February 15, Thursday – Cedar Key to Tarpon Springs
We made it across the Big Bend! The crossing of the open water in Florida called the Big Bend that I worried would be hard and scary is done, and wasn’t that bad after all. Not to say there weren’t a few challenges in the last twenty-four hours of it, but we have arrived in Tarpon Springs. Yeah! Here’s a drawing of the Big Bend showing our 3 legs versus the overnight option. (Note: Our Great Loop adventure is still not complete – we need to get to Islamorada in the Florida Keys for that “crossing the wake” milestone. Maybe another month or more).
Yesterday in Cedar Key we decided to save some time by anchoring in a calm bay vs going down a windy path to the town so we could shorten our “commute” to our next stop 65+miles away. The anchorage was fine, had a beautiful view of the Milky Way, all was calm. But – after we were in bed some large swells disrupted our peace for a few hours- tossing us back and forth for a few seconds, dying down and then starting again. Pretty hard to sleep. I finally took 2 ibuprofen and sang songs from musicals in my head until I got to sleep. Dirk was awake until the bay calmed down about midnight or one. Whew. Lesson learned.
This morning it was very foggy but we left anyway since we could follow our course on our GPS Chartplotter and the fog was predicted to be gone by 9 am. Well, it was thick and difficult to see more than 100 yards ahead for more than 3 1/2 hours! We have the radar and the navigation lights were on in case other vessels were near. Since I was enjoying the fresh air of the fly bridge, I piloted most of the morning. It wouldn’t have been bad but I couldn’t take my eyes off the water and relax because of the crab pots we can’t float over – their thin anchor wires could tangle up our propellers. I saw hundreds of them today and cruised this way and that to avoid them. Finally the fog lifted around noon, making it easier to slalom around the crab pots.
Foggy ride and can you spot the crab pot?
The rest of the day (8 1/2 hours in total) was beautiful again, with sun, warmth and calm seas. As we came closer to Tarpon Springs we started to see some of the character we will explore in the next day or two.
We are staying at the Turtle Cove Marina and so are our friends we left in Apalachicola. Tom and Lili, and Roger and Kris just finished the overnight trip direct from Apalachicola so they are very weary. (They had a near miss by a tug boat in the the middle of the night in the fog!)
We’ll all sleep well tonight!