Saturday November 01 - Demopolis Yacht Basin - Demopolis, AL - (334) 289-4374 .. about 05:45 am the boats heading South started their way to the Lock .. SLOW MOV’N OUTLAW II was unable to start one of their engines and they relocated to the Fuel Dock after ‘N MYDREAMS left .. the Lock was full of boats and they even rafted off a number of boats into the Lock .. it took a second lockage before all the boats were on their way down the River .. Marv went over our ongoing Engine Coolant Level problem with Fred Hansard the Harbor Master / Owner of the Marina .. apparently we have developed a leak in out Heat Transfer Unit ( the Radiator ) on our Port Engine .. we decided to have the service work done in Mobile and Fred made the arrangements with Dog River Marina & Boat Works in Mobile for us .. we took the Marina’s Car into town where Betty did some ‘window shopping’ and Marv went on an unsuccessful search for a backup Fuel Pressure Sensor Indicator .. we used our backup Sensor a number of days ago and now we would like to replace it .. after spending the night out on the Hook LORIEN made it to the Marina at about 10:30 am .. John and Ann indicated that SEA QUESTERED has had many more problems as they have been heading down the River .. engine work in Aqua, came into the Columbus Marina at 02:00 am on one engine, etc in addition to getting pulled at Demopolis .. by 02:30 pm the Marina started to fill right up again .. Dave Ellis brought in NOMAD, our sister boat SERENIY that we met up with at the Columbus Marina, and SOUVENIR made it into the Marina and rafted off on our Starboard Side .. just before we left for dinner Diane ( SOUVENIR ) pulled into the Marina’s Parking Lot .. sooo she joined us for dinner .. we took the Marina’s Car to the Foscue House Restaurant just outside of Demopolis for dinner with both John and Ann ( LORIEN ) and Dick, Diane and Rich ( SOUVENIR ) .. part of our dinner conversation centered around SEA QUESTERED voyage South .. John said that after they had pulled into a Lock and after the Lock Gates were cloused and after the Chamber was lowered about 2 feet SEA QUESTERED contacted the Lock and talked them into raising the Lock back up and reopening the Gates so they could lock thru with them .. SEA QUESTERED also told each of the Lock Masters that many of the Fishing Boats were very hard to see due to their colors and that they were unable to see them in time to slow down for them thus they may got some complaints from them.. if you are ever in Demopolis ya just have to have dinner at the Foscue House
Sunday November 02 - Demopolis Yacht Basin - Demopolis, AL - (334) 289-4374 .. Demopolis Yacht Basin is a great place to spend a few days but it is a ‘dirty’ place with all the Diesel fumes in the air from all the Towboats that take on fuel there .. the Docks are dirty, the boats get covered, etc .. sooo Dee Light needs a good bath .. we were up and out of the Marina at 06:00 am .. the Demopolis Lock and Dam dose a South bound lockage at ‘first light’ every day this time of the year .. there were 8 of us this morning .. once we were out of the Demopolis we set a ‘pecking order’ for the Flotilla of boats heading South .. first NOMAD then SOUVENIR, then Dee Light, then LORIEN, followed by a number of others .. just as we were set we hit dense FOG !!! .. we used both of our Radar Units and Betty stood out on the Bow with her Two Way Radio .. as we went under a Bridge we could hardly see the Bridge and Betty was looking for a South bound Bus .. we watched the New York City Marathon on TV .. at the 150 Mile Marker we saw an Alligator swimming in the water .. we kept our speed down and watched our Temperature Gages all day and we did not have an Alarm go off once .. we made it to Bobby’s at 01:00 pm .. after getting 9 boats rafted off to Bobby’s Dock we ordered dinner from Bobby’s Restaurant ( takeout ) and 6 of us had Catfish on Dee Lights Back Deck .. later when Marv was checking out things in the Engine Room the Generator quit on us .. we checked out the Generator and found that it was ‘hot’ but we had water coming out so the Water Pump / Impellor was working but we were unable to keep it running for any length of time .. we watched the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football .. but only the first half as the Generator had overheated and we had to let it cool off .. sooo we missed a GREAT GAME as the World Champion Green Bay Packers once again defeated the Minnesota Viks !! ..
Travel – Demopolis, AL to Silas, AL – 1 Lock today and 70 Locks To Date – 98 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5046 ..
