Thursday, January 30, 2014

10/9/13-11/19/13: Biloxi MS to Carrabelle FL: 250 NM

After packing the boat and saying goodbye to my sailing buddy Dave Thomas, I headed out of Cadet Marina on a nice fair day and headed for Horn Island 8 miles off the coast.  I spent three wonderful days on Mississippi's Barrier Islands, Horn and Petit Bois, waiting for fair weather to make the long run to the closet shelter east of Mobile Bay.  During those days on Horn and Petit Bois, I hiked the interiors of both, took photos, fished, and had a really nice time goofing off.  I did have an exciting moment when on shore on Horn my dinghy decided to head out on its own and I made the bad decision to try and swim it down.  After getting several hundred yards off the beach, swimming like mad,  I came to the realization that I was not going to catch it.  I was now at the mercy of wind, waves, and current and started screaming at a motor cruiser anchored a hundred yards off.  After about three minutes, I got there attention and they jumped in their dinghy and picked me up.  I don't think they were happy about having to go out of their way to help a fellow boater, as very few words were exchanged during the event.  Nevertheless, a lesson was learned.

Leaving Biloxi Mississippi on my way to Horn Island to wait for favorable sailing weather in order to comfortably sail to Florida.  

Horn Island Sunset

Horn Island Sunset

I pitched a tent on Horn thinking I may sleep on land if it got rough on the boat.  It ended up being a nice night on the water.  This is on the very western tip of Horn.

Horn Island Sunset

Horn Island Sunset

Horn Island Sunset

Horn Island Sunset

Horn Island Sunset

The redfish equivalent of a four leaf clover.  She was too pretty to eat and back she went to grow up.

Aligator tracks on Horn Island

Horn Island landscape

Horn Island Landscape

Horn Island Landscape

Horn Island Landscape

Horn Island Landscape

Camping on Horn Island

Horn Island Flowers

Horn Island Dunes. There is great hiking on Horn Island.

Horn Island Landscape

Second Anchorage on Horn Island.  The wind is turning favorable.
Sunset on Horn Island at my second anchorage.

Pelicans in flight along the beach on Horn.

I had great winds and sailed along the lee of the island along Mississippi Sound on my way to Orange Beach, Alabama.  This was some of the best sailing I had done to date.

Expedition kayakers just starting off from Perdido on their way to Destin Florida.

Taking his dog on a paddle in Big Lagoon.

Big Lagoon Anchorage near Orange Beach, Alabama.

Sunset on the GIWW near Pensacola.
Sunset near Pensacola.

Sunset near Pensacola.
My anchorage in Destin Harbor.  I stayed here for three days to rest and relax.  It was enjoyable.

I got hit by this front just as I was entering St. Joseph Bay.  It sunk a 40 ft. shrimp boat near Biloxi.  I pulled all my sails down just before impact.  It still put the boat at a good angle.

St. Joseph Bay Sunset

St. Joseph Bay sunset.

St. Joseph Bay Sunrise

St. Joseph Bay Sunset.

Fisherman at night at St. Joseph Bay, Florida.

Bridge near Port St. Joe spanning the GIWW on my way to Apalachicola.

Anchored near Lake Wimco on Saul Creek.  Great spot by the way.

Aligator on Saul Creek.

Bald Eagle over Apalachicola Bay

Crab for dinner

On a quest to catch dinner in Apalachicola Bay near Goose Island in Rattlesnake cove.  It is a top notch anchorage for fishing and putting around in dinghy.

My fish

Darryls fish

In my usual spot steering with my feet in Apalachicola Bay headed to Carrabelle.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Quick Update

I have been to my boat once since leaving it in Carrabelle, Florida last October.  I spent 5 days applying bottom paint, beefing up the rudder with a few layers of fiberglass, and some engine/drive maintenance.  For some reason, the cutlass bearing didn't get enough water flow for lubrication and it grooved my prop shaft.  So off to the shop the shaft went for repairs and I installed a new cutlass bearing.  I am going to hook up a water supply to the PYI PSS dripless shaft seal from one of the thru hulls.  I am reluctant to supply the seal from the engines wet exhaust as I have read this can cause engine flooding.  So I am playing it safe.  I am also replacing the engine mounts with ones that have adjustment built in, which my current ones don't.  I will get back to the boat Feb. 8th and finish the maintenance and then launch and head to south Florida for a month, ultimately making my way to Maine, hopefully.  I will post pictures of the maintenance when I get back to it.  Cheers.