone. Oh my peaceful journey is being rocked, literally. Boats speeding by in a narrow channel going somewhere very fast.

We fueled up, topped off the water tanks and battened down the hatches for our short trip to Shell Island. Shell Island sits at the mouth of the Crystal River at the Gulf. We are moving back to Shell Island so we can leave at the crack of dawn Friday for Tarpon Springs.  We finally were able to plan our trip around the tides. The currents in the river are very fast so leaving on an outgoing tide helps to push the boat along.

Tomorrow the Gulf passage to Tarpon Springs is about 40 miles. We should be able to make it before dark. The winds should be out of the NE and NW with 0-2 ft seas. I hope the forecast is correct this time.

 

 

 

 


 

October 28, Friday

Nice day. We had our morning coffee and showers. Cleaned the boat, filled the water tanks, walked the dog. At noon, we moved the boat from the Apalachicola Marina to the anchorage across the channel. I started a painting which reinforced to me the need to do color studies. It takes me way too long to create the color I want. This would be like practicing scales on a musical instrument. Not fun but necessary.

October 29, Saturday

Today we are preparing the boat for our Gulf passage tomorrow. The passage will be approximate 21-30 hours. Think of it as driving a car, someone will always be driving. Once an hour we will need to plot our position on a chart. One of us will be sleeping and one manning the helm.

We woke up this morning to find no gas for the stove and refrig which means NO COFFEE! Soon resolved switched gas tanks, however, that means we have to find a refill today. No biggy if you have a car, but we will need to take the gas tank in the dinghy to shore carry it 4 blocks and back.

October 30, Sunday

Woke up early to hit the high seas at day break. Winds should be out of the NE with 0-2 foot seas. We broke anchor and motored through the bay for a few miles, then through the Government Cut to the Gulf. Hmmm, forecasters were wrong again. East Winds with the largest waves I have ever been in in a boat. Ok, now I have a knot in my stomach from fear of the unknown – are we safe… and is it going to be like this for the whole trip? I consulted with the Captain about our safety. No problem with safety, but it will be a rough ride to our destination.

A mile or two out, one of the lines holding the dinghy davits in place breaks free. Luke decides he is going to fix it NOW! YIKES! He puts on his PFD and straps himself to the boat and proceeds to lean off the back end over the motor in the highest waves I have ever experienced. I put the boat on autopilot and grabbed hold of his PFD (personal floatation device) and held on to him. He fixed it and returned to safety.

We motor sailed the whole way, meaning we used the sails and motor to increase our speed. Most of the time we were at about 4.5 knots. At one point, the wind did shift in our favor (midnight-3am) and we were able to run at 7knots.

At the furthest point offshore, we were about 60 miles off shore. No land insight. Occasionally, you will see a boat of fisherman. The seas were so rough that I would never have been out in one of those small fishing boats, yet there they were.  We also saw many different jelly fish and a few sea turtles. One turtle was humongous with seaweed growing on its back. His head was larger than a cabbage. Huge! Pink Meanie jelly fish look like very large pink beach balls. I expect from their name they should be avoided. We also so the V tower which is there for the Dept of Defense, interesting.

We setup a blowup mattress in the salon so whoever was not on watch (driving) could sleep close by just in case of emergency. It worked well because it cushioned some of the bouncing from the waves. I never slept more than an hour when off watch. So I had about 3 hours sleep in 36 hours. Luke was able to sleep from 3am to about 6a.

OH MY STARS! THE STARS!  Until you have seen the stars on a moonless night many miles from other lights you have not really seen them. Amazing! My father taught me about constellations and the north star, but I could not remember much of that, but it was a nice to remember my dad while cruising through the Gulf. My dad loved the water and had wanted a sailboat. Here’s to ya dad! He gave me my love of the water, boating and instilled the need for caution and safety. Luke and I both wore our life jackets and had our ditch bag ready with water and food to go to our lifeboat if necessary.

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October 31, Monday

Still in the middle of the Gulf – 4am Ozzy decided that he needed to GO! He was determined to go to the fore deck to pee. No way, that is not happening. He pulled on his leash and moaned and moaned. I kept putting him on his pee pad in the cockpit and finally, he let loose. Ozzy’s emergency (he had been holding it for 20 hours) was happening when I saw red flashing lights and the wind was changing direction. I was getting stressed because, red flashing is a marker for a channel, but we are miles from nowhere. Then the light seemed to move around as if it was floating in a circle. Yikes! Am I seeing things? It has been a long night staring into the distance where you cannot even tell where the horizon is located.