Monday November 03 - Bobby's Fish Camp - Silas, AL - (251) 754-9225 .. Mile 119 .. $0.50 / foot .. we got up to FOG .. we fired up the Generator and it ran great all day long .. we think that we must have had out Water Intake blocked off with some of the Hyacinth Plants that were floating in the water .. we called the Lock Master and he asked for our boat names ( spelled out verrry slow ) and he asked for our Documentation Numbers .. when we were ready to leave the Dock SERENITY changed his mind about heading out but the Lockmaster ( Meteorologist ) told him that the weather would be just great .. so he headed out and we all headed South .. there were two Sailboats pulled up to a Park Wall just above the Lock .. when LORIEN, SERENITY, and SOUVENIR went by them they waked them and caused some apparent damage so the three of them turned around and went back to the Sail Boats to give them their information .. the Lockmaster said that he lost his Referee License soooo he was not going to get involved .. the Lockmaster held the Lock and we ended up all locking thru together .. it took us 35 minutes to lock down 34 feet .. ?? .. a new record for the ‘Slowest Lock’ of the Loop .. the Lockmaster ( a retired Towboat Captain ) informed the boats that they could NOT pass other boats in the Lock .. once we were out of the Lock we got in our pecking order and headed down the River .. the Coffeeville Lock and Dam was OUR LAST LOCK OF THE LOOP and it was eventful .. we followed SOUVENIR and LORIEN was behind us .. we were able to maintain 19 knots for most of the morning without any of our alarms going off .. at about Mile 70.4 SOUVENIR went aground and was stuck in the sand .. we were unable to help very much at all as we could not get close enough to get a line from them .. Dick was getting ready to launch his Dinghy to get a line to us when the 24 foot Sea Ray that was at Bobby’s last night and they were able to pull him off .. at about Mile 59 we had a bump and about an hour later LORIEN came thru the same area and they went hard aground .. after we heard their MAYDAY MAYDAY call on the Marine Radio we contacted them and turned around to assist them .. we were about 15 miles down River thus it took some time for us to get back to them .. by the time we got there all way under control .. they were taking on water and they had a Water Pump from a Work Boat that was working in the area .. they had contacted the Dog River Marina and they made the arrangements for a Towing Service .. after doing what we could we turned back and headed down River .. later as we passed under a Bridge Betty looked hard for a Bus heading to Florida but was unsuccessful .. she did spot a Wal-Mart Truck heading to Fort Myers but it was too full to take on any passengers .. just before dark we ended up on the Hook for the night at Mile 10 above Mobile Bay .. Diane from SOUVENIR called us on our Cell Phone to find out where we were and how LORIEN was doing .. we called LORIEN on our Cell Phone and found out that they had everything under control and that there Towing Service should be there about 08:00 pm .. Betty put together a great dinner on Dee Light ..
Travel – Silas, AL to Hook on the Mobile River – Mile 10 – 1 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 109 plus 30 = 139 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5185 ..
Tuesday November 04 - Hook on the Mobile River – Mile 10 .. $0.00 / foot .. we had a very peaceful and restful night on the Hook and at 06:45 am we pulled the Hook and headed down the Mobil River .. last night we say that we had a big change in the weather heading our way and we were thankful that we had a short run to the Fairhope / Mobil Bay area today .. when we were heading down the Mobil Shipping Channel we spotted JAMIE II ( 136 footer ) tied up on a Commercial Dock .. they had indicated that once they made it to Mobil they would be stopping for some repairs before they head to Fort Lauderdale for the Winter .. when we were cutting across the Mobil Bay ( Southeast ) we got a call from LORIEN .. they had a ‘sleepless night on the Mobil River’ .. the Towing Service made it to their boat at about midnight .. after hooking up the Towing Services Water Pump and returning the barrowed Water Pump they rafted the two boats together and headed down the River .. it was not long before the new Water Pump ran out of fuel and LORIEN started to fill with water again .. UGH .. then after getting that resolved the Towing Service’s boat ran out of fuel .. sooo at 03:00 am they were floating down the River with about a three quarter Moon .. UGH !! .. they did find a Barge Loading area to tie off to .. sooo John used his Electric Drill to transfer fuel from LORIEN’s Fuel Tank to the Towing Boat .. at 05:00 am they had enough fuel transferred to continue their trip South .. Ann figured that they would make it to the Dog River Marina by 03:00 pm .. once LORIEN is safe they plan to head to a Motel and CRASH .. on our way into the Fairhope area we contacted the Marina and the AGLCA Coordinator on our Marine Radio .. the 2003 AGLCA Fairhope Rendezvous that we were heading for had already started and they were at a Breakfast / Meeting .. they were quick to let us know that they could see us coming in and that over 130 eyeballs would be watching us pull Dee Light into our assigned Slip with the winds and rains that had just come up out of the East .. we were quick to tell them that we wanted them to give us a ratting between 1 and 10 on our docking of Dee Light .. once docked we were brought to the Yacht Club by Dinghy and once we were at the Opening Session we were asked to speak to the group about our Loop trip in front of a room of Loopers .. we did get a rating of 10 on our docking .. sooo we both did .. we later met with Ed Wall the President of the Marina to get our repairs scheduled .. the AGLCA had activities set up all day for each every day of the Rendezvous and we took advantage of the ones that interested us .. the Rendezvous was a good place to meet many new friends and to put faces with names and boat names that we have been e-mailing for the last number of Months .. tonight the AGLCA dinner was set up at the Yacht Club .. we ended up being seated with a couple from California that came East in a Motor Home .. sold the Motor Home .. bought a boat ( DUCKY .. a 45 foot Trawler ) .. and are doing the Loop .. we had met up with them a number of times ( Erie Cannel, Green Turtle Bay, etc ) along the way but never got to really know them before tonight ..
Travel – Hook on the Mobile River to Mobile, AL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 35 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5220 ..
