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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Cedar Key, Anchor

This night will make it 9 nights on the hook in a row. A record for us.

We waited for the blow to do its thing. Even this morning it was still a little windy. Since we didn't have far to get to Cedar Key we held off until 11 am to make the trip. Moreover, turns out that a north wind will blow the water right out of the river. We saw really low lows during the last 2 days. Research told Russ that the gulf itself was about 2 feet lower than normal. So waiting also let us leave near a higher tide. That plan worked wonderfully.

See the lower left box? That's depth. As in
1.8 feet! (It got as low as 1.2)
It's about 60 minutes to get down the Crystal River to the gulf then another 30 to get out where you can clear the man-made dredged channel. Some of that is crazy skinny. Then you run on a vector towards the islands for about an hour. Or so we thought.

Nice day to be out on the water. Albeit nippy.
As Russ piloted I looked ahead on our chart plotter. I commented that I saw depths of 1 foot where we were heading. I mentioned it to Russ, who took a closer look, then started to read about Cedar Key and their shoals. All writeups mention that you need to use the big channel. That was on the other side of the island. We diverted course.

The center of "town", Cedar Key
Just because it's the recommended channel doesn't mean anyone has made it easy to navigate. There's some serious twists, and one u-turn maneuver you need to make. Depths were wonderful, but you seriously needed to stay in the channel.

Some quick highlights of Crystal River:

MANATEE! They are such a thing that the town has a number of
tours to view and dive with them. Apparently, manatee love CR.

At one point we needed pumped out and some water.
The city has a pump out boat, which was handy, but
to get water we needed to go to Pete's Pier. 
We moved to a better spot when we returned, which was
a good thing given the water dropped 2 feet. 
It was deeper where the sailboats anchored.

April Fools! The blow came, dropping temps. 
We went from highs of 85 to lows of 42.

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