Bringing Blue Haven from Mobile to St Petersburg
Some dear friends of ours recently purchased a Carver 506 in Nashville. They had the engines serviced prior to departure. It took them 12 days to get to Mobile, AL. The only mishap they had was a grounding in soft mud that sucked up into the generator raw water intake and fried the impeller. All things considered, not bad.
My wife and I met them in Mobile to help them with the Gulf crossing. The pursuit of a spare impeller for the generator caused a delay in leaving Mobile so we altered our stops a bit.
The first night was in a small town called Navarre, FL at a marina connected to a barbecue and smokehouse restaurant. I wouldn't recommend it. The docks are old and wooden and the tops of the power pedestals literally came off in our hands. The only spot they had for us was in an exposed area. The strong winds caused such loud hull lapping that we left almost two hours before sunrise and picked our way along using the spotlight and radar just to get away from the noise; none of us slept.
The second night was at Scipio Marina on the Apalachicola peninsula. Nice place. Helpful dock hands. Cute little town, if it wasn't all closed up due to virus concerns. We did stand back while one guy was smoking and drinking a beer at 9:00 am next to the gas pump. We had to keep resetting the alarm on the dumbass detector. Felt like we were watching Darwinsim in action.
The third morning was foggy. At times, really thick foggy. We reconfigured our route, checked the weather a fifteen-hundredth time, talked to a local captain for information on the route out, revised the schedule and decided to depart at 11:00 am to make the crossing and arrive at our marina about 9:00 am the next morning.
We decided upon three hour shifts driving. It worked well. Long about 11:00 pm, the mild breeze died down and the moonlight reflected off of calm, slightly rolling seas. It was beautiful. There was also a gorgeous sunset as we approached the west coast of Florida. Right about the time we were entering the channel for Tampa Bay, the winds started kicking up and we scooted inside, safe and secure. An hour later, we tied up at the dock and celebrated by taking some long naps.
A successful crossing in what turned out to be a narrow weather window and now our best friends are docked next to us in their new-to-them boat. Fun times and more ahead!
John and Deb Easley
John - USCG 50 ton Master
1999 Jefferson Rivanna 52' CPMY