Wednesday November 05 thru Friday November 07 - Eastern Shore Marine, Inc - Mobile, AL - (800) 458-7245 .. the AGLCA Fairhope Rendezvous was hosted by three Marinas in Fairhope Alabama .. Fairhope is located about eight miles East of the Mobile Ship Channel .. the Shipping Cannel is about 40 feet deep but the water depth in the Bay once off the Channel in this area is about 8 to 10 feet .. Fairhope is just up Fly Creek a short distance and Eastern Shore Marine is on the North side of the Creek .. all three Marinas are filled with Loopers .. AGLCA had a Complementary Breakfast / Session each morning .. the breakfast was hosted by different local business that are involved with he boating world .. AGLCA also had ‘day activities’ set up each day such as Dinghy Poker Runs, Looper’s Crawls where Loopers toured other Looper’s boats, etc .. and each evening they had a sit down dinner or a party of some type .. all of the events were rotated between each of the Marinas .. the weather could have been better as we had rain off and on ( Tom Conrad the AGLCA Organizer called it ‘Boat Wash’ ) .. but with above normal temperatures but it did not influence the spirits of the boaters that were attending the Rendezvous .. Fairhope is a great town with many shops and restaurants .. we even found an Ice Cream Shop that had just opened up for business .. and Betty found many other shops to explore .. she found many ‘high end shops’ with unique one of a kind things .. and Betty did find a shop that had red and green Shotgun Shells that were made into Christmas light soooo we must still be in a ‘redneck’ area also .. anyway its too early for Christmas stuff .. on Thursday it was sunny with a Record High of 87 degrees .. sooo the weather really straightened out but the Service Department had NOT !! .. and on Thursday Dale from the Service Department started his work in Dee Light’s Engine Room .. Dale had worked on Dee Light when we were here in December of 1999 with our 47 Mainship .. Dale determined that the Heat Transfer Units are ok and that some ‘Wear Plates’ inside the Water Pumps should be replaced to take care of our ‘overheating’ problems and all of the required parts are in stock .. sooo this was great news .. we also had our Generator looked over and only found that there was a few connections / bolts that needed to be tightened up .. Dale was also able to get two extra Fuel Pressure Sensor Indicators for us .. Paula and Bill ( TIN MAN ) made it to the Dog River Marina and drove over for the day in their Rental Car .. it was great to see them and to get caught up with them .. that night the Loopers has a Fish / Shrimp Boil at the Fly Creek Marina ( one of the Marinas that hosted the AGLCA Rendezvous ) .. and the Boil was second to none .. Friday our parts came in and our mechanic Dale did his final work on Dee Light .. Dale discovered that the Water Inlet to the Water Pump was all but blocked with broken pieces of Impellors that were lodged in the Inlet .. later we did talk with Ann and John from LORIEN .. they had rented a Car and were on there way back to Minnesota and will be spending their down time up North .. once the Holidays are over they plan to continue their trip to Fort Myers Florida .. Ann said that were told that a Towboat had gone aground at Mile 58.8 sometime prior to there incident and that it had whipped out the Red Marker .. the people at Dog River think that they may have hit the concrete Anchor were the Red Marker had been .. since we knew that we were going to be here for a number of days we had our mail sent to us .. sooooo now we have much paper work to do .. we ended up taking the Marina’s Car to the downtown area and had dinner on the Fairhope Pier downtown at a restaurant called Fairhope Yardarm Restaurant & Marina ..the Crab Claws and the Crab Claw Omelet were just fantastic .. yes we are back to ‘seafood land’ and love it ..
Saturday November 08 - Eastern Shore Marine, Inc - Mobile, AL - (800) 458-7245 .. many of the other Loopers headed out ahead of Dee Light .. after we checked out with Ed at the Marina we headed out of the Marina at about 07:30 am .. the winds were from the North and we had 2 to 4 footers on our side .. the Tide was down so we had shallow waters ( 7 to 10 foot ) all the way to ICW .. we used our Autopilot on the Bay and we made it to the ICW at about 09:00 am .. Betty spotted three Dolphins in front of us and was she excited .. at 10:00 am we passed the spot where we were ‘shot at’ in the Spring of 1996 when we were heading North with the 47 Mainship .. the Marinas in this area are full due to an Air Show that the Blue Angels are putting on at their Home Port of Pensacola Florida .. we had dockage set up at the Bear Point Marina in Orange Beach, AL but when we got there they were full and wanted us to tie off on the outside on their East Marina Wall .. as we approached the Marina it really looked run down .. UGH !! .. we tried to pull up to the East Wall but the water was very skinny so we called ahead to the Perdido Key Marina in Pensacola, FL where we were planning to get Fuel tomorrow .. they said ‘come on down’ so that’s just what we did .. we pulled up to the Perdido Key Marina’s Fuel Dock at 12:15 pm with the Air Show going on overhead and a parade of boats passing by on the ICW heading to the show .. we watched the Blue Angels from the top of Dee Lights Hard Top .. it was a great spot to see the show from .. once the Air Show was over we watched the parade of boats going by us that had been in the Pensacola Bay for the show ..
Engine Hours – Port Engine .. 2213.2 – Starboard Engine .. 2223.2
.. The Perdido Key Oyster Bar and Restaurant is located on the Marina’s Dock and we had dinner there .. the Seafood Bisque was sooo good that we took two containers back to the boat with us .. we were able to watch the Lunar Eclipse right from the restaurant as well as from Dee Light ..
Travel – Mobile, AL to Pensacola, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 46 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5266 ..
