Dee Light
Trip North 2002 - Log - Fort Myers to Mobile
Updated - 05-02-02

Centennial Harbour Marina - Fort Myers FL - Mile Marker 133.5
.. prior to Dee Light’s departure we had a number of things to do .. Betty had to clean and
ready her home after her Winter renters left for the North and before her Summer House Sitter moved in .. Betty also retired from Lee Memorial Hospital .. her last day of work was April 16th 2002 .. Dee Light’s steering system that had failed in route to Cuba had lingering problems that had to be addressed .. the steering went out on March 24th when we had a large ( 30 people ) out for a Sunday afternoon on the water .. it was finally determined that the original design had a design fault that the manufacturing company had encountered once before .. after working with Florida Rigging & Hydraulics from Riviera Beach Florida for a number of Months .. Marv and Carlton Dunn found a rep for Teleflex ( Canada ) Limited who manufactured the steering system .. the rep Mike Grey is from Sarasota Florida .. Mike spent a day working with Carlton to replace the defective steering cylinder .. once it was fixed we took Dee out for a water test .. Russ Lund from Classic Yacht Service ( 239-277-0110 ) replaced the Bow Thruster Switch in the Cockpit and changed the Servo wiring from 12 to 24 Volt .. Tropica Boats and Marine Inc (800-263-5677 ) replaced the Head on the Satellite TV System .. Betty and a friend .. Tammy Jones from Fort Myers spent part of one day buying supplies for Dee Light .. Betty also spent one morning on the Sanibel Beach and told the Beach goodbye until Fall .. by Thursday April 25th we had everything that we had planned to do done ..

04-26-02 Friday Centennial Harbour Marina - Fort Myers FL - Mile Marker 133.5
Weather – morning temp of 72 deg with a high of 91 deg .. winds from the
South at 5 to 10 mph .. SUNNY ..

… at 08:30 Dockside Fuel arrived at the Marina .. Dee Light and a number of other boats
took on fuel …. Engine Hours – Port 1304.6 .. Starboard 1310.7 … Marv talked with Pat and Kim about returning in the Fall .. after looking over the Blue Prints for the revisions to the Marina .. Marv picked out an end Slip that he would like for the next season .. Slip C-18 .. Betty bought a new coffee maker and dropped off her car at her House .. Marv and Betty picked up Jewel and Bob at the Fort Myers Airport .. once they were settled in onboard Dee Light we drove to the Farmers Market for a few supplies .. after a brief stop in the downtown area of Fort Myers we drove to Fort Myers Beach and spent part of the afternoon on the Beach … the ‘Spring Breakers’ are gone now so the Beach was not crowed at all .. Jewel and Bob were able to see the Pier at Fort Myers Beach and walk the Beach that Betty and Marv have spent many mornings walking ….. after a brief stop back at the Marina .. we then drove to Jon .. Sarah .. and Meryk’s new home in Cape Coral .. Jewel and Bob really enjoyed seeing there place and seeing Meryk for the first time .. the Grapefruit tree is covered with fruit about 1 inches in diameter .. Meryk especially enjoyed having quests at ‘His’ house .. Jon and Sarah drove us back to the Marina .. and then we had dinner at the Chart House Restaurant (941-332-1881 ) .. Marv ran out of time to get his Thunderbird put in storage .. Marv gave Jon said that he and Sarah would get it there .. Hide-Away Storage Services ( 239-267-6008 ) ..

Travel – Jewel and Bob fly into Fort Myers FL

04-27-02 Saturday Centennial Harbour Marina - Fort Myers FL - Mile 133.5
Contacts – Kim .. and Pat - 239-461-0775
Weather – 90 deg and sunny – calm in the morning .. then the winds picked up
to 15 mph winds from the SSE by 11:00 am ..
Crew – Marv .. Betty .. Jewel .. Bob ..
… the water in the Marina basin was flat .. sunrise was great .. Jewel and Bob took a long
run down McGregor Blvd .. we had driven that area on Friday so Bob had it all scoped out …. after saying goodbye to a number of Boaters .. Bob and Jewel brought coffee from their favorite Coffee Shop .. Backroads Coffee & Tea .. it is GREAT coffee .. Dee Light departed from the Centennial Harbour Marina at 09:00 am .. with the short travel day ahead and the direction of the winds we decided to travel to the South Seas Plantation by Intracoastal Waterway … there was a number of other boats ‘out for the weekend’ … the Forward Bilge Pump Alarm went off after slowing down quickly ….. Marv checked it out and did use the manual Bilge Pump Switch …. As we approached the South Seas Plantation Marv used the Marine Radio to contact the Marina .. he was told that there was a Dredger working in the Channel leading to the Marina .. and that we should favor the Green Markers on our way into the Marina ……we did favor the Green Markers and had at least 8 feet of water all the way into the Marina .. Don from Marina Office helped us with the lines as we docked Dee Light on the ‘P Dock’ at about Noon .... Marv checked us in at the Marina Office and talked with Carol for a few Minutes .. there were a number of 90 foot to 109 foot boats in the Marina .. and the Marina soon was filled with boats for the night .. the Crew
spent the afternoon at the Beach …. Bob ended up getting a large round tube .. he tried to do in each of the others with the tube .. Sarah and Jon drove to the Marina after Jon got done with his work for the day …. Jon drove us to the Bubble Room (941-472-5558 ) .. for dinner … we all celebrated Betty’s upcoming Birthday .. we brought Bubble Bread back to Dee Light and the entire Crew retired early as we were all tired from our afternoon on the Beach and in the Sun .. Jewel and Bob got enough sun to last them for days .. Betty and Marv hooked up to AOL since we had phone service right at the Dock ..

