11 November 2014 | Pass Christian Marina, MS
29 November 2014
Today we are leaving Clearwater after a nice 8 day extended stay. We arrived here on 11/21 after a 30 hr sail from St. George Island and needing to do a few small repairs. We had been moving quickly and it was nice to be in one place for a week.
With the ease of facebook updates and picture posting, the blog has been a little harder to keep up with. By the time we sit down to write, it seems most things have already been mentioned and commented on.
St. George was a beautiful little anchorage with pristine beaches that we enjoyed for just one evening and would love to get back there for an extended stay. Turbo remembered exactly where he belonged on the dinghy when we went ashore there and at St. Joseph Peninsula..just a little shaky with his footing. He was so excited to hit the beach and runs and plays like he hasn't in a very long time.
We arrived in Clearwater after another long 30 hour stretch to only slightly warmer conditions than we came from. It rained a few days which allowed us some much needed downtime on the boat.. We reconnected with some wonderful friends (Rich and Danee) who we met on our last trip and live about 15 minutes north of here. It was nice to have time to explore an area that we have not been to before. There are a lot of boats and excursions and an aquarium centered around Winter and Dolphin Tale which made us a little sad for how much we know Roman would have enjoyed that. Our friends took us for a day trip south along the coast to Treasure Island for a sand sculpture contest/mini festival with arts, food and music. A couple of stops along the way including fine waterfront dining & dive bars (Mahauffa's). They also joined us onboard Thanksgiving Day bringing Turkey and fixins topped by a beautiful sunset at Pier 60. Yesterday (Friday) we had another nice road trip up to the town of Dunedin for some outdoor markets and craft brews, then on to Tarpon Springs to the sponge docks, more sightseeing, shopping, Greek cuisine, pastries and drinks! We had a LOT of fun and appreciate the hospitality of our hosts!
Today the plan was to leave early for Longboat Pass but after reading about some shoaling in the pass (3.5' where the chart says 22) we decided to wait and leave around 1 PM for a 17 hour sail straight to Boca Grande Pass and some beautiful anchorages near Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key. Winds should be 10-15 out of the east with 2' seas. Clear skies with lots of stars should make it easy to stay awake and enjoy the sail. Yesterday the high was only 60 but the warm-up starts today and will be in the upper 70's by the time we get down to Usseppa Island where we hope we can stow away these winter clothes for good! It may be a few days before we have an good internet connection but we will try to do better updating the blog when we can.
Panama City Bound
14 November 2014
After one last visit with Sandy and a Bon Voyage meal with Jena and Dreux we were ready to head for Panama City. Since we were going to be sailing at night and I had not got around to checking the running lights I figured it might be a good time. Well one of my very expensive, 5 year old, guarenteed waterpoof, will never burn out in my lifetime LED lights had leaked was corroded and would not work. Great, we will be stuck in Mississippi for a week with the cold front coming. Luckily there was a marine hardware store 4 blocks away that was open on Veterans Day. Within 2 hours we were 50 dollars poorer but had 2 brand new LED Aqua signal lights on the bow and were ready to go. We motored to Ship Island and anchored just off the old fort at sunset and enjoyed our first night at anchor. Winds were forecast to shift to the west then northwest after midnight so we (I) got up at 2 AM and we were sailing out of the Ship Island Channel by 3 on our way to Panama City. The wind shifted to the north and picked up to 10-12 knots around daybreak and once the auto pilot was set we had a straight course to our destination on a beam reach. With several visits from the local dolphin pods we averaged 5.5 to 6 knots. We were past Mobile and the oil rigs/supply boat activities by sunset. As advertised, the winds picked up in the evening to 15- 18 knots flying along at 7+ knots the rest of the way we arrived at the Panama City jetties by 8AM Thursday doing the 170 miles in 29 hours. Tired and glad to be going in, I started the diesel going into the pass and guess what? no raw water coming out of the exaust. With rock jetties coming up on both sides, an out going tide, and wind about 40 degrees off the port bow we were just barely able to sail through the pass where the course changed. We were able to sail right up to the marina, turn into the wind, drop the sails and run the engine for less than 3 minutes while getting into a slip. Captain Ron would have been very proud. We're in Panama City Marina slip 611.