Sunday November 09 - Perdido Key Marina - Pensacola, FL - (850) 492-5600 - Mile 172 - $1.00 per foot .. since we were docked right on the ICW we had many Towboats going by all night ..it was overcast and cloudy as we left Marina at 08:15 am .. it was slow going due to the Sunday traffic of pleasure crafts and the Air Show .. we passed a number of Loopers heading East on the ICW .. in the open areas we had 3 to 4 foot Seas .. we were glad that we were on the ICW instead of out in the Gulf .. just outside of the Destin Inlet we heard a Sail Boater and a Towboat Captain getting into it on who had the right of away as they both were approaching the Destin Bridge .. the Sail Boater insisted that he had the right of way as he was under sail and the Towboat came to a stop as the Sail Boat went under the Bridge .. UGH .. when we were about 15 miles from the Marina Dick ( SOUVENIR ) called us on the Marine Radio .. on the way into the Marina we passed NOMAD tied off on the end of A Dock .. Dick and Captain Ron ( the Harbor Master ) met us at Slip A-2 and we backed Dee Light into the Slip with a good side wind .. got tied off at the Marina at about 01:30 pm right at Half Time of the Colts game .. we spent some time with Dick and Diane and got caught up a little and we had dinner at Acme Oyster House that is located in the Marina’s Village .. it was great and so was the ice cream treat that we and later ..
Travel – Orange Beach, AL to Destin, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 75 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5341 ..
Monday November 10 - Baytowne Marina at Sandestin - Destin, FL - (850) 267-7777 – Mile 239 - $2.00 per foot .. this is a First Class Marina .. all the services that you would possibly need .. they even have their own Village just a Board Walks away from the Marina and it is full of shops and restaurants .. we washed Dee Light from the top all the way down with Salt-Away, Boat Soap and Pine Sol .. some friends of Dick and Diane came to the Marina for the day .. they are boaters from Afton Minnesota ( Jane and Dewey ) .. we all had lunch at the Broken Egg Café in the Village .. and what a great spot for lunch .. Marv had his ‘The Works’ Omelet .. we did some shopping and Dick took us on a tour of the development much of which still under construction .. Dick and Diane took us on a road tour of their complex and the Sandestin area .. we ended up on the Sandestin Beach for the sunset .. our first ‘Gulf Sunset’ in months .. the Sandestin area is exploding with growth !! in every direction .. Condos, Shops, Restaurants, etc going up all over the very limited area .. we later went to dinner ( more seafood !! ) at Rum Runners that is also located in the Marina’s Village .. we made it back to Dee Light to see most of the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football .. the game was in Green Bay Wisconsin where it was about 32 degrees and a light mist of rain / ice coming down .. except for the outcome of the game we had a very good time at Sandestin and it was really good to see Dick and Diane again ..
Tuesday November 11 – VETERANS DAY - Baytowne Marina at Sandestin - Destin, FL - (850) 267-7777 – Mile 239 .. we said our goodbyes to Dick and Billy Jo and we pulled out of the Marina at 07:15 am .. the skies were clear, the sun was out and the Seas were near flat .. it should be a good day for the crossing for the boaters that are ahead of us .. as soon as we got back out to the marked ICW Waterway ( a large open Bay area ) we were heading right into the BRIGHT SUN and it was most difficult to see at all .. once we were in the Ditch we had slow going due to a number of Fishermen ( NO GUNS ), a number of Sail Boats and two Towboats ( BILL JR and MARK C ) that we met .. we were able to use our Autopilot for much of our travel today as much of the Ditch has long straight areas .. we called ahead to the Marina and we got Dee Light docked right behind LADY CHATEAU from Stillwater MN at 11:15 am .. another boater in the Marina told us that they saw out boat name and date on the top of many of the Bollards in the Lock and Dam System coming down the Tenn-Tom .. we wrote on the top of most every Bollard that we had tied off on .. we met Ann and her son from LADY CHATEAU they have been waiting here to do the crossing and they hope to get out of here soon .. in the afternoon Betty took a long walk and Marv worked around Dee Light .. a number of Loopers filtered into the Marina .. just at the end of our Dock there was a huge City Celebration for Veterans Day .. many food stands, T-Shirt stands, and live entertainment that was great .. the last Band to perform was a local nine person group called ‘The Clutch’ .. they have been together for over 20 years playing 50s, 60s, 70s, etc .. they were very entertaining to say the least .. we had dinner at one of the Food Stands .. Ribs and Beans and Ice Cream .. at 08:30 pm they had a Barge out in the Bay where they set off Fireworks .. we watched the Fireworks from the top of the Hard Top and were they GREAT !! ..
Travel – Destin, FL to Panama City, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 55 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5396 ..
