Lunch was much better than last time! The food has always been good but the last server brought all our appetizers, salads and entrees at the same time. Knowing she shouldn't be doing this she played it off on the kitchen and laughed. Okay, our money and she is laughing that part of our meal will be cold before we get to it. DECISION TIME. We want the food so we deal. When she realizes how aggravated I am she tries to take the hot food back to sit under the heat lamp and dry out while wilting my lettuce, etc. This is where my polite little negotiator steps in and tries to smooth things out. He knows his dad doesn't do well with incompetent restaurant employees. Zoom forward. Time to pay. Hmmmm. Okay, sympathy tip of $1. I should have asked to speak to the manager but I didn't want to deal with it that day. As we left to cross the street here came our server flailing arms, fingers pointing and uttering words I can' understand. All I could pick up was "keep your dollar!" as I returned the big smile and parade wave. Nothing releases anger as much as placing it on someone else. Hint: They advertise the Largest Fish Sandwich!
In the time we had before lunch I called the marina and asked about the pass with out a good answer they suggested Scipio Creek Marina. Scipio said with 4 foot draft "no problem" just stay west of center! But the real help was talking to the shrimp boat tied up a hundred feet from us. They said and showed me on our chart.
Thanks for the local info!
"Hug the east side of the alignment markers, when you pass the second marker move west until you see the rear marker to the left of the second marker. This will put you on the west side of the channel. The east side is all shoaled up here. "pointing" BUT, do not go too far west as it is shallow over there too! We draw 10 feet and have to be careful when we transition the cut! You'l be okay just go slow. Once past the jetties go ahead and turn toward Clearwater. That way you will miss all the roller coaster stuff out by the channel markers"
Well how far is too far? This is too far
All went good except we went just a little to far west! The view above puts you at Vega in sand. But not too deep that a little 3.5 couldn't push through with a 15 knot head wind.
Mr Pelican watching us leave
Once you clear these jetties it is safe to turn according to our information.
We went out a couple hundred yards first.
The first one hundred miles were great! Fifteen to 20 knots and mostly 4 foot plus seas. Of coarse there were moments of 20+ and a few at 6 feet but that goes with the sustained winds for 20 hours. As the wind clocked to the north our forecast called for 10-15 and we hoped to broad reach right in to Clearwater channel. Well the north came! At a massive 5 knots! Occasionally there might be 7 or better but we were now bobbing along with big seas and very little wind to buffer our Weeble Wooble. We chose the best point of sail that would not shake us to death and keep us going roughly the direction we wanted. We settled in for the night barely making any head way.
The next morning the winds moved around but never gave us the ride we had for the first 100 miles. Trying to wait out the wind and continue to sail we finally got bored and started the little motor on the lightly rolling seas. We spent two hours trolling without luck. Or at least that is what we thought until we wound in the line. We had bad luck our lure was missing 75% looking like a big King had taken a bite and decided the rest wasn't for him.
The wind was just enough to keep on course but a slow 2 knots or so. With no wanting to spend another night out in the Gulf waiting on wind. We started the motor and motored the last 25 miles to Anclote Keys. Our original destination was Clearwater channel but that would be well after dark and with the southerlies starting tonight for the next front we wanted to be at anchor and "inside" the barrier islands.
We anchored well off Anclote Key due to the lack of a depth sounder! Yes this died in the intercoastal with the Lowrance! We made Government cut without it. We do have a piece of string and a lead weight. But that is hard until The Fisher King gets a little better with boat control or acting on what I am thinking before I say it.
The next morning with the southerlies blowing at 15 knots we pulled anchor and started our motor test!