Travel - Fort Myers FL to Captiva Island FL - 0 Locks / Bridges - 45 Miles - 45 Miles

04-28-02 Sunday South Seas Plantation - Captiva Island FL
Contacts – Carol .. Don .. and Jon .. ( but not John Findley ) .. 888-777-3625
Weather – clear skies .. sunny .. winds calm in the morning becoming up to 15
knots from the SSW by 01:00 pm
Crew – Marv .. Betty .. Jewel .. Bob ..
… when we got up the Manatees were playing along the boat Lady Chadwick .. Jewel and
Bob took a long run .. they ran the entire Island of Captiva onto the Sanibel Island .. Betty took
Autumn for a good long walk ….. Marv checked us out at the Marina Office .. at 09:10 am Dee light pulled out of the Marina .. two Dolphins greeted us as we pulled out of the Marina .. we took Redfish Pass out to the Gulf of Mexico .. the boat MISSY B .. a 109 footer followed us out of the Marina .. the winds picked up before we left the Marina .. once out on the Gulf we encountered Seas of 3 to 5 feet from our Aft .. Dee Light entered the Venice Inlet at about 12:15 pm .. once we figured out the Intracoastal Waterway system Bob called his father Jack on the Cell Phone .. the first Bridge Tender that we dealt with must have had a bad day as he only opened half of the Bridge .. Dee Light had a tight squeeze ….. we traveled on the Intracoastal Waterway from the Venice Inlet to Green Marker number 15 in the center of the Sarasota Bay .. there were many weekend boaters out on the water .. we had a number of Bridges that we had to have opened for us to travel under .. this did slow us up quite a bit .. but we were just enjoying the day on the water …. Betty fixed lunch consisting of soup .. fruit .. Bubble Bread .. etc. … we had our lunch in route on the Fly Bridge .. as we approached Marker number 15 Marv called the Longboat Key Moorings on the Marine Radio for direction and local knowledge traveling into the Marina .. they instructed us to head on a course of 255 degrees from Marker number 15 to the Marina’s Channel Markers .. once we found the Marina’s Channel Marker number One it was well marked all the way into the Marina basin …. Dee Light arrived at the Marina at 02:30 pm .. a Dock Boy helped us with the lines .. Dee Light spent the night at the end of a T-Dock called the L Dock .. Betty hosed down the boat .. Jewel got the interior of Dee Light in order .. Marv checked us into the Marina .. when Betty was walking down the Dock to shore she was asked by a young girl .. Annie from the boat Patricia Dee .. if we had been to Cuba as she saw the Cuba Flag at the Bow of Dee Light .. Betty told her of our trip to Cuba .. the young gal said that she was from Cuba and that ‘her home sick was bigger than her’ .. as her family still lived in Cuba .. Jewel .. Bob .. and Betty took a walk to the Marina Office / Shop to check it out …. Jack and Kitty arrived at Dee Light about 04:30 .. we all enjoyed snacks .. cocktails and a few of Jack’s stories on the Back Deck of Dee Light before departing for dinner .. Jack and Kitty drove us around Longboat Key and thru St. Armands Circle before heading to the Hilton Longboat Key Beachfront Resort for dinner .. Jack had checked out that there was entertainment there .. but after we ordered our drinks we decided to move on for dinner as the live music was too loud to talk over .. we ended up back at the Marina having dinner at Cafe on the Bay .. ( 941-383-0440 ) .. it was an excellent choice .. after dinner Bob retrieved his bags from the boat and spent the night with Jack and Kitty ..

