Foggy beginning to the Gulf crossing
25 January 2008 | Tampa
Day 12 - Wednesday, 1-23-08 - Carrabelle to Southward Track in the Gulf of Mexico
It was fog this time that delayed our departure. We had planned a 6 am departure but waited until 7:30 and then very slowly made our way out of the Carrabelle River with Roger on the bow sighting markers. We were followed out by several couples in motor vessels, which based on the radio conversations we monitored, seemed very confused in the fog. Once we were in the bay Sara stood on the bow and Jean manned the fog horn. We decided the visibility was too poor to make it comfortably through East Pass into the Gulf so we pulled out of the channel and anchored for about half an hour until the fog burned off. The Pass goes by Dog Island, which is accessible only by boat. The houses were sparse, but quite nice.
Sara took half a Bonine to stave off seasickness and slept almost the entire day. She woke just in time to see several pods of dolphins playing around the boat. Some were huge and were speckled dark and light grey. There were quite a few babies who seemed to be almost pasted to their mommies.
The Gulf was actually fairly calm. In fact, the guys were disappointed the winds were too light to sail. They did motor sail at times but it looks like this blue water crossing will be made mostly by diesel rather than sail. We essentially had the Gulf to ourselves, only spotting a sailboat about 6 miles to the northeast of us. The water was a beautiful green. It does seem strange not to be able to see land.
As evening approached, we rigged for night sailing requiring each sailor on deck to wear a PFD and tether themselves to one of the jack lines or to a strong fixed point on the boat. Sara took a turn on the wheel and headed for bed .... again! The guys set up to take turns throughout the night. They hoped for a clear moonlit night, but the cloud cover was unremitting. (SBS)