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Where we have been.



September 09, October 09, November 09, December 09, January 10, February 10, March 10, April 10, May 10, June 10, June 10, July 10, Sept 10, Oct 10, Nov 10

December 28-31, 2009

Lots of exercise this week. We have ridden our bikes all over this week and  took the dinghy out looking at other boats in the nearby canals.

Rich and I packed up and ready to go at the grocery store.

We rode the bikes to the grocery store to restock the pantry.  Rich was really loaded down.  I had the lighter load and still lost my top package; it didn't do the eggs much good.

Picture of Anna next to a fish taken at Fisherman's Village.

Rich took this picture of me at Fisherman's Village. It took 5 hours of fighting to land this one! OK, I admit it, it's fake. Fisherman's village is a mini-mall located close by. Lot's of shops for tourists all filled with kitch.

Cute sign in one of the stores.

I thought this sign was cute. It would make a good addition to the boat decor.

An unusual tree I noticed while walking Edie.

I noticed this tree while walking Edie. I wonder what the clumps of foliage are and how are they attached to the tree? Does anyone know?

One of the sailboats we looked at while we were out in the dinghy.

This is one of the  good looking boats we saw while dinghing around in the canals.

December 27, 2009

The canal at high tide.

Charlotte Bay has semi-diurnal tides.  Basically there are two high tides and two low tides each day.  This picture shows the canal at the highest tide.

Tide Program Chart

This is a screen shot of the tide program we use. Notice the double humps like a camel.  The chart is showing the tide for Charlotte Bay.

Snow Goose at dock during high tide.

During the highest tide it is a stretch for me to walk onto Snow Goose and the fender boards are way above the dock.

The canal at low tide.

This picture shows the canal at low tide. There is a build up of oyster shells on the sea wall.  They are sharp edged and I would not want to run the dinghy on them.

Canal a few days later at really low tide.

A few days later the tide was really low; even more debris was uncovered. During this low tide, Snow Goose was sitting on the bottom of the canal.

Snow Goose at the dock at low tide.

At low tide, it is easy for me to step onto Snow Goose. Notice the fender boards are below the edge of the dock.

December 26, 2009

Edie trying to get away from Rich to avoid a bath.
It's time for Edie to get a bath and she is not liking it a bit. She tried to get away but...

Rich giving Edie a bath.
she was unsuccessful

Edie indignant at having to take a bath.
Edie glaring at Rich. One unhappy dog!

Edie laying in the fresh grass while she is still wet.
At first she just laid in the grass.

Edie rolling in the fresh cut grass.
Next she rolled in the grass, trying to get dry.

Edie covered in grass bits before being rinsed off.
Doesn't she look innocent and adorable.  NOT! (drowned rat maybe?)

December 25, 2009

Rich, Edie and I
Merry Christmas from our home to yours.

December 24, 2009

Rich yet again sanding the main mast prepping for bright work.
Well, the vacation back home is done, now the work begins. Cruising (alas) is not a lot of  sun filled days reading your favorite book and eatings grapes, it is a constant struggle to keep up with the maintenance that  Snow Goose needs. I'm sanding the main mast in preparation  to put a new coat of varnish on it. We have to do this twice a year.  (Yea, I know, I need a hair cut)

Bottom of the main mast sanded and prepped for varnishing.
Sanded all the way down to the deck.

Rich putting another coat of varnish on the main mast.
Then it's up to the top again and slowly apply a coat of varnish  as I come down.

The main mast after varnish.
Ta da! good as new.

Rust on the stainless steel parts of the boats caused by the salt water.
Here is another problem that we have encountered since we are in salt water, RUST! Every piece of metal  whether it is steel, stainless steel, bronze, brass, aluminum etc. has started to corrode within the first 3 weeks! Ah, how much I took fresh water for granted. An employee of  West Marine told us about a product that takes rust off instantly...and it does as these two pictures show.

The stainless steel after it has been cleaned.
After treatment.  Now the next step is to apply a barrier coat of another product that he sold us and then WEEKLY keep up on the maintenance of the stainless steel.  To anyone thinking of coming down to the salt water I would recommend .... Keep your boat simple to cut down on the maintenance!