Wednesday November 12 - Panama City Marina - Panama City, FL - (850) 872-7272 – Mile 290 - $1.00 per foot .. there was a ‘weather window’ for crossing the Gulf today so LADY CHATEAU left the Marina at first light and headed across the Gulf .. they had been waiting for a number of days .. Autumn was tired from her traumatic night of Fireworks .. she was with us on the Hard Top watching them but was wishing that she was way down in the bottom of Dee Light .. as she is terrified with Fireworks .. we left the Marina at 07:20 am .. it was not long and we drove into FOG .. and the FOG became DENSE FOG as we could not see one eight of a mile ahead of us .. sooo we used our Plotter, Radar, Compass and Betty was out on the Bow with her Two Way Radio .. we had Jets overhead dropping Booms ahead of us doing War Games .. Betty said that this was a ‘two drink morning and as we passed under a Bridge she was looking hard for a Bus heading to Fort Myers .. we even dropped our Hook so Marv could clean his shorts out .. we traveled for about 15 miles before we got out of the FOG .. UGH .. it was a slow start to our day but we had a short run today anyway .. we will not fret about sun in our eyes anymore .. when making a slow / no wake passage they use the term ‘Slow Bell’ a lot in this area .. we pulled into the Marina at 12:30 pm and we had leftovers for lunch and it was deelightfull !! .. we gave Dee Light a good bath .. we took our Bikes into town and did some shopping .. Apalachicola Florida has some of the best shopping in this area and we took advantage of it .. Betty more than Marv .. a 58 foot Viking ( Princes Style – LOGICAL LIZARD – Mike and Jen ) docked directly behind us at the Marina .. we had boated with them in the Fall of 2000 when we were heading South on the Tenn-Tom Waterway .. we had dinner with them and Clark and Libby from KINDRED SPIRET at Papa Joe’s Oyster Bar & Grill that is located right on the Marina’s Dock .. yep more Crab Claws and local Seafood Bisque Soup ..
Travel – Panama City, FL to Apalachicola, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 62 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5458 ..
Thursday November 13 - Scipio Creek Marina - Apalachicola, FL - (850) 653-8030 – Mile 351.2 - $1.25 per foot .. this is the ‘land of Shrimp Boats’ they line the Docks and are busy going in and out .. LOGICAL LIZARD left the Marina at first hint of light and headed out for Clearwater Florida .. we headed out of the Marina at 07:10 am ( CDT ) .. the forecast was for the winds to pick up all day today and the Weather Man was correct .. the winds started to pick up before we made it out to the Bay area .. once in the Bay we had 2 to 4 footers from the North .. we took the Seas from all directions as our course changed many times .. KINDRED SPIRET had left the Marina before we did and we soon passed them .. we made it to the Marina and were all tied off and hooked up by 09:15 am .. they saved the Slip that we had asked requested .. after helping us with our lines Buddy filled our Fuel Tanks .. we could have done the Crossing without the added fuel but we wanted to top off our Tanks for the added ballast and the Diesel cost were the lowest that we have seen in some time at $1.19 ..
Engine Hours – Port Engine .. 2229.6 – Starboard Engine .. 2239.9
.. there were a number of other Loopers in the Marina .. Buddy the ‘Marinas Meteorologist’ said that it looks like to Cold Front should move thru on Friday and that Saturday looks like a good day to do the Crossing .. by midday the winds had picked up o 20 mph right from the North .. we gave Dee Light a good bath and she needed it .. just after Dee Light’s bath the FLOORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE Boat that in harbored 50 feet across from us decided that it was time to put on Fuel .. it is a HUGH ( 100 footer ) boat that is all STEEL .. the Captain maneuvered the boat within inches of Dee Light when the winds caught him as both of us watched helplessly in horror .. Betty screaming at him from the Cockpit and Marv running to the Bow with a Fender .. they needed Fuel because they were out on Saturday involved with a search / rescue operation of four people from Georgia that were out in a 25 foot boat .. the boat was found upside down but the people are still out there .. we got our Bikes down and drove them into town where we found the local Ice Cream Shop .. Carrabelle is the home of the Smallest Police Department in the World and we found it .. it’s a Payphone Booth with a Squad Car parked right next to in .. then at 05:00 pm a number of the Boaters / Loopers gathered in the Marina’s Lounge for Docktails and Munchies .. from there we went to the World Famous Julia Mae's Seafood Restaurant for dinner .. dinner was GREAT !! as usual at Julia Mae's .. we later had the Crew’s from ODYSSEY ( Paul and Sue ) and SANS SOUCI ( Bob and Carol ) over on Dee Light for a cocktail and much conversation .. a good way to the day ..
Travel – Apalachicola, FL to Carrabelle, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 31 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5489
Friday November 14 - Moorings at Carrabelle FL - Carrabelle, FL - (850) 697-3950 – Mile 381 - $1.00 per foot .. at 05:00 am we watched THE RED ROOSTER SHOW on the local TV Station .. it is ‘down home’ and very country .. and something that you would never see in a populated part of the country .. ‘Red’ is the only person on the Show and he appears like a very seasoned boater .. quite a hoot to wake up to in the morning .. Buddy was off today but the Weather Channel and other Weather Experts said the COLD FRONT is to move thru today with 20 knot winds .. sooo today would not be a good day to head out .. we topped off our Water Tank for ballast .. after getting Dee Light ready for our anticipated crossing in the morning we took our Bikes and headed out of town to Carrabelle Beach and then on to the Crooked River Lighthouse .. it was a good distance but well worth the trip .. the Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1995 and needs much TLC .. it looks much like the Sanibel Lighthouse on Sanibel Island Florida .. a number of boaters / Loopers gathered again in the Boaters Lounge for a Potluck Dinner .. Loopers are GOOD Cooks .. we also spent much of the evening checking out ‘weather’ on the Marina’s PC in the Boaters Lounge .. when we made it back to Dee Light ‘Storm Stories’ was on the Weather Channel .. soooo we went to sleep watching a replay of boating rescue at Sea story ..