The boat is on autopilot, so I go below to consult the charts. The only marker it could be it Cedar Key or the outer channel marker for Crystal River. Whoa! This is above my pay grade, so I roused the captain to take a look. We figured out that the floating lights were actually 3 different markers that were lined up in a way that when they flashed it appeared that one marker was moving. Phew, thought I was crazy.  We are still on course.

Now back to the wind, argh, yes it changed which meant we went down from 7 knots to 4 knots cruising speed. The sails had to be adjusted. Luke took down the jib and then went back to sleep.

Daylight arrives and the seas start to calm down. Luke wakes up and he decides to mess with the fuel tanks. Good Lord, we are in the Gulf, can we not wait to fix stuff when we stop? We were concerned that we might run out of fuel. When running on the starboard fuel tank that engine dies. Lovely. That was resolved.

We are now heading to the outer markers at Crystal River, but we need to change course to avoid a reef. The fog is rising and a morning shower is building. I see large images on the radar in the middle of our course. Luke thinks it might be rain. I put a special marker on the images so we could track their movement. They stayed. We were now watching the distance for what this could be when out of the fog at about a ¼ mile appears a huge barge. Thank you radar! There were two of them anchored just off the channel.

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Barges appearing out of the fog. Fortunately, we have radar. 

Crab traps everywhere and we were asked to leave the channel to allow room for the barges. We are now navigating around crab traps and going directly into the sunrise. Fortunately, the crabbers have placed the traps in long lines so we were able to get between them and continue on course.

3pm We made it to Shell Island at the mouth of the Crystal River. We anchored and relaxed. Ozzy was happy that we were close to shore. Got him in the dinghy and went exploring on the island. Later a quick dinner and a well deserved good night sleep.

Nov 1, Tuesday

Rested at Shell Island. Painted and read. The scenery here is absolutely gorgeous.

The painting is a color study of a small island across the river from Shell Island. the photo is of Shell Island.

Nov 2, Wednesday

Moved to a couple of miles up river to Twin River Marina so JD, the mechanic, can check our fuel tank issue. The marina had limited services, but they did have ice cream and friendly staff.

Nov 3, Thursday

Moved to Kings Bay in the town of Crystal River. Very pleasant here. Anchored in a no wake zone for the manatees. We have seen one manatee off the bow of our boat.

Nov 4, Friday

Got up early and prepared to go to shore. Laundry and grocery shopping are on the list. We all loaded up in the dinghy with my folding bike and laundry. Luke walked Ozzy and I biked to the laundry mat with a load strapped to my back. It worked well. When the laundry was done. Luke met me at the dock to pick up the load. I then turned around and went to the grocery store, about 2 miles. I found that the top basket of the small two basket buggies is all I carry back to the boat.  I also found that I will be carrying my bear spray. A woman walking her dog lost control of him when he decided to chase me. Why do people have animals that they cannot control.

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My Citizen folding bike and a load of groceries. 

 

 

Our friends for Micanopy, Bill and Eileen, came to see us. We had a nice dinner and the next morning they graciously took us to Walmart, Walgreens and Winn Dixie. They also helped us find somewhere to dispose of our trash.

Nov 5-6, Saturday and Sunday

Very busy in the bay over the weekend. Tourist renting pontoon boats to motor around and look for manatees. Also, lots of kayakers and paddle boarders enjoying the bay. Later Saturday, the Stone Crab Jam ramped up. The music from the festival wafted over the bay until about 10pm. Ozzy and I explored a couple of the springs and had fun just putting around in the dinghy.

Nov 7, Monday

Laundry day – I biked to the laundromat forgetting that Monday is wash day. Very busy today. Luke and I decided that we may have brought too many clothes. Too much to wash. I will have at least one more load to do before we leave Thursday. Later in the afternoon, I biked to Winn Dixie to start provisioning for our next passage to Tarpon Springs.

More next week.

Your Friend Brenda

Front Row Seat


Living on a sailboat has given us a front row seat to the day. Each day we see the sunrise and sunset. We did not have that opportunity living in a house.

Facebook has also given all of us a front row seat to witness parts of each others lives… sometimes the things that others say or experience stick in our minds. Sherry Nicols, whom I have never met but is the wife of a FB friend called a sunrise a cotton candy sky. I now think of her and that term when I see the pastel pink and blue morning sky. Thanks Sherry.

Kindness and cooperation also come forward when living in the public view. As you move to/from anchorages or marinas, you receive assistance from others for your dock lines, locations of supplies and services, etc. Living in a house you can close your door and not need to reach out to others.

