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Month: November 2020



30-NOV-2020 Monday –  White Horse Key, Dismal Key Pass, Cape Romano Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve north of Everglade City FL to Everglades Isle Marina, Everglade City FL (16.5 nautical miles 18.0 statute miles)

25°52’03.1″N 81°23’05.7″W
25.867515, -81.384914
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Good Morning

The weather came up sooner than projected so we took off for Everglade City.

Along the Way

The storm was all around us, but fortunately not on us. We had wind and some light rain. Waves were running 2-3 feet with an occasional 4+.

Dale hates ANY wave over 6 inches

I was at the helm.

Indian Pass. There were lots of birds sitting out the weather.

There is a large bay between the small islands and Everglade City.

The Everglades Ilse Marina and RV Park is a high end luxury RV park. White RVs ARE NOT permitted to stay here. They also have to be under 10 years old. They do let 25 year old white boats stay here.

Welcome signs at the clubhouse.

Good Night

It rained for the off and mostly on the rest of the day. We briefly wandered out in search of food.

Today was not a 10. Interesting, but not a 10.

We might be here for a few days due to the wind.

Hunting for Easter Eggs

Hunting for Easter Eggs

29-NOV-2020 Sunday – San Carlos Bay, Sanibel FL to Rookery Channel, Rookery Bay south of Naples FL to White Horse Key, Dismal Key Pass, Cape Romano Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve north of Everglade City FL (31.0 nautical miles 35.7 statute miles)

25°52’18.2″N 81°34’10.8″W
25.871715, -81.569663
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Good Morning

Sunrise was brought to us by the color Orange.

Along the Way

Sunday morning early. Noticeably absent are the crazies.

If a dolphin in the area hears an engine running between 1200 – 1800 rpms it’s a given that it will be over to bow surf. We can’t see them bow surf from the helm due to the shape of our bow and chine. When I saw some heading towards yes dear… I ran out on the bow to take their pictures. You have to kinda lean over the rail to see them.

I missed a turn going into the Dismal Key Pass because I was watching the the chart plotter and not the Navionics charted path. Poor yes dear... Her bottom scraped in 2.8 feet of water even though the water depth was charted at 12 feet. She had to spin and GET OT OF THERE. Whew.

Speaking of charted paths. Some crabber dropped his crab traps right down the middle of a narrow skinny water channel. We slalomed through it.

Being Sunday and all there were day boaters around.

Dropping anchor.

Lunch was brought to us by the color Orange.


We Mooched (dinghyed) along the Gulf side the islands. They were all rugged from the influences of the weather. The inner islands were lush and green. Besides, I wanted to shell and Dale wanted to fish.

The beaches were rugged too. They were covered with lots of old shells and broken shells.

Shelling is a lot like hunting for Easter Eggs. Some shells are laying just right out there in the open. Others are partially or mostly buried in the sand. I love walking in the water about thigh deep looking for shells primarily because I just like walking in the water and looking at things like rays, all kinds of fish, jelly fish, etc. In reality the best shelling is onshore near the wrack line or along the waters end.

Shelling is a complicated sport. Shelling is just the act of looking. Then there is finding, returning and giving.  Finding is self-explanatory. Returning is either putting it back on the water or tossing it on shore for someone else to find. Giving is giving it to another person shelling. There was no giving today. I was the only person on the beach besides Dale. Dale didn’t want shells. He wanted fishing.

I did a LOT of finding and returning today. Still, I kept a hoard of shells.  I’m thinking about doing some craft with the shells. I told Dale that if I can’t figure out what craft by the end of next 2021 the shells move to the ‘giving’ part of shelling.  I’ll probably plant them on the beach at Cape Canaveral or tuck one in the purse or suitcase of everyone who comes to visit.

For every shell I took I left many, many more.  My shell collection up to now has been take the smallest shell I can find. I still enjoy that aspect of shelling the most. I put a new twist on it today. I searched for the smallest sun-bleached shells. Ghost shells.

After a great day Mooching, the dingy dinghy motor reappeared just as we were heading out to a location where Dale could fish and I could watch for the green flash ☹ At least we didn’t have to paddle back more than a few thousand yards.

Good Night

We watched the sunset from the upper helm. Sunset was brought to us by the color Orange.

Today was another 10.


Alligators are toothy. They have between 74 and 80 teeth in their jaws at any given time, and as teeth wear down or fall out they are replaced. An alligator can go through over 2,000 teeth in its lifetime.

Now compare that that to sharks ….

While most sharks average between 5-15 rows of teeth, the aggressive Bull Shark comes in at 50, making their mouths amphitheaters of doom for other sea dwellers. Sharks lose on average a tooth a week. Also unlike humans, each lost tooth can be replaced within a day.

Whale sharks have 3,000 chompers. Their teeth are for filter-feeding plankton, krill and fish eggs.

We haven’t seen either sharks or alligators here, but we are on the lookout.

Spending time with The Mooch

Spending time with The Mooch

28-NOV-2020 Saturday – San Carlos Bay, Sanibel FL to Rookery Channel, Rookery Bay south of Naples FL (36.9 nautical miles 42.5 statute miles)

26°02’31.6″N 81°46’09.4″W
26.042123, -81.769267
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Good Morning

We woke a little too early travel as it was still a little too dark (6:00AM).  The water was totally still and the entire Milky Way Galaxy was reflected in the water.

