Boating can be spectacular – it can also be treacherous. We cannot emphasize enough – Weather Advisories must be taken seriously – as Mother Nature has no pity for fools. Be Smart. Plan for the worst, establish a safety plan, and travel with a known boat buddy (someone you trust, and care about). When there is a weather window – Go, Go, Go!
But First, a scrumptious meal with Unfettered & Gypsy at Up the Creek Oyster Raw Bar. Rick and I agreed, it was possibly the best shrimp we have ever eaten! We also said a tearful but happy “See Ya Later” to Gypsy. Don’t worry Susan and Jim, we will connect again (Jim, there’s still a Gin Smash in the fridge awaiting your return).
Gulf of Mexico Crossing Schedule
Departure: Thursday, 11/8/2018. Time: 1100 hours
On Board: Flotilla commander – Captain Rick; First Mate – Mary; Seasoned Crew, Co-Pilot, Chef, and Bridge Measuring Tall Guy – David Floyd; Admiral, Safety Officer – Maddie Sue.
Float Plan: Depart Apalachicola, FL at 1100 hours, Crossing the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 171 miles. Average Speed 7 knots. Lead Boat is Exhale followed by Unfettered. Cavara to fall into rank en-route. Rendezvous with Bushranger roughly 1400 hrs (2 pm). Roll Call includes 1) Exhale, 2) Bushranger, 3) Unfettered, 4) Cavara. Destination: Clearwater, FL. Estimated Travel Time – 24 hours.
Crew Shifts: 2.2.2
Over the period of 24 hours, Three crew member shifts, scheduled as follows: 2.2.2 Two hour nap, Two hour “on watch” in co-pilot seat, two hour as boat pilot, repeat. Subject to change, or as vetoed by the commander, of course.
Captain’s Log: Thursday, Nov 8, 1124 hours (11 am), Apalachicola
Departed with Buddy Boat, Unfettered.
Captain’s Log: 1404 hours (2 pm), somewhere near Carabelle (open water).
Rendezvous with Bushranger successful. Package handoff completed.
Captain’s Log: 1414 hours, Flotilla roll call complete.
Captain’s Log 1500 hours.
All Looper’s in position. Water slight chop. Roll call and hourly report from Flotilla, all is well, more or less.
Crew Report 1600 hours Commander at helm station, taking catnap.
Crew Report: 1700 hours – Crockpot filled with beef stew, courtesy of Chef David.
By the way, thanks again Marty & Anders! We used this baby many, many times.
Captain’s Log: Thursday, 1730 hours (5:30 pm), sun setting on the Gulf of Mexico
Captain’s Log: 1800 hours.
Running Lights are on. Flotilla is in position. Gentle Rolling Waves. All is well.
Friday, November 9, 2018
Crew Report: Friday, November 9, 0100 hours (1 am). Commander sleeping. Dolphins observed playing starboard, alongside the pilot house cabin door, as if to say “hey”!
Captain’s Log, Friday, 0250 hours (2:50 am), no moon, 3 following, running lights strong.
Captain’s Log, Friday, 5:56 am, calm waters, 2 following, running lights strong.
Bushranger set a course to Tarpon Springs. Travel Safe Aussie’s
Captain’s Log: 5:58 am – Crack of Dawn
Captain’s Log 6:10 am – Here Comes the Sun
6:51 am, Gulf of Mexico
6:53 am, Gulf of Mexico
Arrival in Clearwater: Friday, November 9, 11:10 am. On Schedule (Yep, 24 hours!)
WE DID IT!
Thanks Commander Rick for the phenomenal planning, level headed guidance, exceptional buddy boat skills (adjusting speed for the turtle boat) and perfect timing for the weather window; it was a course well set for all! Thanks to everyone in the flotilla, the hourly check-ins by all boats kept everyone entertained and awake, thanks to Capt Rick (and watch dog Maddie Sue), we all arrived safe. And, thanks to David Floyd for making the 11 hour road trip to join us on the final leg.
Clearwater, Florida. Little Toot
Enjoying the timing of this little boat. In my head: I think we can; I hope we can; I know we can; oh YES, we did!
For all the Turtle Boats
For those of you unfamiliar with the Gulf of Mexico Crossing, here’s our Nebo Log, complete with a map showing the route and speed intervals over a period of 24 hours. Let’s be clear – crossing the gulf of Mexico in the dark of the night, with no land in sight, was a BIG deal!!
Next up: Crossing the Wake in Fort Myers on Sunday!