December 23, 2009

After our whirl wind trip home, we are back to the boat and reality. The work begins again, (no rest for the weary). Our lists are endless.  Yesterday Rich worked on the refrigerator and the freezer, trimming the lids and painting the insides of both, checked and filled the batteries and put away most of the "stuff" that we brought from home. Today, Rich worked on the alternator, on the dinghy, and bicycled into town to buy parts.

Rich installing the new floor boards in the dinghy.
Rich made new floor boards for the  dinghy, while we were in Michigan. Yesterday he varnished them and today he installed them. At West Marine the oldest employee told us that our dingy must be over 20 years old because he has never seen a red dinghy sold by West Marine and he has been with them for over 16 years. (no wonder the old plywood floor boards were coming apart.

The dinghy with new floor boards, inflated and ready to go.

December 22, 2009

(Sorry about the delay in posting anything to the site but we went back to Michigan for the holidays. We are back on the boat now and will bring the site up to date. We have made some changes to the website.  If you click on the months listed above you will be taken to the logbook for that month. We have added a counter to the Home page, which is in addition to the counter on Picasa Web Albums.  Also we have added the Captain's Blog, which will be up and running soon.)

December 11-21, 2009

Snow Goose docked at our friends in Punta Gorda.
So, here we are tied up to Russ's dock and enjoying the sunshine, 70+ degree weather, palm trees and lots of flowers. I just figured that it was a bit of temporary insanity that drove us north.

Ice on the mountain side in Kentucky.
This is what greeted us when we reached Kentucky and this....

Alas, back to the snow and cold in Michigan.
is what we found in Grand Rapids. As I said... temporary insanity!

December 10, 2009

Another abandoned boat, this time in Lemon Bay.
A couple more boats, which have been blown up onto the shallows and left to rot.

Another view of the abandoned sailboat.
Here is the second one that was in the anchorage.

Last swing bridge.
Yea! now this is a real swing bridge! In the back ground you can see the old train bridge that we went by right after this bridge.

Old bridge that had been partially dismantled.
the train bridge was removed sometime in the past and now only holds fisherman. From here we went into Charlotte Harbor where (after a short down wind sail ) the wind suddenly changed and we were put on our side as the wind rose to about 20 MPH.

A closer view of Edie, while the boat tips.
Edie didn't like the tipping and had to support herself to keep from sliding off the boat!

Now she is using two paws to hold herself in place.
At times it took both front paws to stay in place. (It doesn't look like we are tipped very far but look close at the horizon and tip up your screen until the horizon is level and you will get a feel for the real  angle of heeling!)

December 9, 2009

This was our second day of fog in the morning.
The day started out with a HEAVY fog and as soon as we could see the channel markers we headed for the first bridge.

Tiny swing bridge.
This is the smallest swing bridge we have gone past. If you look close you can see the bridge tender. He walks out on the bridge and pushes a button to make the bridge swing open! I wonder what would happen if the bridge got stuck open?

Tiny swing bridge closing.
Here's a better view of the bridge as it is swinging closed....This was taken just as we hit the crab pot.

Rich diving to clear the crab pot rope off our propeller.
Well, it finally happened, we caught something in the propeller. The Captain was not happy!!! He grumbled about 1500 mile without any problems, the cold, dirty, salty water and blamed my asking him to take a simple picture as the reason we caught the rope to a crab pot.  But for all of his claiming to melt when wet, it didn't happen. I, of course, denied all blame because the crab pot was in the ICW channel, where it did not belong. I voted for bringing up the pot to check for crabs, but was out voted by the Captain.

Edie watching Rich swim toward the propeller.
Edie watching Rich swim toward the propeller. He had to dive down and cut off the rope to the crab pot.

This bridge appeared to be malfuntioning.
This bridge appeared to be malfunctioning.  Notice the one section that is lower; it remained in that position until the other sections were straight up; then it began to raise the rest of the way. We were wondering if we would be able to go under if it didn't lift completely.

Pelicans in flight next to the boat.
These pelicans flew by right next to the boat.

Dolphin swimming next to the boat.
This dolphin traveled next to the boat for ???? It seemed as the it was pacing itself to the speed of the boat.

December 8, 2009

Abandoned boat view 1
Rich has a penchant for wrecked boats.  This one was near our anchorage and was pretty well stripped.