The TV was flipped on as we made coffee.

Along the Way

A dolphin made lazy circles around yes dear… as we pulled the anchor.

Crossing under the west end of the Sanibel Causeway Bridge

Entering Gordon Pass into Naples

We were pretty happy to duck into Rookery Channel where we planned to anchor. It was pretty quiet and out of the way.

But of course we needed to explore.

The Mooch is back. She’s purring along in perfect pitch. She braved the crazies and hit the beach.

After a 6,903 step beach walk we took The Mooch to Rookery Bay.

We were going to take The Mooch for one last run to look for the green flash but decided against it to do to the all the crazies.

It’s not a Good Night for some people

A police boat hoovered around the entrance to the Rookery Channel and the ICW.  I think its main purpose was to slow the crazies down as evening set it in. It stopped a couple of boats. For certain one of the boats was an alcohol related stop. We could hear screaming and yelling all the way to where we were anchored. I suspect swearing and demanding your rights doesn’t get you very far when stopped by a police boat.

Today was another 10.

Two things I really don’t understand…

I really don’t understand how come I have never seen a baby pelican and I can’t find baby Fighting Conch shells. I have found baby Queen Conch shells in the Bahamas so I know some conchs have baby babies. Still, I’m beginning to thinking pelicans and Fighting Conchs are born full sized.

This is the smallest Fighting Conch I could find and it’s still no baby.

Inglorious bastards

Inglorious bastards

27-NOV-2020 Friday – Pelican Bay, Cayo Costa St Park FL  to San Carlos Bay, Sanibel FL (18.3 nautical miles 21.1 statute miles)

26°27’43.8″N 82°05’16.1″W
26.462174, -82.087802
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

‘Dis of the Day’

First Place: Thanks for the wake you inglorious bastard!

Second Place: Buy a cellphone you inglorious bastard!  (i.e. get off the hailing channel VHF 16)

Good Bye to Cayo Costa

Last look at Pelican Bay from the south end.

Key to Cabbage Key

We were at Cabbage Key two years ago on our last Loop. Cabbage Key Marina is where Dale had the ‘toe incident’ and we had to leave town in a hurry. Keeping the long story short, we took off without returning the bathroom key. It got returned today.

We figured the small Cabbage Key Marina and restaurant would be busy, being Black Friday and all. We opted to anchor yes dear…  on the other side and take The Mooch (a.k.a. the dingy dinghy) into the marina.

It’s tough enough when yes dear… gets hit with a 4 foot beam wake; but it’s a whole new game when The Mooch gets hit. (Our dingy dinghy’s name is The Mooch).  I knew the The Mooch could take the wave but I thought for sure Dale and I would be popped out and swimming. Thanks for the wake all you inglorious bastards!

The restaurant waiting list was long for parties of four or more. Us as a party of two, immediate seating. The staff has turned over since we were last here. I didn’t see a single worker over 65. Last time I didn’t see a single worker under 65.

There’s about $100,000 on the walls and ceilings in the restaurant. Each year about $15,000 falls off (or a section gets cleaned off), collected and donated to a local charity.

The final event was to drop off the key.

The Mooch was pinned into shore when we returned to her to leave. We had to pick her up and drag her to another location where we could just squeeze her through.

Back on our way

As soon as we dropped the anchor we dropped The Mooch and headed off to explore Tarpon Bay. Tarpon Bay is part of J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It is completely surrounded by mangroves and there are about 5 mangrove islands in the middle. It seems that every pelican in the area must roost on them at night.

Good night


Inglorious bastards pirates Lafitte, Blackbeard, Black Caesar, and Gasparilla are all said to have and made camps on Sanibel and Captiva.

Gasparilla (Jose Gaspar) was a pirate for 38 years and attacked more than 400 ships in the Gulf. His main camp was located near Charlotte Harbor, which is Ft. Myers today. He took women from wealthy families and held them captive for ransom on the island of Captiva in the late 1700s/early 1800s, which is how Captiva got its name.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why don’t pirates shower before they walk the plank?
~ Because they’ll just wash up on shore later.

Why is pirating so addictive?
~ They say once ye lose yer first hand, ye get hooked!

Where does a pirate by a hook?
~ At the second hand store.

What has 8 legs, 8 arms, and 8 eyes?
~ 8 pirates.

What do ye call a pirate with two eyes and two legs?
~ A rookie.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Cayo Costa Shadow People

Happy Thanksgiving from the Cayo Costa Shadow People

26-NOV-2020 Thursday – Pelican Bay, Cayo Costa St Park FL  (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

26°41’00.5″N 82°14’27.8″W
26.683476, -82.241054
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

The morning did not start well.

Ugh! There were still problems with the dingy dinghy motor. Dale ripped apart the carburetor again. The float was still sticking.

Yeah! It is now working perfectly. Perfectly enough to take it to the park.

Mary’s Happy Place

I love Cayo Costa. I bet I said that in yesterday’s blog too. We got to the key about 10:30AM and took the free trolley to the coast side. The ride is a little under a mile long. Not a far walk but it got us to the beach faster. We sat in the very last seat on the trolley.

Along the way

We did walk past the alligator pond just down from the camp grounds. There were a couple of BIG alligators but they were too far for pictures using my cell phone. Some idiot was paddle board in the pond. I’m sure he would make a great Thanksgiving meal for some alligator. I didn’t hang around to find out.