So far, our liveaboard experience has been better than expected. So, now if we could just get the boat organized… I may need to give up on this. When living aboard you are carrying everything you may need such as extra boat parts, tools, water, fuel, dinghy, bike, food, computers, dirty laundry, trash, books, blankets, coats, etc, etc. Unlike a house where everything has a place and can be put away, things are stowed on a boat. When you want something it must be retrieved thru layers of other things. Getting everything back to its position in the boat takes time and being a contortionist helps. I am developing great core muscles and balance just by cooking dinner.

Have a great day!

Brenda

 


Our time is now based on the weather and the sun. Activities based on temperature and battery power or fuel requirements.

Saturday morning we were awakened by the arrival of about 15 bass boats all idling along side us. It was dark and about 5:30a. They were waiting for the start of a tournament. Soon the official called each of their names and they shot off like rockets into the dark.

Saturday afternoon, the community of White City had community picnic at the park. We were invited to have lunch. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers and the best peach cobbler I have ever eaten. Very nice people. It was great to see many children running around catching minnows, fishing and throwing rock in the water. Not one cell phone in sight, even with the adults. Family time supreme.

One little boy walked out on the dock and poked his head in the port hole. I scared him when I said, “Hi!”. He jumped back. A few minutes later he came back and wanted to know how I got in there.

We retired early due to cold weather. It was a chilly night but we made it through with a few extra blankets.

Sunday was very quiet. A few people fishing from the dock. We walked to the local country store and got some worms, buck urine, banana cake and ICE CREAM. We had ice cream cones for brunch! We had run out of desserts.

The worms are for our next stop at Saul’s Creek. We will be here until Thursday. I hope to catch a bass or some other edible fish. This site is very isolated with no docks and probably no beaches. The buck urine is an experiment – hoping to encourage our dog’s potty time and placement.

Oh No! The Worms are Escaping…Somehow the worms are escaping from a closed container. Really odd. We found one, but due to the trail of dirt we know that another did get out. Escape artists.

Monday afternoon. Arrived at Saul’s Creek. Wow! Beautiful spot. Anchored in the middle of the creek, surrounded by cypress swamp and palm trees. Did a little fishing, did not catch dinner so we had grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.

Saul’s Creek is very remote, there have been two fishermen pass us all day. The night sky is amazing and the quietness unreal. If you want to be alone, REALLY alone, go to Saul’s Creek. Hunters and fishermen bring in small house boats and leave them tied up to the shoreline. You could live off of the grid with a couple of solar panels, water maker and small boat. The ultimate tiny house.  It is about 5 miles to Apalachicola by water.

Ozzy’s potty training was successful! Now we can do our 2 day Gulf crossing without worrying about him.  I am not sure the STINKY Buck Urine helped, it was probably just necessity that started things flowing.

Thursday we cruised to Apalachicola. After refueling and checking water levels our next job was to get to the grocery store to provision for our passage to Crystal River. We walked to the store with our back packs. Bought too much. Luke just had to have a gallon of milk, but we do need it for pudding. We stepped outside of the Piggly Wiggly and proceeded to move our groceries to our back packs and sacks. As we were doing this a couple from Wisconsin stopped and asked if we needed a ride.  Oh Happy Day! And Hallelujah! YES!!! We piled into their car. The lady sat on the tailgate since we had a 10 block trip and only room for two passengers. They were so nice and helpful. Unfortunately, Luke and I both forgot their names. It had been a long day already. (Nice couple – if you read this, please send me your names.)

Later, we picked up our general delivery mail (boat parts) and had a dozen oysters, Yum! Ozzy and I got a good long walk in to stretch out our legs from Saul’s Creek. Then showers and reading. The weather is perfect and folks around here are friendly.

We are still trying to get the boat organized and we are leaving items behind that we have decided will be of no use. No matter what you want to do or use, it is guaran-dam-teed to be buried at least 3 levels deep. This works well if you are dieting, since it takes a lot of work just to dig out the cookies or chips, by then you have forgotten what you were looking for in the first place. Luke and I are both loosing weight

My hair is an issue. Today I tried pig tails with 1/2 french braids along the sides. This worked very well. Stayed in place and out of my face and still looked decent at the end of the day. So, will I have the patience to do this every day.

The painting is from Saul’s Creek. It is one of the hunting/fishing house boats along the creek.

Next stop will be Crystal River. We hope to be there by Tuesday.

More next week.

Brenda

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Saul’s Creek Anchorage

My Coffee Pot Has A Seat Belt!


