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Still at Dunedin, Non-travel days, December 21 and 22-2014:

Sunday, Dec. 21st: Spent a quiet day. Went for a walk around Dunedin this morning and watched the Packer game this afternoon; they won 20-3, GO PACKERS! This evening I finally had time to do our Christmas cards, both by regular mail and e-cards. Tha…

Clearwater and Dunedin, FL

Friday, 12-19-2014: We stayed a 2nd day in Clearwater: Had to rest up from the crossing and wait for our mail. It is beautiful here with the temps in the 70’s and sunny. I got caught up on the wash and Keith checked everything out in the engine room in the morning. In the afternoon we walked to Publix’s and went for another walk on the beach at the Pier.  In the evening we went out to dinner at Crabby Bill’s. Keith had his usual; Sea Food steamed bucket; this was the first time he didn’t finish it but it is also good left over. I always have their shrimp dinner; both very good. Yesterday and today where ever we went we ran into Packer fans. They were all over the place. They were all here for the Packer-Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s game this coming Sunday.

Saturday, 12-20-2014: We had a big breakfast and got a late start; about 12:00. Our plan was to anchor out for 2 days and come back on Monday to get our mail. We tried both Dunedin East and West anchorages with no luck. Active Captain said there was plenty of water but we only had 1 foot under our props and there was still 1 foot to go before low tide so we left. We ended up at Marker 1 Marina at Marker 141.5.

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CO’s comment: Anchoring in skinny water is a problem when you have a large, comfortable boat. I will take comfort over anchorage any day. I am used to 8 or 9 feet under the keel when anchoring although we have done with less. Tides are the problem in Florida..

12-20-2014: Our Christmas Tree

12-20-2014: Our neighbor across the dock is really lit up for Christmas

December 17 and 18, 2014 – Crossing the Gulf of Mexico

Wednesday AM the 17th; low tide was at 07:06 so we waited for the tide to come up some before leaving Apalachicola and got going by 10:00. As it was, we only had about 3 feet of water under our props. The water was pretty skinny until we made the 90 degree turn to our port just outside of Apalachicola. After that, all was good. 32 miles later we got to Carrabelle by 13:00. It was a beautiful day and the seas were calm so we put on 200 gallons of diesel and visited with another boat about crossing the Gulf.

Wednesday afternoon on the 17th and Thursday the 18th: The weather was perfect so we were on our way across the Gulf by 14:45. We went a total of 175 miles in 18 hours. It was a perfect crossing. So good we were able to cut 3 hours off our trip by going straight across from R26 to the marker at Clearwater Harbor. Sun set and sun rise on the Gulf were both beautiful and the night was full of stars. We couldn’t have asked for a better night. When we got to Clearwater at 08:45 we put on another 100 gallons of diesel and got set up in our slip. Keith washed the boat and I took a little nap after putting everything back in place. Later we went for a walk down to the Pier and to one of our favorite restaurants for “Grouper Cheeks” and a drink (or two). Ah, life is good!

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CO’s comment:  In the past we had received weather briefings from Tom Conrad but this year he retired.  We got to Carrabelle expecting to get a weather briefing from Buddy and we found he retired also, went hunting, and hasn’t looked back.  Therefore, the weather interpretation and the decision to go was left entirely up to us.  We made our own decision and had one of the best crossings we have had in the last 5 years. 

12-17-2014: Sun set on the Gulf of Mexico

12-18-2014: Just before sun rise on the Gulf of Mexico

12-18-2014: Sun rise on the Gulf of Mexico

12-19-2014: Kim Jo IV (in middle and in back) docked at Clearwater Municipal Marina from the Causeway Bridge

 
12-19-2014: Sun rise at the Pier in Clearwater, FL

Apalachicola, FL, City dock

Monday, December 15, 2014: Another beautiful, calm, day on the water. It was 50 degrees and sunny when we started out at 07:30; the sun was so bright it was hard to see the buoys. We went 20 miles on East Bay and it was very smooth with barely a ripp…

Pearl Bayou anchorage

Sunday, December 14, 2014: Another beautiful day. Got a later start after pumping out at the free city pump-out. Choctawatchee Bay was calm with a very light chop. It took us 3 hours to go across the bay. We got to Panama City and to our anchorage in decent time averaging 11 mph. We listened to the Packer game on line radio station while under way; they played the Bills and lost 13 to 21.