The Cayo Costa beach is about nine miles of untouched beaches. Natural Florida. About 2 dozen boats had pulled up to shore on on the Gulf side.

One group came with their fishing poles and fry pans. Thanksgiving dinner for them was fresh caught trout.

One of the shell trees

It was pretty buggy so we didn’t walk the interior of Cayo Costa this time. We did on our last visit. We followed the trolley path back to the dock. It too was a little buggy. Florida au naturale.

Meanwhile back in Pelican Bay…. I counted 47 boats anchored out for the night! There were probably at least that many day trip boats as well.

Through out the late afternoon the smell of turkey and laughter wafted through the air. About 4:30 PM we took the dingy out for a pre-sun set cruise. We followed dolphins fishing along the shore, saw manatees, rays, birds and zillions of jumping fish. When the sun set at 5:36 PM conch shell horns and boat horns sounded the end of the day.

Good Night

Happy Thanksgiving from the Cayo Costa Shadow People

Today was a 10.

Mary’s Happy Place

Mary’s Happy Place

24-NOV-2020 Wednesday – Blackburn Bay, Casey Key FL – Pelican Bay, Cayo Costa St Park FL  (33.8 nautical miles 44.1 statute miles)

26°41’00.5″N 82°14’27.8″W
26.683476, -82.241054
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Along the Way

These people kindly let us anchor in front of their mansions last night. Fair the well to the neighbors. Bye Bye.

If you are wondering why the pictures are so dark, I misread the distance we wanted to travel today. I thought we had a 60nm run not a 34nm run.  I made Dale get up before sunrise and get moving.

Cape Haze ferries across a very narrow channel. In a highly synchronized they both pull out spin around and re-dock. Cars pull straight on to the ferries but have to back off. The key side has a lot of golf cart sitting in the parking lot. I suppose for people who don’t want to bring their car.

I always wondered how the mangroves were trimmed. I hope there’s no snakes.

Pelican dives. You can kinda make out a body or foot.

There were some pretty good sized waves crossing Charlette Bay to Cayo Costa.

Today’s special feature is Small Boats

We made it to Pelican Bay on the east side of Cayo Costa Key shortly before. Cayo Costa Key is my Happy Place. I love it here. Unfortunately we had dingy dinghy motor problems AGAIN. Dale spent his afternoon working on the dingy motor.

Dale got the motor running about 4:30PM. His theory is that the float isn’t working quite right. We decided it was too late to go over to the key. I’m OK with that. I can still see the dock and it’s really nice sitting here on yes dear. Tomorrow we will be there early!

The only way you can get to Cayo Costa is private boat or $huttle $ervice from Captiva Island. (Adult $40 round trip) One of the $huttles is parked at the dock in the picture above.

There are 28 boats here in Pelican Bay anchorage for the night.

The conch horns blew at sunset and we were serenaded by a woeful bagpipe.


On the 7:00 PM local new Floridians were asked to slow down for Thanksgiving. Police on I75 issued 64 tickets for vehicles speeding 95 to 150 mph in a two hour duration!

Holiday Drivers

Holiday Drivers

23-NOV-2020 Tuesday – Twin Dolphin Marina, Bradenton FL to Blackburn Bay, Casey Key FL  (36.5 nautical miles 42.0 statute miles)

27°09’13.0″N 82°28’51.9″W
27.153613, -82.481094
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Along the Way

We’re glad to leave this marina, Twin Dolphins Marina. They are a high-end marina without high end amenities. NO INTERNET unless you sit directly under it outside by the swimming pool.  Even there it was pretty iffy. We feel like the engine guys yesterday saved us $150 by being able to fix our motor in one day, so we didn’t have to spend two nights in the marina. Yup $150 a night. No tuck in chocolates or free coffee in the morning. Besides that, we were right under a busy bridge.

Andrew L we found a house for you.

Guy out walking his boat.  He should be able to follow the sandbar into shore. I wonder if he ran out of gas?

Low bridge. There’s a pretty hefty fine if they lift a bridge for you and you don’t really need it lifted.

Holiday week traffic. Everyone is out. Many of the boats were packed with people.

Last time we were through here the ‘dis’ was “Thanks for the wake asshole” or “If you wanted to plow, by a farm”. This year’s ‘dis’ is “Take a course!”

Florida alleys.

We’ve stayed in hotels smaller than these houses.

Pelican nap time

Some people actually had to work today.

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you get when a chicken lays eggs on top of a hill?
~ Egg rolls

Dingy Dinghy (motor)

Dingy Dinghy (motor)

23-NOV-2020 Monday – Desoto Point, Bradenton FL to Twin Dolphin Marina, Bradenton FL   (4.3 nautical miles 4.9 statute miles)

27°30’00.1″N 82°34’17.3″W
27.500026, -82.571457
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Along the Way

The Bait sign went up about 6:30 AM and fishermen on their boats came in like Mary to chocolate.

The dinghy motor quit working. I really don’t like it when Dale say “Oh F_ck” when he is working on the dinghy. He spent the better part of this morning trying to get it going with no luck. He called around and found a marina slip for tonight and a motor doctor in Bradenton who would start work on our dingy dinghy motor today. We were off.