It's good to be Turbodog!
11 November 2014 | Pass Christian Marina, MS
They promised they would take me back to the islands and it's happening.. I just know it! I'm back to living on a boat. It's all familiar, just like riding a bike..or so they say.
At first there were a lot of trips between the boat and my house... groceries, dog food and bags being put on it. I had to get a passport, permit and go to that vet place a few times. They say my chart is the biggest there. That's good right!? I am 14 in human years. Then there were a lot of car rides to the marina and we started sleeping on the boat. We went back to Lil Isla a few times and there was a dog named Chica living there. I like her. She'll like it there, it's a pretty cool place. As long as I'm living on a boat, it's all good. I went on a lot of party barge rides too in recent week with plenty of visitors. I fly my ears high in the wind and everyone gets a kick out of that. And boy how people love to pet me! My ears especially because they are sooo soft. It's been pretty cold, especially for a dog with short hair, and lets face it that big black scar on my backside don't help matters but it sure makes for good conversation when out walking. Everyone seems to have had a weiner dog at some time or another. Call me what you like, but I prefer TURBODOG.
I've been seeing alot of familiar faces lately too and hearing a lot of "yall be safe", "gonna miss yall", "post pictures", words like that. Kinda makes me sad.
Every morning they have coffee and get on those computerized machines.. that's when I know it's almost time for me to go for a walk. I stay under my covers till then. I like walks. Seems every new place theres plenty to sniff and discover. And when they leave me to go to the restaurant like they did yesterday, I guard the boat and bark at anyone passing.. it is my home and job after all.
This morning I hear talk about going out to Ship Island this evening. An Island! Yay! I remember them! Then leaving in the wee hours tomorrow for Panama City.. wait.. what? 36 hours? on this boat without going ashore.. ugh.
Time for my walk... It's good to be me!
Oak Harbor Marina.. Here We GO!! Roman's Here!
01 November 2014
After weeks of non-stop, our days finally seem to be getting a little less hectic. On Wednesday Dave & Bob sailed the boat from Lil Isla to Oak Harbor Marina where we will hang out for a week or so to tidy up loose ends and visit with friends and family.
After getting the boat to the Marina and secured, we went back home to greet our house-sitters Karl & Pat, and their dog Chica, who had driven down from their home base in Canada. They are long time cruisers who are sitting this season out. The universe works in funny ways and we are lucky to have found them and such a mutually beneficial situation. We are almost as excited for them to get to know the bayou, Louisiana, our friends, neighbors and culture as much as we are for our own adventures. Thursday evening we enjoyed a Saints win at Bob & Sandys.. WHO DAT!!!
Turbodog seems to be adjusting fine to boat life, being leased, having to be taken for walks, etc.
Today we picked up Roman and while he may be a little confused about the whole situation he is quickly getting used to Marina life and just brought back a friend to show him the boat and ran back out to play soccer. We are preparing now to snuggle up with the heater on, pop some popcorn and have movie night..
We are slowly easing back into this and getting to know the boat again.. Stowing, organizing, remembering what switch turns on what... what is stored where. We are at Oak Harbor Marina, Slip 710.. Come by and have a drink!
Testing, Testing, 1, 2..
29 September 2014
Here we are, back on SailBlogs. Now counting down the weeks till we set sail again. Bookmark us if you would like to follow along. I am also trying to figure out how to link directly to Facebook. Think I got it.
David is taking the boat to be hauled out tomorrow. Jolie is purging, tossing, donating. It's unreal how much can be accumulated in 4 years! Turbodog is watching as we go back & forth to the boat making sure it goes nowhere without him. House-sitters are due to arrive at the very end of October. At that time we will probably live for a week or 2 in Slidell Marina or maybe even Pass Christian to take care of last minute things, say goodbyes and wait for that weather window that allows us to take off in early November.
Had to call the Bahamas today because we are still waiting for Turbodog's permit so we can get him necessary immunizations. I was sounding pretty frantic, I'm sure, and was reminded "It's in the mail, on the way, no worries". Ahh yeah.. can't wait to be back in that frame of mind.
Don't forget to check out the google earth link on the blog.. A cool feature that will take you right down to where we are once we get going.