Little Hop Offshore from Port St Joe to Clearwater Florida

Left Sunday At 5 pm. We expect to make it to Tarpon by Tuesday morning. But as we approached the last 75 miles we calculated that we would get there before dawn. We almost always want to make approaches in daylight hours, so we decided to make for Clearwater Pass to use up the extra time.

 

North Point, Port St Joe. We will miss this place!!

 

Dinghy loaded up on deck, ugh! This is where our bean bags really shined as they gave us great steady vantage points, up high, for watch keeping

 

Was to have a bit of a breeze The first night but got nothin :-(,


Our buddy boat Second Chances. Weather started to deteriorate, but we expected that

 

 

What we did not expect was the dense fog. No warnings were put out until after we left and was already in the gulf.


This pretty much sums up all of Sunday night and on through Tuesday morning. The fog did clear up for about an hour or two during the daytime.

 

Do you see a boat?


This time there is a boat. But all last night my eyes were playing tricks on me, seeing lights where there were none. Thankfully Second Chances has radar so looked out for us. But we still kept to low speeds, 2-4 knots at times, and kept a constant vigilant watch. We also have AIS which shows us were the big boats are.

 

Sweet Jesus, the fog cleared 2 miles from the entrance markers!! The fog was so thick but we had no choice but to slowly make for port as the fog advisory would not be lifted till 7 pm( 10 hours later). Then within five minutes we went from pea soup thick fog to a couple miles of visibility:-)

 

Brian’s yelling “quick! Make for the anchorage before the fog closes back up around us!”


Scupper is yelling “quick! Make for the anchorage before the fog closes back up around us!” And He also added “I’d like to kiss some land please!”

 

Anchored around Compass Island in front of the coast guard station.

 ******some thoughts on boat gear from this short offshore hop *******

Big shout out to “Beaker” our monitor Windvane. Steered with the help of the tiller pilot, a flawless course.

 

Beaker and Til, our self steering system.


Compass light was out, so used one of our headlamps, worked great πŸ™‚

 

Scuppers pee mat. Two thumbs up. I also strapped some grass and Palm leaf to the stanchion to give him something to lift his leg for πŸ™‚

 

My petzl harness. Figure 8 style. Cannot find female friendly figure eight harnesses in the marine stores anymore so I had to go to the climbing store. It is made to be used with a leg harness, but how I have it set up, it is safe for me. I rig our jack lines so that we are unable to go over the lifelines and get in a dangle situation. Many marine harnesses do not fair well in the dangle test, they tend to slip right over the head. The leg straps provided by marine harness manufacturers are very inadequate and can even cause severe damage to male organs if they are hanging for any length of time. Anyways, my first harness was a figure 8 and twenty years later after much searching I found another. It fits nice and snug around my torso, and seems to be thoughtful for the female form.

 

Brian’s Spinlock deck vest works great and Brian finds it incredibly comfortable.

 

I was not a fan of our tri-light at the top of the mast. Then we hit two nights of dense fog and I see the benefits of having the running lights up high as to not ruin our vision down on deck. It really helped to keep the deck as dark as possible when we needed to.

 

We are not in Kansas anymore

 

We plan to spend a couple days around here visiting friends and family. Then we will decide wether to shoot straight for the keys or gunk hole our way down. 

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2 thoughts on “Little Hop Offshore from Port St Joe to Clearwater Florida

  1. ” I also strapped some grass and Palm leaf to the stanchion “. Brilliant idea! Our two furry friends were girls, but one must be AC/DC because she always hikes a leg like a guy. It is going to get better and better heading south. The only rush I would think about is being in the Bahamas early enough to enjoy the islands before getting out before June 1 hurricane season starts.

    • Yes, we are taking our time due to the discovery that my muscles are tearing really easy. I know it’s from being bedridden for so long even though I had 8 months of PT..? We are really enjoying florida, which is a BIG surprise. But I bet as we get to more crowded anchorages we will be motivated to head for quieter places. That is funny your girl hiked her legs, I had a boy dog who pee’d like a girl πŸ™‚ whatever works:-). Scupper is using his pee mat, not sure if the foliage makes a difference but happy he is not holding it in!!

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