Saturday November 15 - Moorings at Carrabelle FL - Carrabelle, FL - (850) 697-3950 – Mile 381 .. we were up early checking the weather out and putting everything down inside of Dee Light .. the first boat was out of the Marina at 05:30 am followed by three other boats .. we pulled out of the Marina at 05:45 am in the dark .. Betty was at the Bow with our Hand Held Spotlight spotting the Markers .. Marv forgot to turn the Fly Bridge Blower on and the Bridge soon fogged up creating a few tense moments on our way out thru the ‘Cut’ .. we heard that the other boats turned back due to the Seas and then we heard SANS SOUCI report that they went aground near the last Red Marker and that they were going to head back in also .. we met the boats as they headed back in and we made our way out to within site of the last marker and we also decided to head back to the Marina .. Buddy met us at the Dock and gave us a weather update and it was not looking good at all .. we got everything hooked back up again and Betty hosed the salt off Dee Light .. we have been keeping in contact with SERENIY .. they have spent the last two days at Apalachicola .. and they headed out from there to do the crossing .. they called us and decided to head to Carrabelle as the Seas were rough .. about an 90 minutes later they changed there mind and change their heading back to Clearwater hopping that it would lay down .. Marv took advantage of the added day in Carrabelle and got his hair cut at the Carrabelle Clipper .. and he needed it !! .. friends of Betty’s from Indianapolis Julie and Paul stopped by for lunch on Dee Light .. they live on St George Island about 30 to 40 minutes away by car .. we had gone by there home on our way from Apalachicola to Carrabelle .. SANS SOUCI had their Props replaced an then discovered that their Shafts must be damaged also .. UGH !! .. after spending much time checking out the weather with Charter Boat Captains and on-line we got a ride to Lorenzo Ristorante an Italian restaurant for dinner .. we met up with the Crew’s from ODYSSEY and SANS SOUCI .. we polished off our dinner with a Cannoli .. the weather for Sunday dose not look good at all but we will wait until Sunday morning to decide if we are going to head out or not .. we talked with Henry from SERENIY .. he said that they had a very rough trip for most all the way and that they made it to Clearwater in the dark at about 06:30 pm ..
Travel – Carrabelle, FL to Carrabelle, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 30 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5519
Sunday November 16 - Moorings at Carrabelle FL - Carrabelle, FL - (850) 697-3950 – Mile 381 .. when we got up we again got Dee Light ready for our anticipated crossing .. the weather forecast was about the same as yesterday morning .. and the forecast was much worse the rest of the week .. so our ‘window’ for doing the crossing was going shut real quick .. two boats that made it to the Marina late yesterday left in the dark at about 05:30 am .. Buddy made it to the Marina about 06:30 am and after checking out the weather update he confirmed that if we were going to do the crossing in the next week it would have to be today .. and he highly recommended going out behind Dog Island to Marker 26 to avoid some of the rough Seas with the South Southeast winds .. this Pass in now what we refer to as ‘Buddy’s Pass’ .. sooo at about 07:30 am Dee Light and three other boats headed out .. CARIAS was first .. by 08:30 am they had made it to the Marker 26 ( about 15 miles ) and decided to turn back .. KINDRED SPIRIT was behind us and the last message from them was when they wished us Gods Speed .. we do not know if the made it or not .. one other boat also turned around to join the other boats back in the Marina that had decided to stay in the Harbor .. Buddy’s Pass did add about 15 miles to our total distance but it was worth it to not get so beat up right away .. we had 2 to 3 footers behind Dog Island then once we were at Marker 26 they turned to 4 to 6 footers on our Bow .. then the Seas and Rollers became about 5 to 8 footers for the next 100 miles .. yup it got ‘bumpy’ .. as we got closer to Clearwater the Seas dropped to 2 to 4 footers but the Rollers stayed at about 4 foot .. Dee Light ran great all day .. we drained about one cup of water out of out Starboard Duel Fuel Filters .. at 02:58 pm we saw land once again .. we found our outside Marker and called ahead to the Marina to get our dockage assignment .. as we pulled into the Marina we saw SERENIY docked just down from our Slip .. the Crew from HOW BOUT US ( Loopers ) helped us with our lines as we made it into the Slip at 04:15 pm just as the Green Bay Packers kicked off the ball to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just down the road at the Buccaneers Stadium .. Dee Light had SALT ENCRUSTED all over her !! .. we did a little hosing down but saved the big cleanup job for tomorrow as we were beat !! .. we had worn our Carrabelle to Clearwater Crossing T-Shirts for the third day sooo they were ready for the laundry when we made it to Clearwater .. UGH .. and did they ‘reek’ .. and soooo did we .. right after the Packers victory we showered up and joined Henry and Sue on SERENIY for a Docktails on their 60 foot Viking .. later we headed to Crabby Bill’s Seafood’s on the Strip for dinner .. we had a number of calls from friends that were following our adventure on-line and knew that today would have to be our day to do the crossing or we would be in for a long wait .. we were ‘dead tired’ by the time that we made it back to Dee Light .. a good day to have behind us ..
Travel – Carrabelle, FL to Clearwater FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 192 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5771 ..
