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 20 Final Stop

23 October 2011 | Marco Island
Chris/ Need I say More
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.

It's yet another perfect day. Sun, warm air, light breezes are what we have as we leave Clearwater behind us. The seas are calm. Where was this when we had an anchor down for 12 hours.

We make our way south into nothing but sunshine. Naples is only 120 miles away, in a straight line. But early on we come to realize 'straight line' does not apply. We're dodging lobster and crab pod buoys right away. Soon the Sunshine Skyway is in sight. It's pretty impressive, even from this distance.

Before long we're slowing down from 30 knots to picture taking speed. As we go by Anna Maria Island, Bob and I compare notes on our visits to, and thoughts about, AMI and Holmes Beach. After seeing how over developed Clearwater has become, I see why Bob and JoJo, and my mother appreciate Anna Maria as they do. I manage, from three or so miles out, to get some good pictures of Playa Encantada, The Sandbar, Martinique, and Bob's place before we power up again.

Before coming back up to speed, we put Bob behind the wheel. He looks awfully comfortable there. We may never get him off the helm. He begins bobbing (no pun intended) and weaving around the numerous pod buoys. He's still got it.

For the next several hours we're involved in a slalom race on the water. You look to the horizon and it appears to be nothing but open water and the autopilot, but it turns out to be more like the river system we left behind Friday than imaginable. If it weren't for our love of crab and lobster, we'd be really annoyed by all these pods.

To say we're annoyed is, though, simply not true. It's incredibly exciting and fun to drive a boat this big and responsive through crab pod fields at 30 knots. It's really a rush, and we're all feeling mighty lucky.

We're making such good time that we consider blowing right by Naples. A couple phone calls to the marinas there make for an easy decision. Despite what the cruising guide says, there are no marinas in Naples that have enough depth, length, and diesel for us. We're going to have to push on to Marco Island. No sacrifice there. That just means more fun on the slalom course.

We get to Rose Marco River Marina around 4:00. It's a ways into the harbor, which is real shallow, now, at low tide. Leaving in the morning will be much easier, when the tide is up. We fuel up putting 619 gallons in the tanks. We ease forward to our dock for the night. After some work and then relaxation, we get ready for dinner. There's a small Tiki restaurant within walking distance.

We have another relaxing start tomorrow as we'll wait until 9 and the rising tide to depart on our final day of the trip. Tomorrow we will be in Fort Lauderdale and will have covered just over than 3000 miles. At this point I think we're all both relieved and disappointed it will be over, but mostly relieved. Here's to a great last day.
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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