15-NOV-2020 Sunday – Dog Island, FL to Cedar Key, FL (93.3 nautical miles 107.4 statute miles)
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida
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.
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.
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.