Monday November 17 - Clearwater Municipal Marina – Clearwater FL - (727) 462-6954 – Mile 137 - $1.50 per foot .. we called Buddy back at the Carrabelle Marina and gave him an update on our trip to Clearwater .. he said that a number of boats came in after we left the Marina yesterday and that they will be spending a number of days right there until the weather turns around .. we helped SERENIY with their lines as they headed out and then we took a walk into the Strip area to check out transpiration to the Airport as Betty’s son Randy and his daughter Sierra will be flying into Tampa on Tuesday morning .. we spotted a number of Green Bay Packer Fans that were here for the game last yesterday .. we cleaned and cleaned the SALT off Dee Light .. the Windshield area where the Wipers did not touch had sooo much salt on them that you could not see thru them .. Marv also spent much time in the Engine Room .. Marv change three of the Fuel Filters and drained a fuel / glup out of the Fuel Filters on the Starboard side .. when we were exploring around the Marina we discovered that Tiger Woods keeps his boat at the T Head of our Dock soooo we will keep an eye out for him .. Betty spent some good quality time on the Clearwater Beach as it was sunny and in the 80s .. and later we went back to the Beach for the sunset .. the sunset was great but the winds were also picking up all day as there was a major storm going across the Country to the North of us .. after the sunset we walked down Mandalay Avenue that parallels the Beach and that’s where we found the Outback Steak House where they have Blooming Onions .. one of the many Ice Cream Shops is right across the Street .. where we found a treat ..
Tuesday November 18 - Clearwater Municipal Marina – Clearwater FL - (727) 462-6954 – Mile 137 .. the winds picked up all night .. we helped HOW BOUT US when they pulled out of the Marina about 11:00 am .. Betty’s son Randy and his daughter Sierra ( 3 ) arrived at 12:00 pm from Indianapolis .. after a quick bite to eat on Dee Light we all headed right to the Beach .. Sierra exhausted all of us at the Beach playing in the water, walking / running on the Beach, body breaking the Surf, walking the Pier, etc .. she kept going and going right thru dinner at Crabby Bill’s Seafood’s .. but once she hit the pillow she was dead .. a massive weather front started to move thru today .. the front extends from North of New York to Mexico .. UGH !! .. the winds picked up and changed direction .. we went to the Pier for the sunset but the clouds moved in .. we had planed to have Wednesday as our travel day but we will have to check out the weather in the morning ..
Wednesday November 19 - Clearwater Municipal Marina – Clearwater FL - (727) 462-6954 – Mile 137 – the rains move in the Clearwater / Tampa area about 04:30 am .. we decided to stay right at the Marina and ride out the storm .. about 08:00 am the wind and rain increased and about 09:30 we stood on the Fly Bridge when a Tornado moved thru the Marina area .. the winds had to be over 30 knots and the ‘roar’ from the Tornado sounded very close to Dee Light .. the winds also raised the elevation of the water in the Marina about 3 feet .. after the storm passed Betty and Randy took Sierra for a Trolley Ride along the Beach .. there are many Fishing Boats in this Marina and in this area .. with the winds and weather not being very corporative for getting out their business is really being hurt .. we heard that the Marina at Carrabelle has now filled up with boaters that are waiting to make the crossing and the Marina cannot handle any more boats .. when Randy and Sierra came to Dee Light we thought that we would be making our way to Fort Myers on Thursday but with the change in weather we will not be getting there for a few more days .. soooo we decided to get a Rental Car and get them to their flight in Fort Myers on Thursday .. we will be getting the Car in the morning ..
Thursday November 20 - Clearwater Municipal Marina – Clearwater FL - (727) 462-6954 – Mile 137 .. we received an e-mail from one of the boaters that had stayed back at Carrabelle .. they described the waves going over the Docks from the high winds that made it thru the area yesterday .. the Marina is up a River and s very well protected sooo the winds there had to be something .. after a quick breakfast we picked up our Rental and about 10:00 am we headed out to Fort Myers Florida to deliver Randy and Sierra to the Airport .. when we were within sight of the Gulf we could see that the waters were still very rough as the winds were just starting to settle down .. when we made it to Fort Myers we brought both of our cars to the Car Doctors .. they both were in storage for six Months and needed some TLC .. Betty was glad to get back to her place and to check out all the things that she has to do before her Renters come in January .. we were both excited to see all the Grapefruit and Oranges on Betty’s Fruit Trees .. we will be enjoying them for the next number of Months .. Marv’s son Jon and his wife Sarah joined us for dinner at The McGregor Café on McGregor Boulevard .. it was great to see them and to get updated a little on what has been going on in Fort Myers .. after dropping Randy and Sierra off at the Airport Jon joined us and we headed back to Clearwater to Dee Light .. HEADLINES - SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Nov. 20) -- His hands cuffed behind his back, Michael Jackson was booked on suspicion of child molestation Thursday after arriving by private Jet to face charges that could destroy the pop star's career and send him to prison for years ..
