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TARPON SPRINGS May 3, 2010

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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P1010004

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LEAVING APALACHICOLA WITH JOHN FOLLOWING May 3, 2010

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Racing, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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P1010003

KENT May 3, 2010

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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DIRECT COURSE TO TARPON SPRINGS May 3, 2010

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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I was asked by my Gemini friend to crew for him as he took his boat from Apalachicola to Tarpon Springs. Yes, I am always ready. Well almost. My little part time job gets in the way. But not this time. Kent the owner and his wife had been cruising from Pensacola to Apalachicola for about a week. Because of my schedule, we had built in only one weather day. Not good. The weather day was used up on the first weekend of their cruise by a front that caused all the tornado damage in Mississippi. The new plan was to leave Apalachicola on Wednesday and sail to Tarpon Springs, arriving during the day Thursday. The winds was out of the north about 10 when we left and was to move to the NW and slowly die before reappearing out of the east/southeast. The idea was to beat the wind shift or it would be on our noise. Remember, gentlemen do not go to weather.

When we cleared St George Island the wind was NE about 10 and the swells were 1-2 feet. I had never been on the catamaran in these conditions. Wave slap was an understatement. The wave period was just enough to get between the hulls and with little more than a foot of bridge clearance, we slammed pretty hard. Thankfully the wind continued to die and shift to the north and eventually the northwest, along with the seas. We motor sailed with headsail only till after midnight when the wind was not strong enough to keep up with our motoring speed. With beam on to following seas, the movement of the cat is like a cat, very quick.

We had friends in a Catalina 34 traveling with us and there motion was the normal roll that one experiences in a monohull with quartering seas. The nice thing about the trip is that we stayed on the rum line and made very good time. The currents would generally set us either north or east with occasional shifts to the opposite direction. We got to the north tip of the key off Tarpon Springs about 7:30 A. M. We motored around the island and up the river to Tarpon Spring and were at the dock by 9:30.

The last 3 times I have made this trip, I have had similar conditions. That’s scary. I am due a trip with storms and miserable conditions. As with any trip off shore always allow time for a good weather window.

That was the smallest yacht I have made that trip on and the first cat. Because of the movement of the cat, you would either get into shape of get beat up in a long passage. I understand there are two Gemini’s going around the world at this time. I hope the crews are young and strong. This was fun and always a learning experience with different equipment and boat characteristics.

ON TO CLEARWATER December 20, 2007

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Clearwater, Florida, ICW, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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 9:00 A.M. we are off across Apalachicola Bay and through St George Cut into the Gulf.  This is one of the areas in which the ICW leads you into open water.  The wind was less than 10 knots out of the east.  It was also hazy.  The wind was suppose to move through the southeast and on to the west and increase to 15 knots.  Perfect as long as it did not stay to the SE to long.  John reminds me that gentlemen do no go to weather. 

 

 Our goal was to make Clearwater between 24 and 30 hours.  The favorable breeze lasted about an hour, and began to die.  During that time we motored at reduced RPM but soon we were back to cruising RPM.  We pulled the main in tight and the staysail after rolling up the Yankee.  We stood 3 on, 3 off watches.  By the time my 2-5 A.M. watch rolled around, the Gulf was as flat as I had ever seen it.  For those of you who have never sailed the waters in the Big Bend area, the area is shallow and the seas are always lumpy.  3-4 foot seas with 4 second periods seem to be the norm.   The winds are generally light.

 

Clearwater has a new claim to fame.  From about Tarpon Springs south past Clearwater, the gulf is full of Crab Traps.  One of the individuals we met at the Clearwater Yacht Club said they are thick out past 10 miles. 

SATURDAY IS WANING December 19, 2007

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Florida.
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 We spent several hours in the hotel bar drinking wheat beer and looking at the weather on several sites to help us get a better handle on when we could leave.   I was in favor of leaving in the morning from the information we gained.  John was reluctant.  We had gone into head seas leaving Destin and they where not as bad as the NOAA was forecasting for the next couple of days.

 

A FRIENDLY PLACE December 17, 2007

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Florida.
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Apalachicola is the friendliest place I have ever been.  We met a man who was the owner of a store in which we were browsing and were discussing our fresh water pump problem and he called a marine store and told them our problem, and they had a replacement.  He then said if that did not work, he had a spare of the right size on his boat and would sell it to us.  He then gave us the keys to his SUV to go to the marine store.  In another case, we were looking for a wifi connection.  We asked at a hotel about hot spots for getting some work done and checking the weather.  The lady said use ours, and gave us the password.  The chef had to later come out to show me how to get an Apple on line with their wifi.      

 

The town, is known as the Oyster Capital of Florida, maybe even the world, and the seafood restaurants, are plentiful.  This quiet fishing town is changing itself to a quiet resort town.  With the attitude of the people, they should be successful.

SATURDAY DAY 3 December 14, 2007

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Florida, ICW, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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 The weather said a big cold front is coming in the next 24.  20+ knots, 33 degrees, 6 foot seas. Therefore, we decide to hang around town.  We also were having  a fresh water pump that was acting up and need to go find a replacement. The problem was that the bad weather was to last through the weekend and give us a weather window on Tuesday.

 

Leaving Crooked Island December 7, 2007

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, Florida, ICW, Sailing, Sailing the ICW, South Florida.
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PB300007

December 7, 2007

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Apalachicola, ICW, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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PB300006