Beautiful day. We started with a hearty meal prepared by Sharon and King. A typical southern breakfast. We left Carrabelle heading towards Alligator Point around 1 p.m. It was a beautiful sunny day. We arrived around 3 p.m. at our destination in clear, translucent water. Dolphins came to play near the boat as if to welcome us. The beach where we took Jasmine is very beautiful, white sand.
December 2, 2014
We left early this morning. We raised the anchor around 7:00 am and started cruising towards Steinhachee. We had waves in the morning, making it uncomfortable for Jasmine. In the afternoon we enjoyed a calm sea. All day, despite the fact that we were far from the coast, we saw a lot of wildlife. There were birds, turtles, dolphins and jellyfish. There were also a lot of crab pots.
Upon our arrival at Steinhachee, we were greeted by Lou of "Annie's Songs". We were glad to see him. The last time we saw him and his wife Anne, we were in Columbus. We talked with them a little later in the evening and Annie gave us delicious cookies! :)
The marina where we stopped is very pretty (Sea Hag). Too bad the high season has passed here. Everything is in place to provide a festive atmosphere in this small village.
December 3, 2014
We left when the sun was just beginning to show the tip of its nose. Just like the day before, we had a little more wave action in the morning, but by afternoon it very nice sailing. It was hot and beautiful all day. We arrived late in the afternoon near Cedar Key. We anchored close to Atsena Otie Key. On this island, we were able to walk the trails and visit a very old cemetery. There was once a hospital on the island (in the time of the American Revolution) and a pencil factory. They used cedar available in the area to make the pencils. We loved our visit!
The moon tonight is superb. There is a halo around it and the Cedar Key lights are reflected in the calm water. Beautiful!
December 4, 2014
Today is the day that “Blue Moon” and her crew arrived in Dunedin! The crossing of the Gulf is complete and was a success. We had a very nice, hot day with a lot of dolphin sightings. In the last part of the journey, we cruised through a field of crab pots.
Dunedin is a beautiful tourist town. It is located between Clearwater and Tarpon Springs, north of Tampa Bay.
In the evening we celebrated, with King and Sharon, the end of the crossing. We had fun and we are all happy to be here at this destination.
December 5, 2014
Today we did some touring. We took the Jolley Trolley (bus) to Tarpon Springs. The economy of this city was, and still is, in addition to tourism, sea sponges. A large Greek community came to live here and took the sea sponge industry to a global scale. The town is small but there are many Greek restaurants.
By late afternoon our great friend, Denis Ratté, came to visit us. He will stay here for two nights. We are so happy to see him! The last time we saw him was at the beginning of our adventure. He traveled with us, aboard his inflatable boat with his wife Danielle, on the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway. We are very happy!
December 6, 2014
Reunion day with Denis. In the evening, we all went aboard "Sweetwater". We had met Tim and Pam, for the first time, in Grafton (Illinois). They invited us to come to watch the Christmas Boat Parade (held annually in Dunedin and Clearwater). They have a perfect location in the marina to see this event. We spent a very pleasant evening with all of the guests. Again, thank you Tim and Pam for the wonderful evening!
December 7, 2014
Denis left this morning after breakfast. Denis, thank you again for coming to meet with us. We had a wonderful weekend and we were really happy that we were able to spend time with you.
Today, we began to prepare for our departure from “Blue Moon”. We will leave Tuesday morning in our new canoe. We are looking forward to paddling. King and Sharon will also leave "Blue Moon" Tuesday morning to spend a month in Texas.
December 8, 2014
We spent today preparing “Blue Moon” to be docked for the next month. We went to pump out the tanks in Clearwater (where the facilities are); we placed the dingy in it's original place, we secured the boat, etc. In the evening we all went for dinner aboard "Sweetwater". It was a beautiful evening with our hosts Pam and Tim and our friends Sharon and King. Tim and Pam, thank you again for the great dinner and for the present.
December 9, 2014
This morning, we said goodbye to King and Sharon. Sharon and King, a huge thank you for all your help!!! Thank you for the wonderful month we spent aboard “Blue Moon”. Thank you for your generosity, your hospitality and your kindness.
We were not able to paddle today because of the weather conditions. There were strong winds throughout the day and into this evening.