Friday November 21 - Clearwater Municipal Marina – Clearwater FL - (727) 462-6954 – Mile 137 .. the sunrise over the Harbor was priceless as the skies were clear .. this Marina is the home of a number of Fishing Charter Boats .. due to the weather their business has really suffered due to the weather the last number of days .. sooo today they were just a buzzing along the Warf .. after we returned our Rental Car and checked out of the Marina Dee Light headed out of the Marina .. when we checked out of the Marina the Harbour Master said that with the good weather he is expecting many boats coming in for tonight after they do their crossing .. about 08:000 am Dee Light pulled out of the Marina and we headed out into the Gulf as the winds were down .. Jon took the Wheel for the day .. the sun was in our eyes all day .. the Gulf route is longer than the ICW but on a day like today it is great to be out on the Gulf .. we passed a number of large Cargo Ships outside on the Tampa Bay Inlet .. the Seas were 3 to 5 footers outside the Inlet and then became 2 to 4 footers as we got back closer to land .. sooo Dee Light had another bath of SALT water .. UGH .. we are back in Crab Pot area again .. sooo we had a lot of dodging to do .. we arrived at the Marina at 12:00 pm .. after a deelightfull lunch on the Back Deck of Dee Light Jon hosed down Dee Light, Betty headed to the Beach, and Marv headed to the Engine Room .. after getting Dee Light docked Jon and Betty de-salted Dee Light .. right after watching the sunset we headed to the Crow's Nest Restaurant & Tavern for dinner .. and what a great Seafood Dinner it was .. once back to Dee Light we chatted for little but we were tired and hit the sack early ..
Travel – Clearwater FL to Venice, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 82 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 5883 ..
Saturday November 22 - Crow's Nest Marina Restaurant & Tavern - Venice, FL - (941) 484-9551 – Mile 58 - $ 1.75 .. OUR LAST DAY OF TRAVEL .. we left the Marina at 07:15 am after getting Dee Light ready to travel on the Gulf instead of inside on the ICW .. Jon took the Wheel and we headed straight out into the Gulf again .. it is a longer route than the ICW but with the near calm Seas and the week-end traffic on the ICW we decided to head outside .. once out a number of miles off the Shore Line we had Seas of only 1 to 3 footers .. it was 80 degrees and sunny .. another great day on the water !! .. we checked the weather up North as this is the opening day of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin .. the Deer Hunters must be happy as they have a fresh layer of that ‘white stuff’ for ‘tracking’ that just came down this morning .. since today is a Saturday we could hear Sea Tow and Boat US doing battle over the Marine Radio as well as a number of boaters engaging in ‘Marine Radio Rage’ .. HEADLINES - Nov. 22, 1963 - The Infamous Day in Dallas - John F. Kennedy was shot to death by an assassin on Nov. 22, 1963, as he rode through the streets of Dallas. His death continued the unhappy coincidence that, until that time, every American president since William H. Harrison who was elected in a year that ended in "0" had died while in office. These presidents and the years of election were Harrison, who was elected in 1840; Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860; James A. Garfield, 1880; William McKinley, 1900; Warren G. Harding, 1920; and Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940 … our Starboard Engine started to ‘flutter’ again .. Marv checked the Fuel Filters and it appears as we have ‘junk’ in both the Starboard Fuel Filters .. we ran the Fuel Transfer Pump until the Auxiliary Tank was empty .. thus getting fresh Fuel into the system .. as we passed around the outside of Sanibel Island we had Seas of 2 to 4 foot .. despite our fluttering Engine we were able to make good time .. we were looking at our total trip mileage and discovered that we were closing in on 6,000 total miles .. sooo we sidetracked a little down Fort Myers Beach adding a few miles so our total mileage for the trip would be 6,000 miles .. we met The Big M, three Shrimp Boats and nine Sailboats along Fort Myers Beach .. Eric and a number of boaters from the Marina helped us with our Lines as we pulled into our Slip at 01:00 pm .. Dee Light and her Crew were very HAPPY to be in their Slip ( B-29 ) .. we ended up at Fort Myers Beach for Beach Bread, Ice Cream and the sunset at the Pier on the Beach .. yup were home again ..
Travel – Venice, FL to Fort Myers, FL – 0 Lock today and 71 Locks To Date – 117 Miles Today – Cumulative Miles 6000 ..
Sunday November 23 - Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL - (239) 461-0775 – Mile 136 .. it’s great o be back to our home Marina and we spent part of the day chatting with a number of boaters that we have not seen or talked with since leaving last April .. we also spent much of the day getting us and Dee Light settled in .. we kept an eye on the Green Bay Packers game as they defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Green Bay Wisconsin .. it was COLD up there but the Packer Fans did not seam to mind at all .. Marv spent part of the day in the Engine Room and Betty took her Car to Public’s for groceries and other supplies .. she said it was sooooo nice to have her own Car and to be able to shop in a ‘real’ Store .. we recorded our Engine Hours when we pulled into our Slip ..
Engine Hours – Port Engine .. 2251.2 – Starboard Engine .. 2263.0
Left Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers Florida – April 29th 2003
Total days traveled – 210
Total number of Marinas stayed at 91
Total number of Locks – 71
Total number of Miles – 6,000
Average number of miles traveled per day of travel – 65.93 miles
Engine Hours at end of trip – Port Engine .. 2251.2 – Starboard Engine .. 2263.0
Total Ice Cream – Marv 147 Double Scopes .. Betty 131 Single Scoops
Total Engine Hours – 483.7
Total Fuel used – 11,149.7 gallons
Average number of gallons per mile - 1.8582
Average number of gallons per hour - 23.05
Completed the Loop – Centennial Harbour Marina – Fort Myers Florida – November 22nd 2003