Escape From Carrabelle

Beautiful Carrabelle. If ever there was a place not to leave…

Our view every morning.

Our view every night.

How long have we been here? Eleven, twelve days while waiting for a good opportunity to cross the cantankerous Gulf of Mexico. It really doesn’t matter, because once the cold front blew through, the sun returned and warmed our boat and our souls and I fell in love with Carrabelle.

Aglow with beauty.

Hardly a resort destination. Carrabelle has its own unpretentious charm.
There are many working boats. Some nice, some not so much.

F/V Rolling Stone. A well cared for Shrimp boat.

There is something attractive about even the old, run-down, working boats.

F/V Tarfoot.

We watched this old shrimper sink over the course of a few days.

Sunk!

Why do I like this port so much? Well for one thing, everything is close. The supermarket, hardware store, and the Fisherman’s Wife restaurant are right across the street. Within a couple of blocks are two bars, both had NFL football on a big screen.

Watching the Titans whip the Chiefs at the C-Quarters Saloon.

proprietor Ray crunches the numbers.

Watching the Saints crush Cam Newton and the Panthers at Harry’s Bar and Package.

The hospitality at the C-Quarters Marina was the best. Thank you Captain Kim and Norm.

C-Quarters.

Okay. I fall in love with nearly every place we visit. Guilty as charged. But we’ve spent more time in Carrabelle than any other location, and that makes it all the harder to leave. But leave we must.
A decent weather window opened up and we left Carrabelle to anchor for the night off Dog Island. It was a short hop, but a precious hour closer to Steinhatchee, our destination port across the Gulf. That one hour will mean the world at the end of the day. Docking in the dark sucks.

Anchored off Dog Island.

Other loopers are staging here as well. M/V Kara Mia in foreground. We made arrangements with Captain Mike of M/V Wine Speed (in background) to keep in radio contact since we were both leaving at about the same time and travelling close to the same speed.

M/V Blue Ayes.

At the fist suggestion of daylight we weighed anchor and headed across the Gulf. Unfortunately, the fog was so thick we had less than an eighth of a mile visibility. Under normal circumstances this would be a trip ender, but since we had only one waypoint to head to, and the waves were small, we decided to trust our instruments and continue on.

Imagine staring into this all day.

The view aft.

It was one hell of a long, boring, 96 mile, day long sucker. Interrupted only by the occasional pod of rambunctious dolphins. They love to show off, chasing Ginger Lee, sometimes coming so close we feared for their safety. Once, a mother and calf jumped in tandem off our port bow. So cute. Another time, full-grown dolphins jumped four abreast right in front of us. As we were oohing and ahhing they did it again! Somehow they instinctively know when my camera is present; I’ve yet to capture any of their antics on film. Sorry, no picture.
Finally, the Steinhatchee entrance channel marker appeared like an apparition out of the mist. We were positively giddy at the thought of looking at something else besides the monotonous monochrome of the fog and the unnatural lighting of our radar, GPS, and AIS units. Relief set in. We laughed like children and made stupid jokes as we followed the skinny channel to safety. It wasn’t until we were deep into the river that the fog cleared, but were losing daylight fast.

The fog clears as we enter Steinhatchee at dusk.

At 6:03 PM, as the last rays of light struggled for life, before surrendering into dimness of nightfall, we pulled into our slip next to M/V Wine Speed at the Sea Hag marina in the port of Steinhatchee, Florida. We crossed the mighty Gulf of Mexico! SOCOBO 1/12/18

Ginger Lee and Wine Speed docked at the Sea Hag Marina.

 

 

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