Madisonville to Marathon
19 November 2019
We left Marina Beau Chene on Saturday Nov. 2 and moved down to the town dock in Madisonville in order to get an early start on Sunday. Nick came over Saturday night and we all went and had pizza. We left Madisonville around 7 am and made it to Cat Island late afternoon. Nick and Mickey came by in their fishing boat "Double Trouble" as we were heading through the Rigolets and gave us a last goodbye.
We had a calm night at Cat and left again at daylight. With the short days we weren't sure how far we would get but pushed on and anchored in Bon Secour Bay for our second night. Traveling daylight til dark we made it to Navarre Beach the next night, then on to Panama City the next day where we anchored in Smack Bayou to wait out another front.
While in Smack we decided to launch the dinghy and take a tour of the area to assess Hurricane Michael damage. St. Andrews marina is open for fuel but has no slips available for transients while they rebuild. The City marina is completely wiped out. There were cranes cleaning out the basin, removing all docks, pilings etc. They said they plan to rebuild but it will be a while.
After the front passed we moved on down to Apalachicola for a night. On Sunday Nov 10 we headed offshore. The forecast was for winds around 10 knots, seas about 1-2 feet with calming as the day progressed. As per usual this did not happen. We had winds around upper teens all day which increased to over 20 knots during the nights. Seas were around 3-4 ft on the nose with a swell running on the beam so it made for a rough night. By Monday morning we were within sight of land just north of Tampa Bay and were able to head south along the shore which made the waves much smaller. The wind decreased much of the day and the rest of the trip was nice. We kept pressing on, taking advantage of the calm weather. Another front was forecast to come through on Tuesday night, the one that dropped the temps in LA into the 20's, so we definitely wanted to be in Marathon before it arrived.
We made it into Boot Key Harbor, Marathon at 4pm on Tuesday. When we called the marina there were no moorings our size available but we could sign in and be first on the wait list. We found a place to anchor, had dinner, and were asleep before dark. 56 hours of continuous travel had us exhausted, especially with the first 24 so rough.
We signed in the next morning on the wait list and were at anchor until Saturday when one became available. We will probably be here through Christmas so Nick can come visit.