Really???? Who had the right of way?

We ‘Ubered’ to Manatee Marine. Dale had to sweet talk the Uber driver into letting him put the motor in his trunk. Wente worked on the motor for while then gave the starter a pull. It started on first pull!!!!! Woo Woo!  It had looked really dismal about three hours ago.

We called Uber for a ride back to the marina. The Uber driver came, took one look at us and the motor, turned around and left. The owner of Manatee Marine took pity on us and drove us back to the boat. Thank you Manatee Marine!

10,000 steps Evening walk around the town.

Drolleries and Yuks

Where do you take a sick boat?
-To the Dock

A Fever

A Fever

22-NOV-2020 Sunday –St Pete Municipal Marina, St Pete FL  to Desoto Point, Bradenton FL  (18.7 nautical miles 21.5 statute miles)

27°31’22.0″N 82°38’28.1″W
27.522763, -82.641151
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Dale’s been telling me for the last 3-4 days “The wind is going to lie down. The wind is going to lie down. The wind is going to lie down. I’ve checked Windy. The wind is going to lie down.”

I suppose if you keep saying that long enough eventually the wind will lie down.  The wind laid down this morning. It was a great day for crossing Tampa Bay. Waves were under a 6 inches.

Heading into the Sunshine

There WAS sunshine immediately after we crossed under the bridge!

This was marked as a fishing location so, of course, we needed to stop.

My first though was that I was running yes dear aground! It looked like rocks!

There were several ‘fevers’ of rays in this fishing location. Each fever easily numbered well over 50 rays. (A group of rays is called a fever.)

The best radio hail I heard today was some guy asking to be ‘waked’. His boat was stuck on a sandbar and needed assistance to roll off. LOL.


Our anchorage is just off a main thoroughfare. It was a road race until the sun settled. It is Sunday night of Thanksgiving week so it really wasn’t unexpected. It’s going to be a busy on-the-water week.


The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, at 4.1 miles long and 19 stories high, is the western hemisphere’s largest suspension bridge. The Travel Channel ranked it number 3 as one of “The 10 Best Bridges of the World.”

Because of the high number of suicides attempted from the Sunshine Skyway, the State of Florida installed six crisis hotline phones along the center span of the bridge.

Courigan’s Irish Pub

Courigan’s Irish Pub

21-NOV-2020 Saturday – St Pete Municipal Marina, St Pete FL     (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

27°46’05.2″N 82°37’41.8″W
27.768111, -82.628272
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Along the Way

First on our agenda was the St Pete’s Farmers Market. We were just where we wanted to be. Ground zero. Right there in downtown St Pete for the farmers’ market and the Dali Museum. We were feeling pretty smug about not having to pay $5.00 for parking to come to this farmers’ market until we remembered we paid $106 for our boat slip.

We bought a little of everything, but not everything.

The last thing I needed on yes dear… was an expensive pottery bowl.  I bought one anyway. The artist is holding the one I bought.

Half the fun of a farmers’ market or art festival is the people.

Dali Museum!!!!

The Dali Museum had a new exhibit grand opening today and was all sold out for the next few days. ☹ We’ve been there before and had wanted to go back. I guess we will have to do it another trip. This is a MUST DO if you have never been there before.

We rode the free Jolly Trolley to escape the drizzling rains. Turns out we’d already walked most of the route yesterday, and more.


Propane canister motor. It uses a propane can just like your Coleman lantern or grill. Dale says they’ve been around for a while but I have seen one. Just attach the can and away you go. (There is no can in the motor picture below, but you can see where it goes.)

Look at ALL the junk piled on this boat. It’s truly junk. Are marina fees cheaper than storage fees? Interestingly, there are two pedestal plant urns with live flowers blooming in them.

Next time were are in the ‘Burg ….

I want to go to Hellview Cemetery. Dang. I didn’t find out about it until tonight. Early natives said it was near a “Gateway to Shadow,” believing that the Hellview Cemetery area was a portal for evil.

Courigan’s Irish Pub

Today’s blog (and yesterday’s) was brought to you from Courigan’s Irish Pub. The marina does not have internet and Courigan’s Irish Pub is the closest place with internet we could walk to. All for the price of 3 on tap Guinness and a hors devour.

To the ‘Burg

To the ‘Burg

20-NOV-2020 Friday – Belleview Island, Belleair, FL to St Pete Municipal Marina, St Pete FL     (29.9 nautical miles 34.4 statute miles)

27°46’05.2″N 82°37’41.8″W
27.768111, -82.628272
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Along the Way

Sand Key runs ~14 miles along the ICW from Clearwater Beach, Belleair, Indian Shores, Redington Beach to Madeira Beach.

There are many vestiges of Old Florida along this stretch. Old Florida is alive and well if you look closely.

Transitional Florida

Madeira Beach

Looks like Hurricane Eta cleared out a few boats around here.

The Florida Finger

Canal depths in the ICW aren’t as deep as the canal depths on the rivers. I suspect it’s because there are no tows through this area.

St Pete’s Beach – Once again I am astounded by how many rich people there are in Florida

Dale hailed the bridge before we crossed under. They requested he wait for the crane barge to move to the other side before we went through. After our slow pass through BOTH the bridge workers and the crane hailed him to thank him for his consideration in hailing them and his courteous slow passage.

