Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Destin










The cold wet dinghy ride






from our ancorage






Coming into Destin
















Pictures Pensacola to Destin

















Pensacola to Destin

We need our thermals for the 8:15 departure from the dock, by 9:15 we are back in the Gulf with calm seas and a HI sitting over us. Clear blue skies & for the next hour we are entertained by the Blue Angels as they practice their maneuvers. What a show! We were able to motor sail to start, but with the light winds we had to roll the sails up. Later in the afternoon the winds picked back up and we were able to sail again, it also warmed up so we were able to shed a few layers of clothes. Beautiful blue waters as we are coming into Destin. We had called ahead to check on the depth going in the entrance to Old Pass Lagoon and were relieved to hear it reported as 14 feet. We found it much lower but were still able to get in only finding one shoal that we were able to back right off of. We have found with sand you have to back off UN-like the mud in Galveston Bay that you can usually plow through. By 5 PM we are anchored, got the dinghy out to go for a cold wet ride around the lagoon. Not any visible / obvious dinghy docks & since we do not want to go to dinner wet & cold we dine on board. Wednesday = another beautiful day. Take it easy in the morning then after lunch take the dinghy over to the beach on the lagoon side & take a nice long walk down the beach on the gulf side. BEAUTIFUL white sand & blue water, put my feet in but too cold to go in any further. Back at the boat later in the day Steve fixes a fuel gage that is stuck on full, not an easy thing to get to OR to fix but he does it. We feel much better knowing the correct amount of fuel we have, still 3/4 full but we will be doing another long leg soon from Panama City to Clearwater so wanted to have an accurate reading. SEE PICTURES in two other blogs

Monday, March 29, 2010

2nd day in Pensacola

Monday 3/28 , we pull up anchor and the white sand just falls right off the anchor, NO need for the wash down pump :). Out from the cove & up the Bay to the town of Pensacola, we knew we could not get under the bridge to Pensacola Beach and the 2 marina's before the bridge looked depth challenging so we came into the town Palafox marina. We were a little worried about the strong north wind & how that would affect docking at the marina but once closer to land it cut the wind a little and it actually helped push us up to the bulkhead, just hope the light wind prediction for tomorrow is correct so we can get off the bulkhead as I am sure some TMCA folks can relate to. Not much to the "downtown" area of Pensacola but we went for a long walk through town and had a nice lunch than back to the boat to wash the salt spray off and do laundry from our clothes we had on for the 3 day cruise over. Than another long walk back out for dinner. Tomorrow we are heading for Destin. Hope to soon learn how to put pictures in with the blog I am writing instead of doing them on a separte blog.

Pictures from Pensacola


coming into the anchorage

Sunset


relaxing after 3 days at sea





still bundled up from being off shore








Sunday, March 28, 2010

video

Leaving the Dock & Kemah

Leaving the Dock / Kemah
Thursday 3/25/2010 is a beautiful clear brisk day as we pull away from our house and dock at 10:20 AM heading to the fuel dock. After topping off with 90+ gallons of diesel we sail under the Kemah Bridge & past restaurant row for the last time at 11 AM. Put the sails up at marker 5 but since the wind is right behind us the main comes down soon and we are under way with the full jib out making 6-7 knots with the tides help. Dolphin escort out the Galveston jetties, & at 2:45 PM we are outside the jetties wind & tide still behind us. We are bundled up with the 65⁰ temperature; a lot of ships (33) anchored waiting to go into port. An hour later we pass into GREEN water, now wing on wing, still doing 6-7 knots, we have altered course a little to go via the shipping fairways instead of through the oil rig mines. 6:30 PM Carnival cruise ship Ecstasy passes us. 9 PM rolled up the main that is now blanketing the jib, doing 7-8 knots w/ just the jib. Early morning hours reefed the jib and put out a reefed main, flying along with following seas. Friday 3/26 morning is overcast with the sun trying to burn through; we leave the fairways heading towards next waypoint. Wind is now over the forward beam & we are in beautiful blue/green water 260+ feet deep. By noon the wind and the tide have both slowed down so we turn the engine on and are now motor sailing. By 2 the sun is finally warmed us up some but we are in for another cold night. By 5 pm the wind has shifted to on the nose so sails are rolled up and we are motoring through the night. Saturday 3/27 2 AM the winds picked up so sails are up & motor is off the silence is welcomed. Morning brings a beautiful sunshine day & we are flying towards the mouth of the Mississippi in calmer seas, depth reader does not go that high 600+ feet I am told. The winds die down for a short time during the late afternoon then pick back up later in the day. During the night winds are up to 25 knots & we are double reefed in both sails beating into 2 foot waves BUT still moving along at 8-9 + knots, a bounce ride but the boat & crew handle it all well. Early morning hours winds & waves finally calm down. Sunday morning we are approaching the Pensacola channel, 500 miles & three days later we have arrived at the first stop of our journey. We find a great little cove to anchor in, right inside the channel off the ICW surrounded by white sand barrier reefs. We have a nice relaxing lunch, shower & relax in afternoon with dolphins playing around the boat. An occasional Air Force jet & the Blue Angels flying overhead make for a great contrast to our peaceful surroundings. It has been a great first passage. Tomorrow we will go to a marina in town & check out Pensacola J

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Taking everything out of the fore peak storage room to fix water maker
Normally we step UP onto the boat from the dock, NOT jump down onto her.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 1 - Stuck in the Mud










Our departure plan was to leave on the back of a strong norther that came through Saturday, but Sunday found us deep in the mud in the canal behind our house, because the norther was so strong it blew all the water out of the bay and the canal. Water depth in the canal is normally 8-9 feet, but the strong north winds dropped it by 4-5 feet, leaving our keel with our 6.25 ft draft a foot or two in the mud. We weren't going anywhere, and Monday morning the water was even lower. We finally started floating Monday around 4-5 PM. During our delay we had another alarm on the water maker, so the time was put to good use getting that issue resolved. It also allowed us to slow our pace down and not exhaust ourselves finishing loading the boat and cleaning the house. Those tasks are now complete a few things onboard need to find a home but 99 % we are ready to go. Now we get to monitor the weather window. Our next shot will be Thursday afternoon AFTER this next front comes through we will try to follow right behind it catching some of the northwest wind coming with it. The next concern will be another cold front coming in Sunday we will need to watch that to see if our 4 day window to Pensacola will be affected. As anxious as we are to get this new life started we do not want to start it the wrong way so we are waiting for the right conditions, hopefully that will be this Thursday. But we have the next 7 to 10 years so if we need to wait a few more days we will.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Almost Ready

Well we had great intentions that we could get EVERYTHING ready in these last two weeks since I have been off from work. After our fifth garage sale we have boxed up all the left overs and are waiting for a pick up from a charity organization. My Sister Carol & dear friend Gina hosted a fabulous Bon Voyage party on Saturday March 6th. It was wonderful to see & be able to say "goodbye" to so many great friends. This past week has been crazy with so many things to do it felt like we were not making any progress. Than FINALLY today a lot came together and we can see light at the end of the tunnel. The boat is 85 % packed !! Things are actually fitting & I sure love those vacuum seal bags to put clothes in & be able to stuff them up against the bulkhead. Still have 3 big pieces of furniture we are hoping to sell this week before they have to get donated to charity &, will be putting the cars up for sale tomorrow. Our goal is to have everything on board & the house EMPTY & cleaned by Friday. Than weather permitting we will leave on Saturday March 21st. Will keep you posted & will try to post some pictures :)