Friday, March 20, 2020

Carrabelle to Port St. Joe, Florida

We left Carrabelle early on March 9, 2020. We had enjoyed our time in Carrabelle, but a week was long enough to look forward to being back on the water. Byron and I had sat out on the docks the night before looking at a fairly stiff breeze blowing and discussed how we would get off of the dock. As it turned out, the wind was much less by morning, but the current was much stronger than we had expected. As I pulled out of the slip the current pull my stern to starboard and wedged my bowsprit behind a piling on the port side. Kim did not have the strength to push us off, so I ran to the bow and gave us a shove and we were then able to power our way out of there. Not a great start, but we were on our way with no damage to the boat.

A beautiful view of the setting moon as we motored out of the river at Carrabelle. 
As we hit the St. George Sound, we were exposed to the 15 to 20 knot breeze coming out of the Northeast. We were able to shut off our engines and put up our head sails and run downwind in the strong breeze.

A View of the inlet we came in a week earlier on a much calmer day. 

We had a fun sail over the next 4 hours until we approached Apalachicola. It was at that point, I saw what looked like a large dredge in the channel. There was a red marker to their right and a green on the left. There was no indication on which way to go. We chose right, but just as we past the head of the dredge, I guy came up on deck and started yelling at us to go the other way. We had no room to maneuver, so I spun around as quick as a 40 foot sailboat spins and went back to the other side. It looked like the crew was having a hard time keeping the dredge pipe in place in the strong wind. We hugged the side of the pipe all the way down to stay in the channel. At one point, the dredge pipe was sticking out and pushed me into shallow water. My shallow water alarm went off and we showed 4 foot 2 inches. We draft 4 foot 6 inches, so we must have passed through some muddy bottom. We made it to the inlet and were met with strong current. I was making only 3.9 knots SOG. Then Byron put up his head sail again. I saw what he did and did the same. We immediately jumped up a knot and we were able to maintain that for the next few miles until we left the Apalachicola river and went into the Jackson river. We were then down current all the way to Port St. Joe.

I did not take many pictures on this day, but I did shoot some video updates of the trip. You can click on this link and see the videos:  Video Updates Carrabelle to Port St Joe

We passed by an area called the Impenetrable Swamp. It was beautiful with large Cypress trees and lots of wildlife. We cruised along and made it to our anchorage at 5 PM and put the hook down in a St. Joseph Bay.

Sunset over St. Joseph Bay. Byron and Mary in Serendipity along side. 
The wind died down overnight as forecast and we had a beautiful evening and good sleep. We would need that sleep, because the next morning we were headed out for our 24+ hour sail to Pensacola. I will tell that story in my next entry. 

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