Travel - Captiva Island FL to Longboat Key FL 5 Bridges 83 Miles 128 Miles

04-29-02 Monday Longboat Key Moorings - Longboat Key FL – Mile 78
Contact - Harbourmaster - Robert Mastrippolito .. Assistant Harbourmaster - Tina Straley .. or .. Assistant Harbourmaster - Janice Collins - 800-858-0836 …the AOL hookup is in the Marina Office ..
Weather – high of 85 deg and sunny .. calm seas in the early morning ..
becoming 2 to 45 footers by late afternoon ..
Crew – Marv .. Betty .. Jewel ..
.. watched the sunrise thru a filtered sky .. Jewel went for a long early morning run on the
Beach and Autumn took Betty for a good long walk .. Marv hooked up to AOL at the Marina Office and checked us out .. we were underway at 09:00 am .. we headed out to the Intracoastal Waterway in the middle of the Sarasota Bay .. the winds picked up a little .. but the Seas were only about 2 to 3 footers in the Bay .. there were many Sport Fishing boats out .. also many boats returning from a Boat Show that had taken place in the Sarasota Florida area .. had a 15 minute wait at each Bridge .. Lori Bishop called about the Condo .. we are still going to plan on a closing of June 14th .. saw Dolphins as we entered the Tamps Bay area .. the large Bridge leading into Tampa Florida was off to our Starboard side .. .. docked by 11:10 am .. Jewel called and talked to Kitty .. after getting Dee Light settled in and getting checked in at the Marina Office we had lunch at Rotten Ralph's Restaurant ( 941-778-3953 ) .. Bob joined us and we all .. Autumn included .. took an afternoon walk on the Beach .. the Crew walked and Marv took a very short nap in the shade .. the shower back at Dee Light felt good .. even Autumn had a good ‘dock side’ shower .. by 04:45 pm we were off to Jack and Kitty’s place .. after cocktails and goodies on Jack and Kitty’s Lanai we had dinner at the Sandbar Seafood and Spirits Restaurant (941-778-0444 ) .. we sat outside with sand between our toes .. watched the sunset .. and listened to great Jimmy Buffet music .. after dinner we went back to Jack and Kitty’s place for Key Lime Pie and coffee .. Jack turned a video of the best of Saturday Night Live on .. when Marv and Betty nodded off we decided to head back to the boat for the night ..

Travel - Longboat Key FL to Anna Maria Island FL - 2 Bridges 18 miles 146 Miles

04-30-02 Tuesday Galati Marine Yacht Sales - Anna Maria Island FL - Mile 92
Contact – Dockmaster – Darrell Kee
Weather - .. winds from the SW at 10 mph .. seas of 2 to 4 feet .. overnight
lows of about 70 deg .. high of 87 deg ..
.. woke up to hearing ducks talking outside our Port Window .. Galati is a large Viking
dealer .. the Dockmaster told us that their dealership goes from Texas to Key West Florida .. this is an old Sea Port in many ways .. very laid back .. Betty did laundry at the Marina’s Laundry Area .. had the last of the Bubble Bread ( Sticky Buns ) on the Back Deck .. Marv checked the weather out for Wednesday both on the Marine Radio and over the local TV ( Tampa FL ) Station .. all looks good for our anticipated Gulf crossing on Wednesday .. Marv checked the fluids in the engines .. about 09:45 am Jack Kitty Jewel and Bob picked Marv and Betty up at the Marina .. they drove us to the St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota .. the Guys found a Coffee Shop .. Betty and Jewel both found outfits for Jon and Sarah’s wedding .. the Crew met for lunch at the Columbia Restaurant .. Marv got a Gift Certificate for Mike Grey of Teleflex Morse - Teleflex ( Canada ) Limited .. Mike had taken a day off from work to drive to Fort Myers for a day to work on the steering system .. he lives in Sarasota Florida .. after lunch Marv and Betty took Jack and Kitty’s second car for the afternoon .. we picked up water and a few other supplies at Publix .. Jewel and Bob spent the afternoon at the Pool and Jack and Kitty worked on getting ready to leave on Friday to head North for the Summer .. later Jack took the Crew to the Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar for a great dinner .. the restaurant is owned by a Doctor from Wisconsin .. and he is a BIG Green Bay Packer fan .. Dick Piltz called us right after we had completed dinner .. Marv gave him an update on our trip to date .. Sarah also called for directions to the Marina .. Jon Sarah Meryk and Aaron made it to the Marina before we made it back to Dee Light from dinner .. Jewel and Bob went back to Jack and Kitty’s for the night and the rest of us relaxed on the Back Deck before heading to bed for the night ..

