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
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.
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.
I thought this sign was cute. It would make a good addition to the
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
This is one of the good looking boats we saw while dinghing
around in the canals.
December 27, 2009
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.
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.
During the highest tide it is a stretch for me to walk onto Snow Goose
and the fender boards are way above the dock.
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.
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.
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
It's time for Edie to get a bath and she is not liking it a bit. She
tried to get away but...
she was unsuccessful
Edie glaring at Rich. One unhappy dog!
At first she just laid in the grass.
Next she rolled in the grass, trying to get dry.
Doesn't she look innocent and adorable. NOT! (drowned rat maybe?)
December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas from our home to yours.
December 24, 2009
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)
Sanded all the way down to the deck.
Then it's up to the top again and slowly apply a coat of varnish
as I come down.
Ta da! good as new.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
This is what greeted us when we reached Kentucky and this....
December 10, 2009
is what we found in Grand Rapids. As I said... temporary insanity!
A couple more boats, which have been blown up onto the shallows and
left to rot.
Here is the second one that was in the anchorage.
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.
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.
Edie didn't like the tipping and had to support herself to keep from
sliding off the boat!
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
The day started out with a HEAVY fog and as soon as we could see the
channel markers we headed for the first bridge.
This is the smallest swing bridge we have gone past. If you look
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
if the bridge got stuck open?
Here's a better view of the bridge as it is swinging closed....This was
taken just as we hit the crab pot.
Well, it finally happened, we caught something in the propeller.
Captain was not happy!!! He grumbled about 1500 mile without any
problems, the cold, dirty, salty water and blamed my asking him to take
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. He had to dive down and
cut off the rope to the crab pot.
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.
These pelicans flew by right 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
Rich has a penchant for wrecked boats. This one was near our
anchorage and was pretty well stripped.
There were several boats anchored in the area of this boat. Most
of them looked to be in pretty bad shape.
Another view of the boat.
December 7, 2009
A banana boat?
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
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.
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.
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.
We decided to
walk into Panama City, (a long walk) where we had lunch at this pizza
The pizza was good and tasted even better because we have not had
pizza in a few months.
December 3, 2009
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.
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 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
December 2, 2009
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!
For most of the day, it was partly sunny and the air was warm, but the
wind howled and whipped around.
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.