Boca Ciega Bay – You know it’s a shallow bay if there is a heron standing in middle of it.

I got to thinking about the name of the bay, Boca Ciega, and wondered what it translated to. Blind mouth.  Hum. That then got me thinking about what Bota Roton translates to, rat’s mouth.  The untranslated names see so much more romantic.

There ain’t no sunshine on the Sunshine Bridge.

St Petersburg

About town

and into the evening….. By 8:00PM you’d never know there’s a COVID-19 pandemic in Florida!

St Pete’s Pier – The 26-acre Pier District just opened on July 6, 2020. This year! The old pier closed in 2013. The walk to the end of it is about .3 miles.



If you want to be hip and cool DON’T call St Petersburg the ‘St. Pete.” Call it “The Burg.” And yes, you call the locals “Burgers.”

Dumb as a Sponge

Dumb as a Sponge

19-NOV-2020 Thursday –Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs FL to Belleview Island, Belleair, FL     (19.3 nautical miles 22.2 statute miles)

27°56’28.5″N 82°49’05.5″W
27.941259, -82.818189
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Low Tide

Low tide was at 9:00 AM. We had to wait it out till mid, rising tide before we could leave the marina without grounding. It was 2:00PM when we left.

With time on our hands we walked Dodecanese Blvd one last time, stopping for lunch at Yianni’s. We also grabbed to-go pastries at Hellas Bakery.

Back at the boat we discovered yes dear… is down wind wind from offsite Hellas bakery. Good thing we were still full from lunch and had the to-go pastries. It smelled amazing.

Dumb as a Sponge

Tarpon Springs has lots of dive boats along the sea walls and docks. It wasn’t until today that it finally connected with me they are professional sponge diving boats. Duh. Up until now I had been trying to figure out where the recreational diving reefs were and wondering if we should book a dive before we leave Tarpon Springs.

We left Tarpon Springs about 2:00PM.

Back in the Intercoastal

Good Night


Are there alligators in Clearwater Beach?

Yes! There are plenty of Gators on Clearwater Beach. However, these Gators are harmless for the most part and have few teeth. They tend to be loud, obnoxious, and highly intoxicated.

Scoot Scoot Scooting Around

Scoot Scoot Scooting Around

16/17/18-NOV-2020 Tuesday-Thursday – Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs FL     (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

28°09’06.9″N 82°45’42.9″W
28.151920, -82.761903
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Good Morning

It felt so good to sleep in today. First thing we did went we got up was to go to the office and request another day. And then the next morning, another day.

We had been warned about low tide in the marina.

Turtle Cove Marina is a large marina.

Along the Way

First on the agenda was electrical parts and West Marine for two new fender lines. We jumped on the Jolly Trolly road it for about a mile jumped off and walked the rest of the way (and back).

The walk to West Marine and parts store.

The sign at West Marine reminded us to social distance at 1 fathom (6 feet)

We walked back streets to get return to the boat.

Last stop was for Dale to buy guitar strings.

Once back at the boat Dale MacGyvered in a solution for a loose wire in the air conditioner. A couple days ago it blew a fuse and melted the fuse holder. He will fix it permanently when he can get the parts he really wanted.

Scoot Scoot Scooting Around

Jim and Susan, we checked out your suggestion to go see Howard Island, the popsicle on the left in the below map. Our marina is near Rusty Bellies on the right. Dodecanese Blvd, where the Historic Sponge District is, runs East-West along that section of the Anclote River.

Outdoor seating at Rusty Bellies for lunch. I was going for a tonsils photo shot.

Same bird new location.

Quick tour of Historic Tarpon Springs Sponge District down Dodecanese Blvd, heading west.

Anclote River Waterfront

Then back up Dodecanese Blvd, heading east.

Dan H, I took these pictures for you. Every display case in Hellas Bakery.

Both my FitBit and my tummy has been happy here in Tarpon Springs.


In 1887, John Cheney discovered money could be made by harvesting the sponges growing in the waters of the Gulf. By 1890, the sponge industry was firmly established in Tarpon Springs.

In the next few years, experienced divers from Greece were brought to Tarpon Springs. By using rubberized diving suits and helmets, they increased harvests. By 1905, over 500 Greek sponge divers were at work using 50 boats.

In the 1940s, blight reduced the growth of sponges and by the 1950s sponging as a profitable industry was nearly wiped out. However, in the 1980s, new sponge beds were found. Now, Tarpon Springs is back to being a leader in the world’s natural sponge market.

Drolleries and Yuks

How many Greeks does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Olive them

A Greek was trying to figure out how long a day was.
But after 24 hours he called it a day.

Who is the most attractive Greek mythological figure?
I don’t know about you, but Medusa always gets me rock hard.

The Greeks invented the threesome
But it was the Romans who thought of adding women

In Ancient Greek mythology, Chiron was a half-horse, half-human doctor.
He was the Centaur for Disease Control.

The word “Politics” is derived from two Greek words
“Poly” meaning “many” and “ticks” meaning “blood sucking creatures”

Cutter Up

Cutter Up

15-NOV-2020 Monday – Cedar Key FL to Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs FL     (62.0 nautical miles 71.4 statute miles)

28°09’06.9″N 82°45’42.9″W
28.151920, -82.761903
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Good Morning

We had a stowaway during the night.

the Way

Today was another big 60 NM open water jump from Cedar Key to Tarpon Springs. We were ~18NM off shore at our furthest point. No big deal as we were still easily in VHF radio range to other boats and the Coast Guard if the unexpected happens.

