Friday, July 8, 2011

June 10, 2011 Day 6

Happy Birthday to our friends Jeanne & Julie!!!

BTW...the bruises I mentioned in earlier blog...I have them from left hip, to left butt cheek, to right butt cheek, to right hip!! Dean wanted to take a picture but I wouldn't let him. It's from my ZUMBA dancing in the galley while underway.

Our view as I stepped out into the cockpit this morning with my coffee!
Another early morning since we are looking at another long day! We are hoping to be in Tampa Bay tonite so we can meet our crew tomorrow and have a "sit tight for the day" type of day. I am worried about Dad, as he has been fighting a nasty cold or respiratory infection since a day or so after we left. It seems it's not getting any better....every day during the day it seems better. But at night it flares and he coughs all night. I told him if we need feelings would not be hurt, if he wants Kristy to come get him and we'd see to it he could get home from Tampa.  I know he's tough but I don't want him to be sick, I want him to be healthy & enjoy this trip. I want him & Mom to go with us again someday to the Bahama's!!

We got ourselves ready to'd up...put carpet back down...everything in its place. OK Capt' we are ready!

At Anchor-view to the north of the ICW 

Heading toward the entrance to Charlotte Harbor from our anchorage.
Anchor up & we were leaving our anchorage @ 0700 hr. Once again, the channel was loaded with fishing boats. Dad hollered to a boat to find out what they were fishing for..."Tarpon"- no food value, just a blast to catch!

As we motored out of the channel we went on a major "lock down" hunt for Dean's sunglasses. We found them on the floor near the forward head. He laid them down on the floor when he was nosing around in the watermaker compartment! Geez...I think we should have extra sunglasses onboard too! We also found the water pump was leaking again! Not quite so bad this time...carpet was still damp anyway. Dean fiddled with that a few minutes...a project to dig into later...but it will be fine for now. I am sure it will bug him later on today & he will be right on it!

The calm Gulf of Mexico!

Is this really Hurricane season?!
 Today is mostly sunny; 14 kts of wind or less and 1' or less of waves. Gonna end up being another motorsail day!

Isn't she lovely? 
We are under full sail @ 0835 hr with 10-11kts of wind. Dad & I are starting to get the hang of this "sail up  - sail down" procedure and Dean really is a good Captain! Of course I am alittle partial to the guy! Our Way Too! is clipping along between 5.7 & 6.4 kts. 1000 hr - wind died to 4-6 kts so we started the engine, pulled in the jib and kept on trucking northward between 5.5 & 6.2 knots. It's still calm as can be. The Gulf reminds us of Lake Michigan. Similar in color and when there are waves they are short & choppy just like her. The Gulf is mostly shallow as well except way out in the middle where we will cross next week. It gets up to approximately 5000' according to our charts. Noon-the wind is switching to the NW...still motorsailing with only mainsail up. Had a light lunch of left-over Tuna Salad w/ cream cheese on celery sticks, carrots, and sliced oranges.

Captain & First Mate
"Third Time's A Charm!"

My sister Kathy called to check on us about 1pm! We were surprised because the cell service is very sketchy out here. We are able to text but not call out. Dean, Dad, & I are getting a real kick out of my Mom, sisters, & daughter Chrissy. They are watching our SPOT like hawks! (I hope Kristy & Chrissy don't get into trouble watching because I know they are at work!) They are addicted to it! We won't normally have it set for every 10 minutes but since they are enjoying it and it's so new to our whole family we left it set as is for this trip. I think they are checking it every 5 minutes!!! :D Mom knew we turned around & backtracked under the Marathon Bridge the same time we did. When Dad asked her what the SPOT showed later that evening she told him we were going backwards!  I decided to try to upload some pictures & catch up on the blog but apparently the signal is not strong enough to do that.

While Edgar & I took over the helm for awhile, Dean went into "putzing on projects" mode. Yep...he is back on that water pump issue! Dad is reading a John Jakes book when he isn't snoozing! ;)
Snoozing with his toothpick still in tact!
Dean text Captain Rob a picture of a pulley for the jib furling line...the wheel inside disintegrated and it's making it a chore to roll up the head sail. Rob is close to West Marine...we hoped maybe he'd have time to get one & throw it in his traveling bag?! (He text back soon after & said he had it in his bag!) I then decided I need to make a list &  text to Capt' Randy...hoping he could fit a few needed items into his bag too! He says "No Problem" as well.
#1 FLYSWATTER (altho we didn't need one never knows when they might invade!)
#2 Ibuprofen
#3 Q-Tips
#4 Batteries (for the SPOT-which ended up being wrong ones-Dean will need to open it next time!)
#5 Wet wipes
#6 Cough drops for Dad
#7 A Bathing Scrunchie! (Mine went for a swim!)

Later in the afternoon the wind picked up to about 20 knots & the waves grew to 3-4's with occasional 5's. Dean chose to stay with the main & motorsail on in.

At 1815 hr we enter the channel entrance markers of Tampa Bay. Whew! We did it and we will be there to pick up our crew on time! Dean breathes a sigh of relief!
A smile & a sigh of relief...we are entering Tampa Bay
I know he will be glad to have both Rob & Randy onboard. Dad & I are not as experienced and he needs more of a break mentally. Bless his heart...he is such a trooper...that wonderful Man of Mine!!
As we are headed into Tampa Bay, Kristy texts me & says to watch for the island that should be on the north side of us as we enter the Bay. That tells you how close they are watching the SPOT! ;) It is called Egmont Key and several years ago her & Russell went there on their jet ski's for a day. She says, "Do you remember the picture of me laying on the beach in a white bikini?" I said I did and she told me that is where that picture was taken.
Kristy's Key :)
                                                           Sooooo......I have renamed the island!!!
Florida's "Sunshine Skyway Bridge"
I thought it a unique color!

We have the Bridge in sight! It is really a kewl bridge but Our Way Too!'s Crew Poll is...It still doesn't beat the awesome Mighty Mac!! (Mackinaw Bridge) We went under the bridge @ promptly 1900 hr.

We passed this guy in the channel just before the bridge.
As we motored up into the Tampa Bay to find our
 chosen anchorage we watched this beautiful sunset over
Clearwater/St Petersburg.
It turned out to be quite the trek up into the bay. We figure about 20 miles to the spot we thought would be the best for easy access to pick up our crew. We slowly maneuvered Our Way Too! thru the dark, around a huge barge, dodging crab pots, and into the protection of a little island just off the marked channel, then we lowered the anchor and set it @ 2150 hr (9:50p).

We need to make mention of this past week with all our has been quite a lesson for us! As Michigander's we are used to anchoring out with the nose of our boat staying into the wind once the anchor is set. Now...dealing with Tides & throws us off a bit! When I get up to do my walk-a-round the boat at night, I sometimes feel I have been drinking too much the night before! But...I didn't drink to's the wind is blowing from one direction and the bow of the boat is pointed in a different direction due to the currents associated with the tides coming in or going out! I tell ya, it really messes with your mind when you are half asleep! I would go back down below, wake up Dean & have him double-check me! Needless to say... we have had a couple of nights with that confused/dumbfounded  feeling but we have been securely anchored. Tonite will be no different as the anchor is set well and the bow is swung completely opposite of the wind!

To this point, Our Way Too! & her crew of Dean, Katie, & Al (Dad) have covered 398.3 nautical miles!!  We are real proud of ourselves & especially Our Way Too! She keeps us safe & performs great!
Today alone we covered 90.9 nm

"Nite ya'll" from the Our Way Too! Crew

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