Friday, November 10, 2017

WOW … that was Close. Too Close!!

Day 204 … Fri, Nov 10, 2017 … 35.1 miles … 4:30 hours

English Navy Cove to Fort Walton Beach

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (14)Off east we go … scenery similar all day on the GICW; dunes to our south with the Gulf of Mexico on the other side. When there is a bridge crossing from mainland to the barrier islands there is a lot of commercial & residential property. FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (2)

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (4)

On the mainland (north side of Santa Rosa Sound) we passed today, the scene is consistently residential.

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (3)

Several narrow areas to transit today. The first area, we see a tow waiting.

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (5)Rip guesses he is waiting on a tow to exit before entering the narrow passage as they can’t pass safely especially with turns. So, we slow down to wait, too. We do pass the waiting tow as we are faster than him, so we go first as to not have to pass him later. FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (7)As the west bound tow comes out of the last turn into wider water, Rip hails him on VHF for passing instructions. We are cleared to pass and he thanks us for waiting, as”this area isn’t to be messed with”.

THEN … we are faced with another tow coming out of a narrow passage. Rip slows so we meet him in a wider area; hails him on the VHF and is told to “pass on the 1’s”. That means we pass port to port (left sides). The tow should hug the red buoys and we will hug the green buoys. EXCEPT, as we get closer and closer … we see the tow is fighting wind or current or both and there isn’t going to be room to pass between him and the green buoy. There is a sand bar and 1’ water outside of the green buoy; NOT an option! Rip slows & threads the needle down the side of the tow. The aft/stern of the last barge HITS the green buoy we are supposed to go between it and the tow. The stern of the tug pushing the barge clears the green buoy and we slip past …. pics below.

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (10)FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (11)


Not sure how he thought we could fit between him and the green buoy when he HIT the buoy. Gees. GREAT job RIP!!

I didn’t take pics of the barge hitting the green buoy as I didn’t want to distract Rip.

This floating restaurant/jet ski rental shop is right by the dock tonight. I wanted to go over in the dinghy for Mexican … just because we could; but, we have too much food on board (that needs to be eaten) to eat out.

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (12)Our stop today is Fort Walton Beach town docks … FREE!! FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (26)A nice park for Cally and, should we chose Publix grocery store and restaurants within walking distance.

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (17)FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (18)FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (20)FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (23)FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (24)

Cute statue at the park.

Ice Cream truck came to the park … DESSERT!!

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (1)

Lab Partners as rest at the dock tonight!

FtWaltonBeach Nov10 (27)