7:03AM was sunrise, but not that we would notice. In Minnesota we would call this an overcast day. Here, it’s high coastal fog… overcast.

The morning run started with a Sea World worthy display from four dolphins our bow. Magnificent, synchronized leaps. Too bad my camera was downstairs.

It was a beautiful run with 8 NM winds on our port rear quarter panel, a near following sea.

We slalomed through the enormous number lines of crab traps. Everyone says there are a lot of traps in the Tarpon Springs are. There are. It’s a regular mine field.

Crab trap floaties come in all colors (white, green, red, lime, aqua, orange, yellow, black, navy….) and designs (solid, solid top, stripes, multi stripes, lines, Xs). They they range in size from just larger than a soft ball to slightly smaller than a bowling ball.

Watching for crab traps is similar to watching pelicans fly in as much “now you see them …. now you don’t”. All of a sudden, out of no where, there will be 50 of them right there. Right in front of you. We have a line cutter on our prop but hate to be in a position where it has to be used as they are not 100% reliable. 🙁 We did eventually hit a crab trap. The cutter did its job. Whew.

By the end of the day, I have to say we got our money’s worth from the line cutters. They are $50 a piece. We need two, one for each shaft. Line cutters can cost up to $500.  Not saying… but we might have hit 4 crab traps.

The smoke stack was visible from a long distance out.

There are no short cuts into Tarpon Spring. It’s real shallow outside the channel. The north end of Anclote Island is where the West Florida ICW.

The Historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks are straight ahead.

You can only get into the marina on mid to high tide. We came in on high tide.

The End.


Tarpon Springs city’s name is said to have been coined in 1880 when Mary Ormond Boyer, standing on the banks of Spring Bayou, spied fish jumping: “Look at the tarpon spring!” No matter that the fish probably were mullet; residents liked the ring of the name.

Hello from the Other Side

Hello from the Other Side

15-NOV-2020 Sunday – Dog Island, FL to Cedar Key, FL  (93.3 nautical miles 107.4 statute miles)

29°05’32.6″N 83°05’20.5″W
29.092400, -83.089033
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Good Morning

Along the Way

Leaving Dog Island at 6:00AM was a challenge. The 4-5 foot bounce back waves the first 3 miles almost made us turn around. Sea Tow was bringing in a boat. We had to think really hard about continuing.  It takes a two vote in decision making.  In all fairness most inlets have interesting waves. The joke is that as long as you don’t see elephants it’s OK to run it. Elephants are BIG round waves. Even on land if elephants are coming towards you turn and RUN. Wait it out.

Overnight the 3 day forecast had shifted so we shifted.  It’s weather. Once out of the bounce back waves, we refiled our float plan (Thanks kids and bro’ Jim for taking on the responsibility of calling the Coast Guard if we don’t call you 8:00 PM). Rather than running to Steinhatchee we targeted Cedar Key, about 40 NM further south.  We knew we would hit Cedar Key near dark, but we wouldn’t be catching the 3 footers straight on the beam for the first 3 hours.  The weather was predicted to lay down at 11:00AM.

Dale had the jitters for the first two hour so. I doubt it was because he’d had too much coffee. He settled down as the morning progressed, as did the waves.  About 9AM he concluded the waves weren’t really wasn’t any different than Lake Superior or Lake Michigan and all was good.

Me? I love it. The big open water. It’s exhilarating.

This has been a weird year for Loopers. All the Looper boats are 50-65 feet, newer and traveling by themselves. No one seems to be buddying up.

One of our lines loosened and I had to go grab it. I put my big boy Type 1 life jacket on to go retie it.

Dolphins would gallop across the waves to come bow surf at yes dear.

It’s funny what you run into in the middle of no where.

The U.S Air Force tower N7 (also known as K-Tower) provides researchers, fishermen, boaters, and the local community with important oceanographic data. The tower is equipped with atmospheric and oceanic instrumentation, through which data is transmitted in real-time to the Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory (FSUCML) and then to the Center for Oceanic and Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) on the main FSU campus for processing and publishing on their website. Atmospheric data is collected from 19 meters and 30 meters above sea level, and oceanic data is collected from 3, 9, and 18 meters below sea level. Measurements include relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed, water salinity, and wave height.

With the lulling roll of the waves it was everything I could do to stay awake during my turns at the helm.

We had a surprise guest! A seagull landed on our bow and rode with us for about half an hour.

With the changing wind direction we ran into disorganized chop and v-shaped waves. After a hour it settled back into a rocking chair roll.

Something is in the water. Bait fish are jumping for their lives.

Good Night

Hello from the other side! We are now in the West Florida Intercoastal Waterway and anchored in the middle of no where, 2 nautical miles out in the Gulf from the nearest island. (Not my idea this time.)

The night is clear and the weather is calm. Dale suggested we just drop anchor for the night rather than wander the 3 nm in to the marked anchorages. Why not?

Tonight every star or planet you ever wanted to see was out. To top the beauty of the evening SpaceEx shot off a rocket.  Four astronauts were launched into orbit in the first fully operational flight to the space station by SpaceX’s new passenger spacecraft. The tail of the rocket in the sky from our view point was at least half an inch long.

