06/15/2013, Tarpon Springs
Hello fellow pirates and pirates at heart!
We left Key West at 3:30 on Thursday afternoon after seeing the sights and getting our pictures taken at the Southernmost Point of Florida. I bought some mermaid trinkets and bathed in the pool by the dinghy docks while Aaron shuttled our provisions and Stan readied Carried Away.
During our sail there was mostly slow wind, only 5-7 knots the first 24 hours but it picked up on Friday night to 11-14 knots with 18 knot gusts. We sailed at a steady 7 knots into the morning. It made for an exciting night watch rotation! As this wast first crossing, I quickly grew accustomed to our watch schedule and sleeping in the cockpit to feel the cool breeze off of the water. Thursday night brought a beautiful blanket of stars and Friday night was gorgeous as you could see the distant lights of the Florida coast.
During the day we brought in at least 10 fish! Aaron was our primary and only reeler! He mostly caught kingfish and tuna. We ate the kingfish and it was decent- Just salty! In one instance, the line tore out brashly! Aaron quickly grabbed the reel and before he could get a single crank in, that sucker had taken off with all the line and snapped it out of the reel! We were so disappointed to never know what that fish/monster/mermaid really was! He/she will go down in infamy as the one that got away!
Around 12:30 pm today we docked in Tarpon Springs at the city marina. Stan took myself and Aaron out to a delicious Authentic Greek meal at a local favorite that the two of them remembered from years back. Aaron and I then explored the local wines, desserts and of course sponges!
Tomorrow we will set sail again and continue the voyage towards Pensacola.
Until next time,
06/04/2013, Conch Harbor Marina
After a hair raising entry to the fuel dock at Placentia we left for a couple of cays on out way to San Pedro to check out of Belize. We first stopped at Lark Cay and tried to snorkel but water was cloudy. We did meet the caretaker of a home on the island who was very interesting. He lives on island 3 months at a time all by himself.
Next day we left and went to Robinson Cay (no pun intended). Peter Robinson collected his first lobster and a lot of shells. The snorkeling was much better. The island is uninhabited so we collected a few coconuts. Enjoyed diving on a sunken boat. Saw many beautiful starfish.
Moved to San Pedro and checked out having to pay $5/day for our stay in Belize. Our plan was to go straight to Isla Muheres but weather started to really deteriorate so we pulled behind an island in Bahia Del Espiritu Santo N19 22.03, W087 31 117 for the evening to get away from increasing wind and seas. So nice to get a good night's sleep.
Found out from Chris Parker that a low was forming on the Pacific side of Mexico and could come into the Yucatan so we decided to book it down to Isla Mujeres. Got there but Chris advised going to Key West immediately and skip trying to go to Pensacola. The ride to Isla was rough and we just anchored long enough to jury rig a broken Baby Stay before proceeding to Key West. Again the sail was mostly rough especially at night when winds got up to 25-30 knots. Of course the wind seems to always be on the nose so we did a lot of motor sailing. We were really getting concerned about having enough fuel to make it. Later the winds changed to our favor and we became a sailboat again.
We arrived yesterday morning in Key West pretty beaten up, tired and foul smelling after 7 days at sea.
Peter and Wick had to rent a car and get back to their jobs today. They have been such great help! I really could not have made this leg without their help. Very sad to see them leave. Will move to an anchorage today and wait out this weather which should be out by Friday. Hope to begin my slog back to Pensacola next week. Son, Aaron, may join me for the trip back to Pensacola mid next week.
Nathan had to leave early to take care of some pressing business problems. Unfortunate but we did get to do some nice snorkeling.
Peter Robinson and Bill Wickham arrived the same day that Nathan left. They brought some much needed boat items. All day yesterday we patched on the headsail and worked on dinghy water and air leaks. A few more things to do but we can do them underway. Got to get these guys out to some cays. We really worked had yesterday. They are great help and i'm truly blessed to have such wonderful friends. A sailor neighbor loaned us a sail sewing machine. It really helped, but nothing is ever easy on boat repair. We had to tightly roll the jib to barely get it in the arm of the machine. Was not a orofessional job but we 'got er done'. We sort a looked liked the Three Stooges.
Wick brought a tracking device, so you may follow us in real time at iboattracker.com s/v Carried Away.
This morning we pick up our propane tanks, fuel and water, and provisions for our trip up Belize and the Yucatan
Just got back to anchorage in Placencia after spending two days with my son, Nathan gunkholing cays nearby.
Saturday we anchored off Lark Cay which was only about 6nm away. Enjoyed snorkeling the island. Together we snorkeled around the whole island. Someone had a deserted cabin there with huge piles of conch shells nearby. We knew they were there but only found one large live one. Speared a couple of pan fish and taught Nathan how to clean conch. Enjoyed a great dinner. That night was extremely rolly making for a restless night thinking the anchor would drag.
Next day we went to another cay, Colson Cay. On approach to the west side all we could see was mangrove swamp. We motored around the island and found a pass going in from the North side. We carefully motored up the pass and anchored in 15 ft of water protected from the NE trade winds. The snorkeling here was superb. We collected two nice lobster and two groupers. As Nathan was cleaning the smaller grouper the bag containing the large grouper fell off the transom. Neither one of us was going after it after creating all that chum. We had been talking about Belize having salt water crocodiles and needless to say.... That meal was also very very good.
Tuesday our friends Peter Robinson and Bill Wickham are flying down and helping me get the boat back to Florida. Really look forward to their arrival. We will gunk hole down Belize and Yucatan to Isla Mujeres where Nathan will catch his flight back.
Arrived at this pretty little fishing village about 2:30pm. Will pick up Nathan here today then Peter and Wick here on the 21st.
Joe leaves us here and the girls will leave just anytime (undecided yet).
05/14/2013, Out island off Belize
Sailed half way to Placentia and stopped at West Snake Cay Which is uninhabited. Michelle and Joyce BBQ'd chicken while Joe and I snorkeled. Water clarity was not very good due to a lot of wave action. We built two fires, one for cooking and one for a bonfire. The no-see-ums (chitras in Spanish) were terrible. After dinner Joe stayed on the beach in his bug proof hammock while we went to the boat. It was rolley but no bugs.
The robbers handiwork keeps showing up. They cut off the tail ends off several Halyards and sheets including the roller reefer and dinghy davits. Very aggravating since the Jib tore at the old seam and can't lower the jib without losing it's halyard in the mast.
Off to Plancentia to pick up son, Nathan, tomorrow.