Travel – Jon .. Sarah .. and Aaron drive to Anna Maria FL

05-01-02 Wednesday Galati Marine Yacht Sales - Anna Maria Island FL - Mile 92
Weather – at 05:15 am - 75 deg and wind from West at 7 mph .. high for the
day of 82 deg .. winds ended up being 20 knots .. UGH !! ..
Crew – Marv .. Betty .. Jon .. Aaron ..
.. today is ‘May-Day’ .. Autumn and Meryk spent the night with Jon and Sarah in the Front Cabin .. we watched the sunrise as we had breakfast on the Back Deck .. the weather report for the day over a Tampa Florida TV Station and on the Marine Radio called for clear skies .. wind from the West and Southwest at about 10 mph .. and seas of about 1 to 2 feet .. Jewel and Bob made it to the Marina about 06:30 am .. when Dee Light was ready to depart Jewel and Bob drove Sarah and Meryk to Jack and Kitty’s place .. Dee Light pulled out of the Marina at and into the Tampa Bay 07:00 am .. by 08:00 am the High-rises of Tampa and Clearwater disappeared into the horizon behind Dee Light .. after making our way out of the Tampa Marked Channel we altered our course to a compass reading of 325 degrees .. at 09:00 am the seas were coming at our Port Side at about 3 to 5 foot .. and the skies was mostly clear .. Dee Light handled the waves quite well but did roll from side to side .. by 10:30 am we had Seas of 8 foot right at our Port Side .. at 11:45 am the Starboard Engine started to loose rpms .. we ran the Fuel Transfer Pump .. the Fuel Alarm on the FWD Main did do shut off .. ?? .. Marv went to the Engine Room a number of times he tried changing some on the Fuel Valves positions .. did not change .. Seas are now on our Port Side at 6 to 8 feet .. Marv served Jon and Aaron donuts .. at about 12:30 pm the Port Engine really started to fail .. the Crew noted that the Weatherman LIED AGAIN TODAY !!! …. we played with the rpms .. Marv thinks that with the boat swaying from side to side so much our that our ‘Bad Fuel’ problem has again surface .. in September of 2001 we got some bad Fuel from Dockside Fuel Service in Fort Myers .. at about 12:35 pm Jewel and Bob’s airplane went overhead .. they were on their way back up North .. 12:45 pm we shut down the Port Engine .. Betty got plastic bags and brought them to the Engine Room .. Jon stayed at the wheel while Marv and Aaron went to the Engine Room and pulled the Fuel Filter on the Port Engine .. the Filter did not look too bad but there was settlement in the base of the glass Fuel Filter Bowl .. Marv tried to get his hand into the Bowl but could not get his fingers in far enough .. we installed a new Fuel Filter and put the system back together .. after bleeding the Fuel Line two times we were able to get the Port Engine running without sputtering .. first at about 1000 rpms then increasing the rpms a little at a time as Marv watched the fuel flow thru the Fuel Filter with a flashlight .. the last time that this was done at Sea was when Marv and Mike Seiser did it on the way back from Key West in late November .. i.e. the last leg of the Cuba trip .. by 01:40 pm we got the rpms up to 1500 rpms on both Engines .. seas are now about 8 to 10 foot .. by 02:15 pm we were able to bring the rpms up to 1700 rpms .. with the seas we held the speed at 1700 rpms .. Betty and Aaron took a nap .. Jon noted that the wind direction has changed .. clockwise .. about 45 degrees .. the rollers at our Port Side are now about 6 foot .. they are from the original wind direction .. and the new wind direction has waves at about 3 to 5 foot .. the rollers will taper down later .. we spotted Dolphins a number of times throughout the day .. Marv checked the Fuel Filters again at about 03:15 pm .. at that time they had cleared a little .. Jon was at the wheel most of the day .. at 05:30 pm Jon spotted the first Marker off Dog Island and we could just start to see land on the horizon again .. the Seas are now down to 3 to 5 footers .. we passed a Ship that went aground some time ago we made it to St. Georges Sound at 05:55 pm .. the Seas are now down to 2 to 4 footers .. Marv called the Marina when we were about 4 miles out .. they directed us to the Fuel Dock .. we made it to the Fuel Dock at 06:20 pm .. Lee was at the Fuel Dock and helped us with the lines .. Lee is engaged to Shannon who works in the Marina Office .. Marv checked in at the Marina Office .. they let us stay on the Fuel Dock for the night .. as we took on fuel Jon and Aaron cleaned the exterior of Dee Light .. and it needed it !! ...

FUEL
Moorings at Carrabelle Inc, The ……….. Starboard Engine –1332.3 hours
1000 NW Avenue A - US Hwy 98 …….. Port Engine –1326.6 hours
Carrabelle, FL 32322-1213
Phone - 850-697-2800

.. Shannon said that the only grocery store in Carrabelle .. the IGA Store .. burned down about 4 Months ago .. and due to many political problems the replacement store will not be completed until this Fall .. Shannon also said that the winds today were at 18 to 20 knots all day .. with gusts above that .. the weathermen said 5 to 10 mph .. UGH !! .. Jon talked with Sarah .. she said that she got Jewel and Bob to the Fort Myers Airport in time for their flight .. once we were fueled up Shannon called Julia Mae's Seafood Rest Inc ( 850-697-3791 ) .. they picked us up and it was not long and we were enjoying the Worlds Finest Seafood .. Aaron had a container of Cocktail Sauce exploded when he tried to use it .. our waitress gave him a new Julia Mae T-Shirt .. when we returned to Dee Light there was a Trawler named VEDA L from Stillwater Minnesota that had pulled up to the Fuel Dock also for the night .. Jon and Aaron took an evening walk to check out the local night life in Carrabelle Florida ….. the bed really felt good tonight ..

