Swing Set

Sep 20, 201201:54 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Apalachicola To Dog Island

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The East Pass into St. George's Bay separates St. George Island and Dog Island. Just inside the pass on the southwest end of Dog Island is a published anchorage with just a narrow strip of sand between the gulf and the calm waters of the bay, just across from the entrance to Carrabelle, Fla. Calm, if the wind is coming from anywhere but the north, or northwest. The house in the picture looked abandoned, and another one down the beach was listing toward the gulf; others looked in good repair but still seemed a bit desolate to us.

I went to work on modifying our anchor chocks to fit our new anchor, and Rosie got out the stainless steel polish and attacked the bow rails. I was going to modify the anchor, but it proved to be too much of a job without a vise and a large hammer, so I capitulated and moved one of the fluke supports over about an inch on the anchor chocks, allowing us to fit a readily available anchor to the chocks should we ever lose the anchor again. I was left with two screw holes that I dressed up with some stainless screws and finish washers, having not the interest at the time to fill them in with putty and gelcoat. I also fitted a neat little bungie cord onto the anchor shank support to allow us to secure the anchor without hunting for something to tie it down with. Overall, I'm pleased with the look, and now we have our stern anchor back.

By the time our work was done, it was time for lunch, and since we got up early to head for Apalachicola, after lunch it was time to relax with a book and maybe sneak in a nap. Holly had other ideas about the nap, so I got up and went to work on yesterday's blog and Rosie entertained herself playing with Holly. After that, it was time to pop a beer and retire to the cockpit to enjoy our view and think about grilling our dinner.

Something I will never understand is how you can travel for miles in open water, anchor hundreds of feet off of land, and still be inundated with mosquitoes or flies after a time. I know we didn't bring them with us, and how do they get together to decide to fly all the way out to where the boat is to make an annoyance of themselves? Rosie and I broke two cheap flyswatters attempting to kill the pesky flies until we relented and just sprayed ourselves with fly repellent, with little success.

We grilled some chicken wings and added a tossed salad, and finished dinner just before sunset. Then, we played some dominoes and read our books before falling off to sleep. It wasn't too much later when the wind kicked up, coming from the only quadrant that would affect us the most, and kept us awake off and on for most of the night. I wasn't worried about the anchor, as it was stuck very well in the sand and we had over 100 feet of rode deployed, but the thunkity thunk of the water smacking the bow is something that's hard for us to sleep by. The only saving part of it is the fact that we can usually nap the next day if we don't get sufficient sleep on any given night.

We could have probably set out on our course for Steinhatchie, Fla., this morning, but since the gulf was a little unsettled for the last few days, we're giving it a day to "lay down" before we attempt to cross on Friday morning. I think this was some good advice we got from Carl back in Panama City, and we plan on heeding it.

A blog reader from back up in the St. Louis area invited us to go fishing with him and his brother over the weekend, as they both now live near here, but we're taking a pass on the invite because we have a calm forecast until Monday night or Tuesday and we want to get over to the west coast of Florida while we have a chance.

Today, we're going to do some waxing and enjoy our anchorage here. I've plotted a course straight over to Steinhatchie, but we keep considering a straight shot over to Crystal River from here. In the end, I think it would be too much to tackle in daylight hours, plus I told Rosie that if getting from one place to another as quick as we could was the object, we would get plane tickets and not be traveling on a boat. My buddy, Don, told me that years ago, and it makes sense to me.

Expect another report some time over the weekend on the first leg of our gulf crossing, or do us a favor and call the Coast Guard. This is as close as I'll get to filing a float plan, and I'm comfortable with it. We have a Spot that we can use to call for help if something happens. One thing is for certain, praying is not part of our reaction plan. It's hard to swim while you are praying, anyway.

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