Well I got up early to walk Candy and read the Weather Musings and see if they were still good for the crossing today. The Weather Musings were still good with the caution to be off the water early because the weather window was closing later today and there were no more weather windows in the foreseeable future, at least thru Thanksgiving.
We cast the lines off at 6:45, almost 1/2 hour before sunrise and started out the harbor from Carrabelle. The wind was non-existent as you can see in the pictures. The sunrise was beautiful over the Gulf as we set out east of Dog Island with the Tarpon Springs waypoint some 156 miles southeast.
The water was really nice and flat with no breeze for the first 70 miles and then it was a light breeze just enough to put a ripple on the water. We did see dolphins about 4 different times but the best ones were the 1st group. They were in the wake for a couple of minutes and the younger one actually was jumping out of the water. We were actually to fast for the dolphin pictures we would like. The other groups we spotted off to the side of the boat anywhere from 100′ to 300′ and they never appeared in the wake or did any serious jumping.
We did see a lot of fishing boats scattered about. There were probably at least 2 to 3 dozen boats scattered over our course but once we got to about 40 miles to Tarpon Springs they all were gone. The fishing must be pretty good because the closest land to where they were was 40 to 50 miles to the east. It was Saturday morning so they probably had the day off.
The crab trap markers were fewer this year than last. We were on essentially the same course as last year when we ran into them about 34 miles out. This year we did not see the crab trap markers until 21.6 miles out of Tarpons Springs. And the actual number of markers was less. Of course we are much more experienced in what to look for and better at dodging them.
We arrived in Tarpon Springs at Turtle Cove Marina just a little under 8 hours from leaving the docks at Carrabelle. The wind did come up for about the last 20 miles but it was only maybe 8 to 10 mph. We never saw any waves over 1/2 foot. What a great ride.
We arrived at Turtle Cove and our slip was between 2 other Loopers that had crossed with the overnight passage last night. We did get invited to a crossing the wake celebration at the Turtle Cove Marina Tiki Hut. Crossing your wake is completing the Loop. Several of the overnight Loopers that finished the crossing in Clearwater or Dunedin were able to show up for the celebration.
We were able to see Pete and Carolyn from Humbug. They were on the water for 26 hours yesterday and last night from the time they left Apalachicola to Dunedin. Their friend Jim that was on board for the crossing was already in Tampa with his daughter and would be flying home to Colorado on Monday. They were tired and not in the mood to stay too long but it was good to see them.
The weather thru Thanksgiving will be very windy with a little rain so we may be here in all likelihood for Thanksgiving Day.