Travel – Jewel and Bob fly back North from Fort Myers Airport
Travel - Anna Maria Island FL to Carrabelle FL 0 Locks 210 miles 356 Miles

05-02-02 Thursday The Moorings at Carrabelle, Inc. - Carrabelle FL - Mile 381.0
Contact - Harbor Master - Harry Andrews – ( 850-697-2800 ) .. Fuel Dock – Lee .. Marina Office – Shannon ( pm ) and Darlene ( am ) ..
Weather – overnight low of 70 .. winds from the NW at 15 to 20 mph .. clear .. highs at about 86 deg ..
.. there were locals fishing around Dee Light all night .. this and the winds that never quit would have kept Autumn on edge all night .. but she spent the night with Jon .. the Marina Office also serves as the Motel and Condominium Office .. thus it is open for 24 hours a day .. we were able to hook up to good 50 Amp power .. and we had a shore water connection near by .. since the last time that Dee Light was here the Marina has added a Social Room that is for the boaters .. they had a PC set up in the room for anyone to use .. Carrabelle is the home of the worlds smallest Police Station .. it consists of a Phone Booth .. the boat VEDA L from Stillwater Minnesota pulled off the Fuel Dock before 07:00 am .. they had crossed the Gulf before getting to Carrabelle last night .. it took them two days to cross the Gulf .. they are on their way North also .. Lee was back at work this morning .. he said that another boat that is heading North .. TIME OUT was here on Tuesday night .. they went aground on their way into the Marina .. Lee had to get TOW BOAT US to tow them off the sandbar .. after a hearty breakfast Autumn took Betty for a long walk .. Marv checked the fluids in all three Engines .. then both Marv and Betty hooked up to AOL .. at start up the Port Engine balked .. so we used the Battery Parallel and it turned right over .. Dee Light pulled out of the Carrabelle Marina about 10:15 am .. Marv got on the wrong side of the Green Markers .. again .. this happened a number of years ago before .. when we made it to St. Georges Sound the Seas were 2 to 4 footers .. there was a strong wind of about 20 mph .. the 2 Bridges that we dealt with were both high enough for us to pass under them .. once we were past the second Bridge Marv called the Scipio Creek Marina .. they gave us directions to there Marina .. the Marina is up the Scipio Creek about 2 miles .. we passed a number of Shrimp Boats that were docked .. at about 12:35 pm Jon docked Dee Light along a long Transient Dock right in front of a restaurant .. we had decided to wait to have lunch onboard once we made it to the Marina .. but once we smelled the seafood aroma that engulfed Dee Light we changed our minds .. Jon and Aaron washed down Dee Light at Betty and Marv went into Papa Joe’s Oyster Bar & Grill ( 850-653-1189 ) for lunch .. when we were at lunch a sail boater .. Tammy and Mark .. came to our table and asked if they could watch Survivor over our Satellite TV system tonight .. Patty said that she would bring the food and drinks etc. .. when Jon and Aaron got the cleaning done they also went to Papa Joe’s for lunch .. Marv and Betty took their Bikes into downtown Apalachicola .. found some treasures .. a place for dinner .. and a Grocery Store .. bought a wire Lighthouse at River City Trading Company ( 850-653-2441 ) .. they will do mail-order .. Jon and Aaron walked into town .. they explored the local night life .. they concluded that the streets close up early .. and the locals look a little rough .. we had dinner at the Apalachicola Seafood Grill and Steakhouse ( 850-653-9510 ) in the heart of town .. a short walk / bike ride .. and what a great meal .. Aaron had his raw Oysters again .. Marv and Aaron both bought cook books .. ‘White Trash Cooking’ by Ernest Matthew Mickler ( for friends ) .. Betty and Marv made it back to Dee Light in time for Survivor .. our sail boaters never showed up .. so Betty made cookies and Marv worked on his PC .. Betty did not survive Survivors .. Jon and Aaron remained in town after dinner .. they went to a second floor Bar and then migrated to the local rowdy Bar ( locals made an issue of having colored people in the Bar ) and shot Pool with the locals .. and they got a tour of a locals Shrimp Boat .. Marv and Betty went into the Papa Joe’s Bar to see what the ‘locals’ were doing .. the Guy at the Bar was ‘shucking’ Oysters and putting them on their half shells .. the group of 5 people that he was preparing them for ate over 50 of them .. the Shucking Guy said that the Oysters are alive when they are removed and served .. thus they are eaten alive .. with that we retired to bed ..