Yes, when making coffee on a sailboat when the winds are blowing and you are rocking, cooking requires seat belts for the pots and pans.

It has been an exciting few days. We left our dock, Saturday, October 15. Headed out into the Choctawhatchee Bay and spent the night.

Sunday, we motored down the Intercoastal Waterway to Panama City. We anchored at Redfish Point. Being very close to shore it was a short dinghy ride to take Ozzy for his potty breaks. During low tide we were able to take long walks on the beach. We enjoyed this site for two days as we waited for the winds to cooperate to move to St Joseph Bay. I had my first salt water bath here. Oh the Joy! (you use Joy dish soap – it bubbles in salt water).

Tuesday morning the winds were still not in our favor, so Luke decided we would motor. So, we motored for 8 hours directly into the wind and waves. This was like sitting on a balance ball for 8 hours while someone randomly moved the floor underneath. Quite a workout. We were tired when we arrived at our destination.

Tuesday night – SHOWERS!!! The Port St Joe Marina is an excellent facility. We decided to stay here until our water pump issue was resolved. Of course, the first night we had restaurant food ($$). We were on track to blow our budget wide open in the first week of travel. Yikes!

Wednesday – Luke quickly resolved the water pump issue so we decided to move out into the bay the next day. That night I went to Kim Heath’s beach house for an evening with the girls and fresh caught/cooked red fish. Yum!  Luke stayed at the boat with Ozzy and rearranged our schedule, which he does everyday. We really do not know where we are going or when.

Thursday morning – prep for leaving the marina – laundry, fuel, dog bath, groceries, SHOWERS! We left at noon for the bay. Friday and Saturday are supposed to have high winds from the north, so we anchored for protection from the winds/waves. However, the wind turned to the WSW and battered us all night with waves.

Friday morning we decided to leave this location and cruise up the ICW. We could not make it to shore in the dinghy due to the wind and waves, so poor Ozzy had to wait to do his business. We got to the mouth of the ICW and Luke decided he would hold the boat in the channel while me and Ozzy went to shore in the dinghy. WELLLLL… I will not go into the details, but Ozzy and I were being pushed out into the Gulf by the rushing tide. Ozzy was barking his head off and I was trying to start the motor and failed.  I grabbed the oars and started rowing to shore. Ozzy is still barking like crazy, Luke is watching us disappear under the bridge and I am rowing like crazy. Did I mention that we had an audience? There were several local guys on the shore fishing. I can only imagine what they were thinking.

It all ended well. I got to shore, walked Ozzy and then one of the fishermen asked if he could help me. We got back to the boat safely and Luke has prepared a lesson to give me about the motor. :-<

We cruised up the ICW to the small town of White City, FL. There is a free floating dock that is open to the public. I was able to do a painting today. We will stay here until the north wind calms down. Our next stop will be Apalachicola. Luke has ordered a rebuild kit for the head. Just like a house, there is always something to fix.

The image above is the painting I did today. It is what you see along the coast line between Panama City and Mexico Beach. The beach was so white it created an optical illusion that it was a white line drawn and floating in air.

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Dock at White City, Florida

More in a few days.

Brenda

T-10 and Counting – Adventure


My last blog post was “Stay”. This one is about “GO”.  We are preparing to move onto our sailboat, “Nice Lady” and sail away on an adventure.  We have been delayed due to storms and last minute medical issues. We are mostly packed and all systems are ready time to cut the dock lines and shove off.

I will be posting about our trip on this website. It is my intention to paint along the way just for the fun of it. I will be that older (but certainly not old)  hippie lady sitting on the street corner with my paintings spread on a blanket with a bit of Bob Marley playing in the distance and a hint of funny tobacco wafting in the air (not mine of course). 

We hope to see some of you somewhere along the way. For the first year we will be traveling around Florida and then up the US East Coast.

 

To my many friends and family…

 

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon our fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

Brenda

Nice Lady

Nice Lady, Gemini 105MC

Stay, 24″x36″, acrylic

Stay

Stay – stay over there, stay away, stay put, stay strong…

Stay Happy, Stay where you are, Stay still…just stay

Vanishing Point acrylic painting by Brenda Osborne

Vanishing Point”” is a studio version of a plein air piece I did while passing thru St Marks Florida. The levees in the marshes at the wildlife preserve go for miles and offer much wildlife and natural beauty to enjoy. I had a 10 foot gator visit me the day I was there. Yikes! I never saw him until a passerby pointed him out. He had climbed up on the beach behind me.