Saturday, November 25, 2017

Crossing the Big Bend–Carrabelle to Steinhatchee

Day 219 … Sat, Nov 25, 2017 … 79.8 miles, 9:15 hours

C-Quarters, Carrabelle to Sea Hag, Steinhatchee, FL

Stienhatchie N25 (36)Finally, after 9 days of waiting for a good weather window, it is time to leave Carrabelle. It is going to be a long day of travel and we are starting early so we will be able to dock again before dark.Stienhatchie N25 (1)Stienhatchie N25 (2)Stienhatchie N25 (10)

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Mick on Phantom headed out first, then 4 of us went together; Lab Partners, Kia Mae, Lady North & The Penny Carol. We lead the way going NORTH of Dog Island. Rip thought about going north of Dog Island so he spoke with Russell of Tow Boat US (who works out of C-Quarters) and Mick on Phantom (who had done this route before), this cut of 4 miles of travel versus using East Pass; which in trawler time is about a half an hour. In Dog Potty time … every little bit helps get Cally to shore faster.

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Before long, Lady North passes us and heads off faster than us.

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An uneventful trip. We lead off north of Dog Island, but followed the AIS track of Phantom (thanks Mick) across Dog Island Reef. Then we started spacing ourselves apart, but Kia Mae stayed closest and are going to the same marina tonight.

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Eventually we saw the west coast of Florida come into view and then the marked channel into Steinhatchee and Sea Hag Marina. A lot of fishing boats dart in and out of the channel; we cannot leave the channel.

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Steinhatchee was hit hard by Hurricane Irma on Sept 2nd of this year. There is a mark on the office door showing how high the water rose … it was up to my chin. I am amazed they are up & running so soon. Here’s a link to pics of the area around Sea Hag Marina right after Irma.

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The marina staff didn’t answer their VHF calls from us, as we approached the docks. We were right by the tee head (where you see us in pics) when they ran out & motioned us to this spot. Once tied up they said they had to check if that was our spot. Then, proceeded to tell us we should go into the slip next to us; Kia Mae was assigned the tee head. We needed the tee for Cally’s ramp and could see Kia Mae coming and said no thanks, we will switch with Kia Mae. They can go straight into the slip & we will stay put. That worked great; we didn’t have to move and Kia Mae fit just as well in that slip as we would have. Winner, winner. Nice to have nice friends who get it! We all just laughed that we stole their slip.

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Cally was great!! She didn’t ask to go potty once while we were under way or getting tied up to the dock … she sure was ready to go when I got her ramp out!!

Not a great place to walk a dog, no grass at the marina, so we walked by the street. Not a busy street and the north side was ok for her, but the south side had lots of sand spurs … and they hurt her paw pads. She stops immediately upon being poked by one, lifts her paw and waits for me to take it out.

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All in all a great day to travel across the Gulf of Mexico!! A beautiful sunset; we are all 3 tired and in bed early.

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Tomorrow, off to Cedar Key. Kia Mae and the others (without dogs on board) will probably travel farther than us.