Travel - Carrabelle FL to Apalachicola FL 2 Bridges 30 Miles 386 Miles

05-03-02 Friday Scipio Creek Marina - Apalachicola FL - Mile 348 +-
Contact – Owners - Charles and Thelma Creamer .. Managers - Shane and Marie Lee .. ( 850-653-8030 ) ..
Weather – overnight low of 72 deg .. overcast most of the day .. windy .. high for the day of 86 deg ..
.. Scipio Creek Marina is the largest Marina in Apalachicola Florida .. ‘The Last Great Bay’ .. it is located about 2 miles up the Scipio Creek .. good electrical power and water hookups .. Marv and Betty watched the sun come up thru the morning haze .. we saw Alligators in the Creek .. Betty took Autumn for a long walk .. and Autumn had a good Dock Bath when she returned .. Dee Light left the Marina at 08:45 am and headed down the Scipio Creek to the Intracoastal Waterway .. we headed up the ‘Cut’ .. much like river travel .. depth of 8 to over 20 feet .. Michele West called to get Marv’s mailing address for their wedding invitations .. they will be getting married on June 07th in Rochester Minnesota .. our first Bridge of the day was a Railroad Swing Bridge .. it was in the open position .. Betty took the wheel .. the Cut dose open up into some lake areas .. at Mile Marker 329 there is a High Bridge and the city White City .. there is a park and a place where a boat could tie off and spend the night .. there was a couple of locals near a Shrimp type Fishing Boat .. they thought that we were traveling a too high rate of speed and extended a few comments our direction .. Betty was on the Bow of Dee Light and she later reported that they questioned Marv’s heritage .. we passed a live aboard Sail Boat with a nude male onboard .. we have encountered bugs for the first time .. Aaron got up at 11:40 am .. Betty served us a Dee Lightfull lunch .. as we headed out the St Andrews Cut we were met by a HUGH US Navy Hover Craft coming right at us .. it had a Chopper right over it .. the craft was about 60 feet wide 80 feet long and about 25 feet high .. it hat two large turbines about 10 feet in diameter on each side .. both the Chopper and Hover Craft were going about 50 mph .. it had to be about 60 feet wide .. Marv called the Marina on the Marine Radio and got directions to the Marina .. good water all the way into the Marina .. the first boat that we could see on our way in way a 65 foot Pacific Mariner .. at 01:20 pm we ended up docking Dee Light right in front of the Pacific Mariner .. the Dock Boy helped us with the lines and we did the paperwork right on the Back Deck of Dee Light .. once we were docked Jon and Aaron cleaned Dee Light and then put the Dinghy in the water to explore the Marina .. Autumn took Betty for a walk .. when Autumn returned to Dee Light she took a nap and Betty went to the Pool .. Marv walked over to the Marina Office and hooked up his PC and met the Harbormaster – Scott Burt .. Marv then worked in the Engine Room on the Starboard Fuel Filter .. he drained the sludge out of the fuel .. pumped the air out of the fuel system and then restarted the Starboard Engine .. Marv drove the Marina’s Courtesy Car to Panama Marine Inc ( 800-BOAT-AID ) and the local Grocery Store to pick up supplies .. once back to Dee Light we fixed the chrome strip on the Starboard side of Dee Light .. Aaron talked with his father on the Cell Phone .. he said that a Army Jet went down just outside of Panama City .. the Pilot has not been found .. the Crew took the Dinghy up the channel to the Panama City Beach area for dinner .. Jon and Aaron had found a Ship that had a number of restaurants in it .. we docked the Dinghy at The Treasure Ship ( 850 234-8881 ) for dinner .. it was dark when we returned to Dee Light .. while we were off to dinner a towel that was on the Bow Rail blew into the water .. Jon and Aaron took the Dinghy back to the Panama City area .. they made it back to Dee Light at 05:45 am .. OPPs .. we went thru a time zone change so it was only 04:45 am when they returned .. they had found a couple of Guys with a car that brought them to where the action was ..