Nauti Words

The Three Nautical Mile Line limit refers to a traditional and now largely obsolete conception of the international law of the seas which defined a country’s territorial waters, for the purposes of trade regulation and exclusivity. It was extending as far as the reach of cannons fired from land. Since the mid-20th century, numerous nations have claimed territorial waters well beyond the traditional three-mile limit. Commonly these maritime territories extend 12 nautical miles from a coastline. this was eventually established as the international norm by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Three Nautical Mile Line is still retained on NOAA nautical charts because it continues to be used in certain federal laws.

The COLREGS demarcation Line, U.S. collision regulation boundaries are lines of demarcation delineating those waters upon which mariners shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS) and those waters upon which mariners shall comply with the Inland Navigation Rules.

Tonight we are anchored just inside the COLREGS demarcation line in the above pictures.

We’ve made it to Dog Island

We’ve made it to Dog Island

14-NOV-2020 Saturday – East Bay, Allanton FL to St George Sound, NW end Dog Island, FL   (63.6 nautical miles 73.2 statute miles)

29°47’02.4″N 84°38’56.7″W
29.783997, -84.649089
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

We were up at 5:30AM CST as a practice for our Dog Island to Steinhatchee Gulf crossing tomorrow. Ha. There was a time zone change near Apalachicola. Ha. We have to reset our alarm clocks to 4:30AM EST.

We’ve been debating the past few days how we are going to approach the Gulf crossing. Typically there are 11 good crossing days in November where a slower boat like ours can cross from Dog Island to either Tarpon Springs or Clearwater, 150 to 180 statute miles respectively. This year there have been none in November and it doesn’t look like there are any in the 10 day outlook.  Tomorrow looks do-able for running the 70 statute mile Gulf crossing to Steinhatchee. (I hate do-able and prefer good.) We can then make southward progress by bouncing south, in two shorter open water hops, down to Tarpon Springs.  We do not need to look for as large of an open weather window.

Along the Way

Today was another run on a canal through salt swamps, cypress swamps and a small lake.

Mexico Beach and Port St Joe, just south of today’s route took the eye of Hurricane Michelle in 2018. Houses have rebuilt and lives have moved on, but still there is a lot of landscape, vegetation and wildlife devastation. That Michael was one vicious storm.

Cypress swamp. The cone shaped things at the bottom near the Cypress tree bases are called knees. Their function is unknown, but they are generally seen on trees growing in swamps. Some current hypotheses state that they might help to aerate the tree’s roots, create a barrier to catch sediment and reduce erosion, assist in anchoring the tree in the soft and muddy soil, or any combination thereof.

Entering Apalachicola. Population: 2,344.

Oh what a wonderous bird is a pelican.
He can hold in is beak
enough for a week
and I don’t know how the hell he can.

These pelicans have fish cornered and are swarming in for the feast

Heading out into Apalachicola Bay

Dog Island. Tonight’s anchorage.

There is no access to Dog Island other than boat. All material for housing and food need to be boated in. The houses that are on Dog Island are on stilts. Sections of it are so narrow waves wash over it.

Final act for tonight was prepping for tomorrow 70 mile open water Gulf run to Steinhatchee. (Dale’s has a D on it and mine has an M so we can quickly identify whose is whose and get it on. No fidgeting with making them fit.)

File our float plan, final check the dingy, final check the engines and filters.

Good Night

It is so unbelievably calm. There are so many, many stars.

There is a reason Florida is called the Sunshine State

There is a reason Florida is called the Sunshine State

13-NOV-2020 Friday – Santa Rosa Island, Hurlburt Field FL  to East Bay, Allanton FL     (77.4 nautical miles 89.1 statute miles)

30°01’52.3″N 85°28’16.4″W
30.031201, -85.471207
Elevation: Sea Level

States (1): Florida

Good Morning

There is a reason Florida is called the Sunshine State. I had my sunnies on at 6:10AM.

Along the Way

Social Distancing

Hi Jim! Hi Susan! Dale’s brother Jim and his lovely wife Susan are staying in Miramar Beach. We couldn’t coordinate meeting them on land so they waved us bye at the US 331 Bridge. Sorry we couldn’t connect. Love you!

This should be RED buoy.

Out of the bay and into the Grand Canyon canal. Sections of the Grand Canyon was severely pummeled by Hurricane Michael in 2018. It’s recovering. A beautiful run today.

There is a reason they call Florida the Sunshine State. Sunshine ALL DAY!

Good Night

You just never know who your neighbors are going to be unless you’ve anchored in that spot before or some one tells you.

Eastern Ship Building company. They are building Staten Island Ferries!!!!!!

Drolleries and Yurk

How do fish go to war?
In tanks.

Sweet Home Florida

Sweet Home Florida

12-NOV-2020 Thursday – Fairhope Docks Marina, Fairhope AL to Santa Rosa Island, Hurlburt Field FL  (80.4 nautical miles 92.5 statute miles)

30°24’10.7″N 86°41’42.4″W
30.402972, -86.695121
Elevation: Sea Level

States (2): Alabama, Florida

Along the Way

Heading out and leaving the gray bleak yonder. Heading for sunshine.