Abandoned boat view 2
There were several boats anchored in the area of this boat.  Most of them looked to be in pretty bad shape.

Abandoned boat view 3
Another view of the boat.

Abandoned boat view 4
A banana boat?

December 7, 2009

Edie crossing the gulf.
Edie's picture kind of sums up our gulf crossing. We left Grand Lagoon and St. Andrew State Park about 9 am on Saturday morning and arrived at Boca Ciega Bay at 10:30 pm Sunday night.  We anchored near Isla del Sol and the Structure E Bascule bridge on the Pinellas Bayway. It took us 37 1/2 hours to go 228 miles.  It was a fast trip. With the wind at our side we made a constant 7Kts + and for several hours we managed a constant 8Kts+! I was sick, Rich was sick and the dog developed diarrhea. It was very cold and rough.  At least Rich and I were not ill at the same time. With that said, it was still an incredible trip.  The first night the sky was thick with stars and not a cloud in sight. The stars were brilliant. Then moon rose and lit up the sky. During one of my watches a school of dolphins surfed along with us for a short time. Sunday afternoon, I watched it rain south of us in gulf and north of us in the gulf, then the sun made an appearance and warmed up the day. In evening as we followed the coast toward St. Petersburg, a small clearing in the clouds seemed to follow us down.  On the left of the boat you could see clearly due to the lights of civilization on the shoreline.  On the starboard side of the boat, looking out to the gulf, it was dark and misty. Above us from time to time you would see stars in the cloud breaks.  We watched crab pot markers go floating by and the lord who protects fools and sailors, did not let us snag one in our prop.

December 4, 2009

Capsized boat in the middle of the lagoon.
The tide was out, so we were able to take a good picture of this boat capsized int he middle of the lagoon.  We nearly grounded our dinghy while taking the photo; the water is only about six inched deep at low tide.

Another view of the capsized boat.
This side view is where we nearly got stuck and had to tip the motor up and row out to deeper water. As you can see the water is at low tide.

Camp store at St. Andrews State Park.
After looking at the boat, we dinghied into the state park. There is a boat launch and small marina for small boats to tie to. We carried our dinghy ashore and as we walked up to the camp store, we saw 3-4 deer walking across the parking lot without a care.

Willie Pepp's Pizza Parlor
We decided to walk into Panama City, (a long walk) where we had lunch at this pizza parlor. The pizza was good and tasted even better because we have not had pizza in a few months.

December 3, 2009

Smaller anchor stuck on our anchor.
I couldn't believe it! Yet again Captain Rich made a fine catch. This morning while retrieving our anchor he snagged this one on the bottom of the lagoon. 

Salvage anchor.
This anchor has been on the bottom for awhile. It was rusty and covered with barnacles and it was still attached to a chain.

Rich posing with anchor.
Rich posed with his trophy catch, but we were unable to salvage the anchor, as it was still attached to something on the bottom of the lagoon. Probably wasn't worth salvaging by the looks of it.

Soon we were on our way out to the gulf.  When we got to the opening of the channel, there were breaking waves everywhere, but we determined the waves were due to the shallowing of the channel and the tide heading out meeting the waves coming in... so off we took.  Well.... when we got to the sandbar just before the turn east, we took on a breaking wave over the bow that went over the whole boat!!!  We were soaked and the dodger was no help keeping us dry. Not the best start, but once we turned east toward Panama City the waves quieted down and the sailing was good.  The wind died down in the afternoon and the sun came out, so we turned on the motor and enjoyed the ride.

December 2, 2009

The wind in Edie's face.
We have spent the past two days on the boat listening to the wind howl and the rain.  In between storms Rich has been taking Edie to shore, but today we decided she needed to learn to go on the boat.  Here she is on deck with the wind blowing so hard she can't even see, hoping to go ashore. After 26 hours, she finally relented and the flood gates opened... she peed in the cockpit. What a bladder!

White caps across the lagoon.
For most of the day, it was partly sunny and the air was warm, but the wind howled and whipped around.

Broken topping lift
If you look close, you can see the boom on this sailboat has dropped down onto the boat and the sail cover is flopping in the wind.  The topping lift gave way last night in the storm.


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