When we retired for the evening we were thinking of a place nearby where we could hunker down for the next storm. Lots of rain and wind was predicted for the next 4 days to a week. (Secretly, Russ had this idea about just getting to Longboat Key, but kept it to himself).
When we woke Russ calculated the run to Gulf Port, which was about 4 1/2 hours. However, if we went outside, we could be in LBK in 5 1/2 - 6 hours.
So, guess what we did.
Winds were up, higher than predicted, but they came largely from the E of NE, and since we ran along the coast they got almost no fetch. The whole way down was very smooth and very comfortable. Gone was the sun and blue sky, but the water was kind.
Hmmmm... what do they say about red sky in the morning again?
We knew that meant a bit of bump on the Tampa Bay, since it's a large body of water that runs NE. Once we turned the corner we definitely got some stiffer waves right on the beam. So we tacked a bit, taking them on the quarter bow, then tacked back once we got to the official ICW path across the bay. We rocked a little, but overall it was a great ride. And it lasted about 30 minutes in total.
Once back on the ICW the biggest challenge was getting under the 2 bridges that blocked us from our home port, both of which we could get under without hailing the operators once we dropped our antennae and radar mount.
There you have it! The Great American River Cruise is officially over.
Most of the day was like this. Gray, with buildings on the shore.
We plan on taking some shorter trips around here, maybe to Boca Grande, or Fort Meyers, or Tampa. But our next big cruise will start sometime in February. Currently we're thinking loop #2 of the Great Loop -- get that fancy platinum burgee. But it depends on how Covid shakes out, and if we'll be welcome into Canada by that time.
Right now it just feels good to have made it back. We got to New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. We call that some successful boating.
MOVIES! (from yesterday)
We've gotten comfortable with a night run. Good thing, too, with the shorter days of winter. This is a bit jiggy getting out. Then about 3 miles of straight before we can turn. And you CANNOT turn sooner.
You can tell it's "beamy" from the jiggy horizon. It's not our favorite way to travel.
Sadly it doesn't show too well in the vid, but if you watch the sun you'll see us constantly changing course. Crab pots are mentally exhausting.
We're in a narrow channel and this guy passes us at speed. No radio hail, no horn. We hailed him to ask why the fast pass, and he didn't bother to answer. So, don't be this guy.
Welcome back "home". Fun year of cruising with some great ports of call. Absolutely enjoyed following along.ReplyDelete
Congrats on making it back home. Sounds like a great trip. I miss the rhythm and routine of crusing. Even if the R&R is planning around weather, route changes and wind strategy. Its all an adventure. Hope to catch up with you on your way through here next year. Need more beer posts next year :)ReplyDelete
Trish and Jamie