First 45 minutes out was snotty. We took 1 to 1.5 foot chop waves on the beam. They are annoying. Once we got around Great Point Clear we adjust our direction and had following seas, making a much more enjoyable run. All in all it wasn’t a bad run on the Mobile Bay. It cooperated both yesterday and today for us.

Even though Mobile Bay is a very large body of water it is not deep. Unless you travel in the marked channels you need to be alert and thread you way through.

Leaving the SE corner of Mobil Bay and heading into the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway (GICW).

They are all getting new roofs curtesy of Hurricane Sally and Zeta. It seems to me our last time through here these condos were damaged too.

Some land developer should be sued.

Lulu’s (as in Lulu Buffet, Jimmy’s sister) in Gulf Shores sustained damage. Parts of the operational but some of the marina is still not.

Along the canal

The huge Barbers Marina sustained a lot of damage and is still not operational.

I was wondering where people had their boats during the storm. I haven’t seen many derelict boats.

Inter coastal side of Perdito Key.

Our friend Ron in Pensacola used to be a jet pilot. He stays connected with all the happenings at the base. He said the Blue Angels just started flying a new style of jet on Monday of this week. The jet is slightly larger than the ones they were flying. The pilots are just getting used to them which is why we could only see 2 or 3 jets out practicing together and not the whole group.



It was a little noisy till later in the evening as the planes were flying fairly close overhead. There was also practice night bombing going on a ways away. KABOOM.


Mobile Bay is 413 square miles in area. It is 31 miles long by a maximum width of 24 miles. The deepest areas of the bay are located within the shipping channel, sometimes in excess of 75 feet deep, but the average depth of the bay is 10 feet.

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW) runs approximately 1,050 miles from Carrabelle, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas.

Sweet Home Florida! Some where during the course of the day we crossed into Florida. Mary and Dale became Florida residents in August of this year.

Down by the Bay

Down by the Bay

11-NOV-2020 Wednesday – Okatuppa Creek, Womak Hill, AL (~TBW 123.3) to Mobile Bay Fairhope Docks Marina, Fairhope AL     (60.1 nautical miles 69.2 statute miles)

30°32’33.2″N 87°54’11.0″W
30.542562, -87.903067
Elevation: 0 feet
Total Elevation Change: -3 foot

Locks (0)
States (1): Alabama

Good Morning

My day started with a good laugh. We ran the generator so we could catch the weather on TV. LOL We tuned into Alabama’s Wheel of Fugitives. One big spin and the lucky person becomes the fugitive of the week for the officers to focus on.

Along the Way

Another bleak weather day.

Barry Steel Plant statute mile 30. It right in the middle of an ox bow.

Trigger Happy. I took a lot of pictures.

The changing landscapes and varied vegetation heading down river into the bayou and on to Mobile.

Mobile AL

I wanted to stay here on the free wall near the convention center. Dale wanted to stay at a marina in Fairhope. I let him win one. We kept going.

Naval Shipyard

Past the container shipyard and into Mobile Bay.

Fairhope Docks Marina

A shrimp boat was unloading. I bought 3 pounds of white Atlantic shrimp.

A scooter run to the grocery store.

Good Night

We went with the Hoppin’ John with the shrimp. I have to say it was the best shrimp I’ve ever eaten. It was flavorful and very tender.


Drolleries and Yuks

“Officer, how did the hacker escape?”
“I don’t know. He just ransomeware.”

One more dam to do and if the lock will let us through

One more dam to do and if the lock will let us through

10-NOV-2020 Tuesday – Okatuppa Creek, Womak Hill, AL (~TBW 123.3) to Alabama River Cutoff, Malcolm, AL (~TBW 53.0)   61.7 nautical miles 71.0 statute miles)

31°11’23.6″N 87°56’27.4″W
31.189882, -87.940936
Elevation: 3 feet
Total Elevation Change: -33 foot

Locks (1): Tombigbee-Black Warrior Waterway Mile 116.6, Coffeeville Lock and Dam
States (1): Alabama

Along the Way

But of course! Top of the morning. It’s a barge.

Bobby’s Fish Camp. The only marina on the lower section of the Tombigbee-Black Warrior Waterway.

One more dam to do and if the lock will let us through. The Coffeeville Lock had a work crew working on it.  We had a little over an hour wait before we could lock down. Guess we move to anchorage target B. We won’t make our targeted anchorage at mile 17.

No more locks till we get to New York! We are now in tidal water.

The landscape looks very much like yesterday’s landscape, but probably worse. It has been ravaged by the river.

I would venture to say that for every in-location buoy there is at least 1-2 out of location buoys, most of them in log jams on the banks.  This is the one that perplexed me the most. 20 feet up in the tree.

Lovers Leap mile 98


It misted the better part of the day. We ran with the side window open and the center window closed.

A case of the bends. Ox bow switch backs with too much regularity.  The Tombigbee Black Warrior Waterway is not ‘canalized’ like the Tenn-Tom Waterway was.

Today’s run was 71 statue miles on the river! (41 statue miles as the crow flies)

Good Night


Spooky huh? There were lots of owls conversing too. The smell of pine in the air reminded me of a good gin.


Alabama’s own rocket scientist Lonnie Johnson invented the Super Soaker. The Super Soaker was released in 1989 and still remains one of today’s top-selling toys.

Drolleries and Yuk

Why do bananas need sunscreen?
Because they peel.