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CO’s comments. Another very good anchorage.

 

12-14-2014: Pearl Bayou anchorage

Free Dock at Fort Walton Beach


Saturday, December 13, 2014: It took a long time to bring the anchor up this morning. It was full of mud and took 20 minutes to bring it up. We got going about 07:35. Love this part of the trip as we see lots of dolphins. Got some good video of them jumping our wake but I can’t get the video to work on the blog.. We got to our tie up at Fort Walton Beach Free City dock by 13:30. Had a quick lunch and went to Public’s to pick up a few groceries. The city had their Christmas Boat parade tonight so we got to watch another one; tis the season.
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CO’s comments. It took us extra long to get the anchor up today because of the mud that was caked on the rode. By the time I got the anchor to water level, I could see there was at least 30 pounds on it. It took us about 1/4 mile dragging it in the water to get it washed off; good anchor.

12-13-2014: Sun rise at Ingram Bayou

12-13-2014: Christmas tree at Fort Walton Beach

Dog River Marina to Ingram Bayou Anchorage

Friday, December 12, 2014: Very calm morning on Mobile Bay. Got going by 06:25 with a outgoing mid tide. Had plenty of water under us; at least for the bay; about 4′ on average. It took us 50 minutes to go from the marina to the shipping channel. Then it took 2 hours to go from the shipping channel to R124 on the ICW and then another hour and 15 minutes to go from R124 to Lu Lu’s restaurant for lunch. Had a fabulous lunch of crab claws, shrimp, and clams. After passing Lu Lu’s by for the last 5 years we decided to stop and we enjoyed it. After lunch we went another hour and 10 minutes to our anchorage at Ingram Bayou, Mile 164.0 on the ICW. This is one of our favorite anchorages; so peaceful and quiet. We got here about 13:30 and just relaxed the rest of the day.

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CO’s comments.  Wonderful to back on the water.  Bow thrusters are nice to have, but if you know your boat, you can get along without one. 

12-12-2014: Sun rise on Mobile Bay

12-12-2014: Lunch at Lu Lu’s

12-12-2014: Lu Lu’s collect for Toys for Tots, a good organization

12-12-2014: A portable bow thruster for tows, helps them make the sharp turns on the ICW

December 1 through 12, 2014

Monday the 1st through Thursday the 11th::

After spending 3 weeks in Minnesota and Wisconsin we drove back to the boat and go here on December 1st, The boat was still on the hard but they still let us stay on her. We both came back with colds; the first ones in over 6 years.

Last Saturday they had a “Parade of Boats” that went right by us in the Marina. There were about 30 boats and they all threw out candy and beads. It was a fun time. We can’t remember how many times we have been in Mobile and talked about going to tour the USS Alabama and since we had time on our hands we toured in last Sunday. On Tuesday the 9th, our good friends on RoyEl came into the Marina. They were traveling with a crew of 3 and we all went out to dinner and had a great time.

We were still waiting on Dog River to fix our bow thruster and they were having trouble finding parts and figuring out exactly what is wrong with it. We decided it was time to go so we had them put it back together and we will worry about that at another time.

CO;s comments:  If you need maintenance, Dog River is the place to go.  They are very, very fair and honest and easy to deal with.

12-1-2014: Kim Jo IV on the hard

12-5-2014: Kim Jo IV going back into the water

12-6-2014: Our Christmas Wreath from Don and Amy, thanks, it looks good.

12-6-2014: Christmas Parade on Dog River

12-7-2014: USS Alabama

 

12-10-2014: RoyEl leaving Dog River

Honor our Vets today and always

Semper Fi – Happy Birthday 239th my Sweetheart and the US Marine Corp