Travel - Apalachicola FL to Panama City FL 4 Bridges 68 miles 454 Miles

05-04-02 Saturday Bay Point Marina & Marriott Resort – Panama City FL - Mile 290.0
Contact – Harbormaster - Scott Burt ( 850-235-6911 ) and Dock Boy – Kip Williams .. they are both very good to deal with ..
Weather – overnight low of 77 deg .. high temp of 86 deg .. WINDY again ..
.. this is a large first class Marina .. good docks .. good everything .. one of the finest Marinas that any of us have been to .. many pots of flowers and plants throughout the Marina even on the Docks .. there was a morning newspaper delivered to the boat .. we had coffee on the Bridge and watched the Sports Fishing boats pull out for the day .. Betty took Autumn for a good long walk .. Jon and Aaron were up at 08:15 am and hoisted the Dinghy on Dee Light .. then went back to bed .. Dee Light was out of the Marina by 08:40 am .. Randy called and asked Marv about a Bayliner boat that he is on his way to look at in Fort Myers Florida .. Marv finaly got thru to Deckhands Marina and set up dockage for tonight .. they do not have any Slips but said that we could tie up in front of a Sailboat on the outside East Dock .. as we entered the West Bay Creek we spotted 6 Dolphins playing in our wake .. as we passed 2 Sailboats they took photos of the Dolphins .. Betty took photos also .. we met our first Tow Boat of the trip .. Aaron made it up at 11:11 am for coffee .. we used the Auto Pilot on both the open areas as well as the Cuts .. all 4 Bridges that we went under today were high Bridges .. a Tow Boat Captain ( Christy ) asked Marv to give Betty a splash .. she was laying on the Bow of Dee Light .. so being a fellow Captain Marv did give her a little splash .. Jon made it out of bed as we were approaching the Marina .. by 01:20 pm we had Dee Light docked at the Deckhand's Marina .. a fellow boater helped us with the lines .. it did not take long for the ‘Water Wings’ to appear .. Jon and Aaron had to help one of the Water Wings dock their Go Fast Boat right behind Dee Light .. Jon and Aaron took off down the Dock looking for a burger .. they found Hot Wings .. Rum Runners .. Bloody Mary’s .. etc. .. after checking at the Hotel for our dockage .. Autumn took Betty and Marv for a long walk on Fort Walton Beach .. Autumn must have known that this was going to be the last time that she would be on a Beach .. she ran and ran with her tail right straight up .. she must have known that it would be her last time on a Beach for quite awhile after getting told that Dogs are not allowed on the Beach we tucked into the Anglers Beachside Grill & Sports Bar right at the Okaloosa Island Pier – Okaloosa ( 850-796-0260 ) .. even Autumn was thirsty .. great food !! and what a view .. white Beach as far as we could see both to the North and South .. the surf was really strong and full of color .. Marv and Betty had their last walk on the Beach as the sunset .. then we had burgers and gumbo at the Bar on the Dock where Dee Light was docked .. there is a Bar – Grill on the Dock called Dock O’ the Bay .. where you grill your own dinner .. Jon and Aaron joined us at the Bar for a minute before heading out for the evening .. they made it back to Dee Light by 04:00 am .. they ended up at a Piano Bar .. getting cultured .. Aaron noted that he met up with some Gals from Texas .. when their returned to Dee Light they had a STOP Sign that they found just laying along their pathway .. Aaron said that he was aware of the local that spent the night on the Dock along side Dee Light ..

Travel - Panama City FL to Fort Walton Beach FL - 4 Bridges 70 miles 524 Miles

05-05-02 Sunday Deckhand's Marina - Leeside Inn – Fort Walton Beach FL - Mile 224.0
Contact – Marina – None - ( 850-243-1598 ) .. Motel – ( 800-824-2747 )
Weather – overnight low of 77 deg .. haze overcast morning with no wind !! ..
but by noon there was a good wind .. high of 88 deg ..
.. Marv noted that a ‘local’ spent the night sleeping on the Dock along the side of Dee Light .. later we found out that it was Aaron on the Dock .. he must have misjudged his evening and ran out of steam just before he made it back to Dee Light .. there must be a Fishing Tournament in the area as there were many mid-sized fishing boats shooting over the water ways .. Betty went to the Hotel Office and checked out her e-mail .. Marv called the Bear Point Marina and set up dockage for tonight .. Dee Light left the Marina at 08:30 am .. Jon got up long enough to help with the lines then he headed back to the sack .. the shore lines on either side of the cuts and bays are totally different .. low rise Condos .. Gulf and the Beach within site in many areas .. Betty took the wheel for much of the days travel .. met 4 Tow Boats .. Marv took a photo of 2 of them for Big River’s book .. Jon and Aaron made it up at 11:45 am .. before noon .. there were many boaters out in the Pensacola area .. you could tell that its Sunday .. we entered the state of Alabama .. all the Bridges in this area are plenty high for Dee Light .. Marv called the Marina on the Marine Radio and Jon docked Dee Light inside the Marina Basin with a strong side wind .. there were a number of local boaters that helped us with the lines .. Dee Light was tied off by 12:45 pm .. another great day on the water .. Autumn took Betty and Marv to the Marina Office to check in and for a drink at the restaurant that is part of the Marina .. called The Back Porch ( 251-981-2225 ) .. Jon and Aaron rested on the Back Deck .. there was a lot of Sunday boating activity in and out of the Marina .. Marv replaced the flag on Dee Light’s Aft with a Confederate Flag .. so now Dee Light has 2 Green Bay Packer Flags .. a Colts Flag .. a Cuban Flag .. and a Confederate Flag flying on her decks .. we took a walk on the Docks .. we were invited for a Dock Dinner by some boaters .. but said that we were going to eat at the restaurant .. there is a retired US Coast Guard boat that has been fixed up and is now a live aboard docked at the Marina .. after walking the Docks The Crew met at The Back Porch for dinner and the sunset .. we sat right at the edge of the wooded Dock .. after dinner the Jon and Aaron watched TV on the Back Deck ..

