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.
Nick's Fishing Story
31 October 2019
Nicholas was the grand prize winner in the Louisiana Star Coastal Conservation (CCA) fishing tournament this summer. He won a 2019 Chevy Silverado pickup truck for catching a tagged redfish. He was honored at the CCA awards ceremony in Baton Rouge on October 17. Several family members and friends attended. We had a great time. Congratulations Nick.
Time to Head South
31 October 2019
Summer is over and its time to head south again. Thought it was time to update the blog. We stayed busy and the summer flew by. We spent the first part of the summer finishing Nick's house. After that we started on boat projects.
Our biggest project was reworking the dinghy. David wanted to buy a new one but I talked him into trying to get a little more time out of it so we cleaned and repaired it as best we could.
We hauled the boat and did a quick bottom job. Out on Thursday and back in on Monday.
We also did some work on our house including replacing a couple of windows.
We did find some time to spend with family and friends. Had several good outings with them. Had a last family lunch last week with the family and thought we were ready to go but the weather had other ideas.
We escaped hurricane season with only one storm, Tropical Storm Barry, which was a nonevent The cold fronts have started coming through which usually indicates the storms are over and we can start south.
This past Saturday we had another tropical storm in the gulf. It was supposed to be another nonevent with winds predicted to be 20-25 with 2-4 inches of rain. Instead we were jolted out of bed at 4 am with winds of around 75mph and 7+ inches of rain. The storm collided with a cold front directly over us and became stronger than predicted. The boat did fine but we had some roof damage at our house and lots of limbs down in the yard. Another thing added to our list of things we had to get done before we could leave.
Now the weather is cold (35 degrees tonight) with strong north winds. We are ready to go and are just waiting for the gulf to calm down. Ready to be somewhere warm.