Well 'tis the season for coughs and colds and packing the car up ready to travel!! We will be heading to the frozen north for Christmas to visit the oldest daughter in Tennessee for Christmas. I just wanted to wish all my friends that read this a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
We will be starting to plan our next trip once we are back - likely Bahamas bound. However - there are a couple of big projects to do before we head out. I am adding additional solar to the boat and have about collected all the parts and fabricated the pieces to put it together. The dinghy needs chaps.....so a big sewing project and we have hopes of getting an enclosure made......but that one may not happen for now. We will see.
But for anyone watching the videos of our transatlantic trip - here is a link to the next episode, which is Episode 6. This one covers our time in Funchal, Madeira and our trip to Cape verde in preparation for the longest leg - the Atlantic Crossing. The Atlantic crossing will be Episode 7 and I hope to have that released over Christmas. Hope you enjoy!
It is November 15, 2019 and we are currently in the quaint Florida town of Apalachicola. We came here as a "cruise" from Point Yacht Club. Details of the cruise are below. Unfortunately due to weather concerns, a few boats dropped out, but none the less, 4 boats made it to our destination. We experienced a strong cold front which the weatherman called an "Arctic Front" bringing gusty winds from the north (we measured 22-34 kts). But we bundled up, reefed the sails and had a great (and fast) sail.
All boats made it safely and we are having a great time!
Episode 5 of Transatlantic Trip
Episode 5 of out Transatlantic trip is now available on YouTube, or click on the image below. In this episode, we take the boat from Cascais, Portugal to Funchal Madeira.
I have started to upload videos of our transatlantic trip on YouTube. I am planning to upload the entire trip as a series of Episodes each about 10-15 minutes long. The strategy is that maybe this won't be long enough for you to fall asleep in them?
Anyway - here are links to the first two videos. Episode 3 should be available after Friday, November 1, 2019
Point Yacht Club, located in beautiful Josephine, Alabama is sponsoring a cruise to Apalachicola, Florida. The trip has been designed to be cruiser-friendly for both sail boats and power boats with the option to travel either offshore or on the protected ICW (see controlling bridge heights below).
I am currently serving as Fleet Captain at Point Yacht Club, and we would welcome both members and non-members to bring your boat and join us on this wonderful laid-back cruise. We plan to leave from Ft. McCree, Pensacola following the Blue Angels Homecoming show, which is scheduled for November 8-9. We are leaving our start as "flexible" based on weather, but the goal is to leave on or around November 10 and arrive in Apalachicola on or about November 13. Below are some notes on the trip. If you are interested in joining us, please let me know so that I can include you on updates. If you don't have a boat but would be interested in volunteering as crew, please send your contact info, and I will circulate the information to others that have signed up.
We made this trip in July and had a wonderful time - see the post immediately prior to this one!
·Assemble, Blue Angels Ft. McCree - November 8-9
·Depart Ft. Mc Cree - November
9/10/11 based on weather
·Optional Stop, Destin Harbor - November
10/11 (40 miles)
·Optional Stop, Panama City/St. Andrews Bay- November 11/12 (42 miles)
·Optional Stop, Cape San Blas/St. Joe’s Bay- November 12/13 (24
·Arrive Apalachicola - afternoon
November 13 (25 miles)
Offshore to Cape
San Blas, ICW to Apalachicola – controlling Bridge height: 64 ft
Inshore – ICW
from Pensacola to Apalachicola – controlling bridge height: 48 ft
Note: schedule is
based on offshore transit in daylight.For boats transiting via ICW, similar stops or alternative stops are
available (e.g., Juana’s, Navarre Beach, etc.)
Return at your own pace/schedule or in groups
Plan to arrive
November 13.Options for
·Apalachicola Marina – we can get a 150 ft side
tie dock (850)-899-3675
This is one of my favorite places on the planet - no exaggeration, in my view it is without doubt the most beautiful part of Florida, and yet it has the name the "Forgotten Coast". Few people visit here, especially cruisers and yet the coastline is wonderful.
The area was unfortunately slammed by Hurricane Michael in October 2018 (Category 5 Hurricane) causing devastation to the sleepy seaside town of Mexico Beach. Serious damage also occurred in the town of Port St. Joe, and farther around the coast, damage and flooding hit Apalachicola. Inland, the devastation from winds spreads back into Georgia. Now a year on, this is still a huge issue for the area - yet people from outside of the area barely remember Hurricane Michael - a Cat 5 storm that hit the aptly named "Forgotten Coast". its sad, but when its no longer a media magnet, we forget. But life has gone on in the area and it is slowly coming back.
Ft. McRee, Pensacola
We took an easy coastal path with lazy schedule. First we anchored at Ft. McRee, Pensacola - one of our favorite anchorages when it is quiet (non-weekend). From there, we sailed over to Destin, anchoring in the harbor. This is a relatively short hop of about 42 miles. From Destin we originaly planned another 40 mile hop to St. Andrews/Panama City, but we discovered that docks at the marina and yacht club that we love to visit were still under repair from H Michael. So, we elected to continue on directly to Cape San Blas/St. Joe Bay. This is about 62 miles from Destin - so a good day sail.
Joined by one other Cat at Cape San Blas
Cape San Blas is a barrier peninsula that forms St. Joe's Bay, enclosing the beautiful bay on almost 4 sides. The Bay has several nice anchorages that are typically remote. On this occasion we shared our anchorage with one other catamaran -SV Brizo from Houston, TX.
We anchored near the end of the Cape. Its a sandy bottom with good holding. We stayed for 2 nights, and then moved on to Apalachicola.
Cape San Blas
Perhaps the best way to get to Apalachicola is to go via the ICW. We are not typically a fan of the "inside route", but after passing through the Gulf Canal, the trip is along the Jackson River, crossing Lake Wimico, and then down the Apalachicola River. Its a wonderful trip with lots of opportunities to see wildlife (eagles, alligators, etc.)
We did find a few shallower than usual spots in the canal - presumably from storm debris, but we saw no depth less than 6 ft. For the most part, depths were 8-18 ft.
Band at Bowery Station
We were meeting family in Apalachicola, so took a dock at Apalachicola Marina. Now this is not a typical marina, but a 150 ft long side-tie dock on the river with power and water. That's about it for amenities, but owner, George was real friendly and the location is excellent for downtown, and the bars at the Bower Station and Apalachicola Ice Company - which of course we had to visit and sample their offerings.
Apalachicola Ice Company
We were in Apalachicola for the 4th July celebrations. And with fireworks set off from a barge on the River, we had the perfect vantage point from the boat.
It was a good day - we had a day sail to Little St. George island and fireworks at night. it was good to see the town busy, but as you can imagine, I think the crowds overwhelmed the restaurants that were open for the celebrations.
Fireworks on the River
With no particular schedule, I think we will hang out for a couple more days and see if the winds become more favorable - right now it would be a beat or motor back home as winds are out of the west. And besides Salty loves the beach!