Travel - Fort Walton Beach FL to Orange Beach AL - 4 Bridges 59 miles 583 Miles

05-06-02 Monday Bear Point Marina - Orange Beach AL – Mile 165.0
Contact – Dockmaster - Jason Armour ( 251-981-2327 )
Weather – overnight low of 78 deg .. sunny GREAT morning .. light breeze ..
great sunrise .. high temp of 89 deg .. way above normal ..
.. Autumn took us for a walk and Marv check us out at the Marina .. Jon was up to
help with the lines and Dee Light pulled out of the Marina at 07:55 am .. Dolphins were feeding
in the ICW as we headed West .. we met our first Tow Boat .. GULF STAR .. right away .. once we were underway Aaron made it up .. we all enjoyed coffee and breakfast on the Bridge as we were underway .. we passed the spot where we were shot at in 1996 .. a day that will be remembered for ever by the 5 that were onboard at the time .. good thing we were flying our Confederate Flag this time thru the Cut .. saw many Dolphins in the Cut .. by 09:15 am we were entering Mobile Bay .. and were met by an Alabama Marine Patrol Boat .. they just gave us a look over .. Mobile Bay is huge .. cannot see land in any direction .. but very shallow .. have to stay on the marked waterways .. Jon and Aaron shared the wheel .. Betty and Marv got some sun .. met our first Pirate Ship .. they looked a little rough but they had their clothing on .. we spotted a number of ‘Rigs’ that look like Oil Rigs for pumping oil .. some are huge in size .. by 10:15 am we were on the Main Channel heading North in Mobile Bay .. seas of 2 to 4 in Mobile Bay right on our Starboard Side .. thus saltwater all over Dee Light .. we entered the Cut to Dog River at 11:15 am .. Marv called the Marina for directions .. once we got to Dog River Autumn felt right at home .. Aaron docked Dee Light for the first time ever .. did a good job .. Dee Light made it to the Marina and Fuel Dock at 11:45 am .. as we were fueling up the Pacific Mariner that was right behind us at Bay Point Marina & Marriott Resort .. Panama City Florida pulled into the Dog River Marina .. its name is Bonnie Lass ..

Grand Mariner Marine Inc - Mobile AL …. Starboard Engine – 1352.8 hours
6036 Rock Point Road …………………………….. Port Engine – 1346.8 hours
Mobile , AL 36605
Phone - 251-443-6300

.. after fueling up Jon docked Dee Light for the night .. it was a challenge due to the topless distractions just to our Starboard Side .. i.e. Water Wings with no tan lines .. after Autumn took Betty for a walk Betty fixed Pizzas for lunch on Dee Light .. Jon and Aaron ate on the Fly Bridge in wait for Water Wings to get up .. at 02:30 pm we took the Marinas Courtesy Car to the Mobile Airport to get a one-way Rental Car for Jon and Aaron .. on our way back we stopped at a Grocery Store to pick up supplies and at a Verizon Wireless shop that Marv spotted to get a cable for Marv’s Cell Phone .. we made it back to Dee Light at 05:00 pm .. we filled the water tank on Dee Light .. the shore power here is not real good .. one line went down before we took off for the Airport and when we were gone the main one went down .. so we shut down everything that we did not need and got by with the one line .. Autumn took Betty for a long walk they met a number of local Boaters and they met Bud the Dock Dog of Dog River .. they came back to Dee Light with many stories .. the Crew had dinner right at The Mariner Restaurant Inc ( 334-443-5700 ) .. that over looks the Marina harbor .. we sat outside on the open deck .. the Owner of the Pacific Mariner .. ( Mike and his mature Granddaughter ) .. ‘Bonnie Lass’ .. that docked at Dog River Marina was dining at the restaurant also .. Marv had a good talk with them .. its Hull Number 9 .. they will be heading up the Mobile River in the morning also .. they plan to stop at many of the same ports that we plan to stop at also .. they are planning to spend Tuesday night at Bobby’s Fish Camp .. Jon and Aaron met Mike Bonner at the Marina Bar .. Mike is the Owner of Bonner Boats that constructs steel hull boats .. they are working on a Tour Boat in the Marina .. when they made it back to Dee Light .. since it was their last night before heading back to Fort Myers .. they finished off a bottle of Captain Morgan and a couple of Cuban Cigars that Marv had picked up on the trip to Cuba .. at 01:05 am Mike dropped off his business card ..

Travel - Orange Beach AL to Mobile AL – 8 Tow Boats - Bridge - 53 miles 636 Miles

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