Chris and Bud's Excellent Adventure

Vessel Name: sidebandit
Vessel Make/Model: OP 75
Hailing Port: Rochester, NY
Crew: Bud, Chris, Bob, and Mike, and JC
About: Two Sailors, an Uncle, and a Pilot, and a guy from th U.
Extra: Somewhere near Peoria we pick up JC. He's a licensed captian from Miami (who went to Miami University, the U).
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale
23 October 2011 | Marco Island
22 October 2011 | Clearwater
21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico
20 October 2011 | Pensacola
19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS
18 October 2011 | Columbus, MS
17 October 2011 | Grand Harbor Tennessee
16 October 2011 | Green Turtel Bay
15 October 2011 | Hobbie's Marina
14 October 2011 | Grafton
14 October 2011 | Peroria, IL
12 October 2011 | Seneca, IL
12 October 2011 | Hammond, IN
10 October 2011
10 October 2011 | Chicago
08 October 2011 | Betsie Bay, Frankfort, MI
07 October 2011 | Mackinaw City
Recent Blog Posts
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale

Day Twenty (d)one

Day 21 Monday October, 24 We push away from the dock on what is supposed to be our last day of the trip at 9:00. It has rained overnight, but appears it will be yet another delightful day for us. (I'm not really fan of the word delightful, but I've grown tired of writing beautiful and perfect and [...]

23 October 2011 | Marco Island

Day 20 Final Stop

Day 20 Sunday October 23 Up early, because it's what we do now, but instead of leaving in the dark, we have a delicious and relaxing breakfast aboard the boat while we await the tide. After cleaning up, we're underway at 9:45.

22 October 2011 | Clearwater

Day 18 Part Two

Day 18 (continued) Saturday, October 22 .....Only serves to make us stronger. The second sunrise of our Day 18 looks a lot like the sunset did. As the sun is rising we get word from the Coast Guard that Tow Boat US has dispatched two boats and that they should get to us around 8:00. At 8:30 they arrive. After [...]

21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico

Crossing the Gulf?

Day 18 Friday, October 21 We're up before the sun again and we follow a barge out the channel to the Gulf. By the time we actually enter the Gulf, the sun is rising. We get to the open water and pick up the pace.

20 October 2011 | Pensacola

Day 17 Leaving the River System

Day 17 Thursday October 20 We're up and ready to leave by 5:00, but again commercial traffic at our first lock keeps us at the dock. It's cold, 36 degrees, and foggy. So foggy you can't see the opposite shore. You can barely see the bow from the stern. But if you look up, there are stars everywhere. [...]

19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS

Bobby's Fish Camp

Day 16 Wednesday, October 19 Up at 5:00 and talking with the Lockmaster at Columbus Lock. He's got an upbound tug in the lock, so our 5:30 gets pushed out a little. After a relaxing cup of coffee we push away from the dock at 5:45 and head for our first dark lock in.

Day 18 Part Two

22 October 2011 | Clearwater
Chris/ and more of the same
Day 18 (continued) Saturday, October 22 .....Only serves to make us stronger. The second sunrise of our Day 18 looks a lot like the sunset did. As the sun is rising we get word from the Coast Guard that Tow Boat US has dispatched two boats and that they should get to us around 8:00. At 8:30 they arrive.

After securing the starboard shaft, we're ready to get towed. The two outboard boats, each with twin 200 hp engines can make about 4.9 knots with us in tow, and still keep us where they want us. The captain of Tow 1 radios back to us to sit back and enjoy the ride. He continues with, "We have only one rule, you stay behind us."

The trip into Clearwater is, in fact, sort of enjoyable. It's a beautiful day again, and even doing 5 knots makes the seas far more tolerable. We see more dolphins and plenty of fishermen. We also see my first tailwalk. It's a marlin or more likely a sailfish, coming out of the water and dancing on his tail. I never knew before this that they did that when not fighting a fishing line. It was very cool to see.

After a few hours a third Tow Boat US boat shows up and does a fuel transfer with Tow 1. They appear to be very competent. Then the third boat stars taking pictures. We wonder where those will end up.

As we get near to shore we start to see a lot of sail boats. With us in tow, the Tow Boat US guys cross a sailboat race. Ordinarily, I'll side with sailors, but in this case, it becomes obvious that some don't completely understand the rules of the road, and when sail boats don't have the right of way. Evasive maneuvers by the Tow1 are required at one point to avoid collision.

The boats change position as we start under the causeway bridge at the entrance to the pass into the Clearwater area. One moves behind us to act as a brake and a rudder as we get into tighter quarters. And a third boat, that same one that hours ago brought out additional fuel, acts a traffic cop keeping boats away from us. He's kind of like the motorcycle cop escorting a funeral procession.

As we approach the Clearwater Municipal Marina, we become the center of attention. Everybody wants to see what is going on. And as it's a Saturday, there are plenty of spectators around.

When we get to the marina wall the tow guys do an excellent job easing us into position. They line us up parallel to the wall, but a ways away in a breeze now on our forward quarter. Then they throw the middle of the tow line to guys on the wall. Those guys put it over a cleat so it goes from our bow, around the cleat (just half way, not wrapped around), and continues to the tow boat. That allows the boat to go forward, away from the wall, and still draw us into the wall (and the wind in this case). I wouldn't have thought of it, so that it's a good lesson in boat handling. It was as smooth a docking as any. They did a great job, and we were on solid ground.

We fuel up (1421 gallons) and pump out. Then we get the generator and both engines running again. All is well. We move to the slip we'll spend the night in, and get ready for dinner. We are joined by Carol, Mike's mom, for dinner at Crabby Bill's. Two day has been long. Tomorrow, day 20, will be easy. Only going 120 miles to Naples and we have to wait until 9:00 and high tide to leave.
Comments
sidebandit's Photos - Main
Ft Lauderdale and the River Boat Show
53 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Marco to Lauderdale
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Clearwater, Anna Maria Island, and Marco Island
47 Photos
Created 24 October 2011
Day 18 and 19 going to Clearwater.
62 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The Bay, the Gulf, and Florida
38 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The riverfront of Mobile, AL
88 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Clear sailing, so to speak, to Mobile
33 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Leaving Bobbie's Fish Camp and Heading For Mobile.
23 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
From Demopolis to Bobbie's
34 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Lunch and a tug tour
19 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
The early part of a day that started slowly.
73 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
A day that could have been much longer.
117 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee River is in lake mode again.
41 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee becomes a lake again.
32 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Now it's a River.
53 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The first half is lake like.
29 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Off the Ohio and into the Tennessee
20 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
78 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Leaving Hobbies Early And Heading For The Ohio
18 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Beyond St. Louis to Hobbie's
16 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
40 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
75 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
73 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our one cloudy day so far.
87 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
The second part of the day, after leaving the Calumet
85 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our first day off the Great Lakes
54 Photos
Created 16 October 2011
Leaving Chitown and heading for the Calumet
28 Photos
Created 12 October 2011
Leaving Frankfort, Arriving Chicago, Burnham Marina, and Chicago
115 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Leaving Mackinaw City to Frankfort
102 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
69 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Mid River and Detroit
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
23 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Pictures of The Wellend,
53 Photos
Created 9 October 2011

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