Pictures plus a 1000 words!

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words but with me you get both because I write just like I talk, nonstop.

Here we are preparing to remove Capt. Ed’s ashes from the container. I will try to put a video of the actual service elsewhere on this site if I can figure it out.

Relaxing after the service. We all went to LJ Schooners Oyster Bar for drinks and then a delicious dinner. Capt. Ed would have loved it.

This was our outdoor table at the Taulbee’s for Thanksgiving. They had three tables full of family and friends. We so enjoyed it and no supper was necessary that night.

Friends of Capt. Ed onboard for service. They are in order of appearance:

TJ Gray, Sue Distin, Tommy Gray, Larry Taulbee, yours truly and Tommy.

Friends who made the “jump” from boat to boat: Sue, Sharon and Tommy. TJ jumped too.

Entering the “cut” between Choctawhatchee Bay in Destin and West Bay in Panama City.

Cbay at St.Andrew’s Marina and Irony, the Florida Bay Coaster, we first met at Bobby’s Fish Camp.

Activities on the dock at St. Andrews.

Dinner on the deck at Uncle Ernie’s.

Christmas Parade of Lights while we ate dinner.

World famous Hunt’s Oyster bar. “Gimmee a beer!”

Eddy and Eddy Roy, master shuckers at Hunt’s.

Homeless in PC waiting on #6 bus with bag of fuel filters.

Only four headed palm from a single trunk in the world right here in St. Andrews.

Buster, the hair of the dog that bit me. Reminds me of Petey on “The Little Rascals”.

Bald eagle huddled against the cold on “the ditch” to Apalachicola.

“Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” in Apalachicola at Bay Water Hotel docks.

Cbay and 20BUCK$ together again.

The crews have dinner at Boss Oyster.

A stroll around town.

Leaving Apalachicola bridge behind.

Safe in the slip in Carrabelle.

Now to catch you up somewhat on several hectic days. We left PC in gusty winds on Tuesday. At 0445 I was walking out to look at the bay and see what we would face. I saw a deckhand cutting fish and drinking a Natural Light. This was not unusual for these types. Further on, another deckhand approached and wanted to tell me his troubles. He claimed the other guy had taken over his boat and thrown him off. He wanted to use my cell phone to call the captain. He was quite high on something and missing many upper and lower teeth. We will call him Fang. I asked the phone number and he said 08880. I told him that was not enough numbers and he could not remember the rest. I bet he would have had a hard time remembering his name. Then he asked me if we should call the police. I said that in my experience the police would arrive, assess the situation and arrest him for public drunk. So then he said he would just go down there and have it out with the other fellow. I suggested that this was the worst decision he could make. That other fellow was drinking and he had a rather large filleting knife. By the time we were shoving off the captain had arrived and straightened them both out and they were meek as kittens.

We made it through the East Bay crossing the ship channel ahead if a ship being led in by a pilot boat. Once we entered “the ditch” to Apalachicola it was smooth as silk. When it got too cold we decided to drive from the inside lower helm. We have never done this and it was a wonderful experience that we will repeat often.(editor’s note: we never did it again on the entire Loop.) So much warmer and quieter. And we could both sit together on the bench helm seat that folds down to become a galley counter. 

Got to Apalachicola and the Bay Water Hotel dock. 20BUCK$ was waiting on us. A number of looper boats were here. Dinner at Boss Oyster and a walk around town. Everyone is making plans to cross the Gulf.

The next morning we confer with our weather guru who is Central Command for this operation. He says that Thursday is our go day but unfortunately we will not be able to take advantage of this because we are not ready and our passenger for the crossing is not arriving until 5pm Thursday in Carrabelle. We agree to confer again on Thursday afternoon and Jan and I make a spur of the moment decision to pack up and head on to Carrabelle at 1130 to begin prepping for a possible Friday crossing.

Most all the boats left today for Clearwater or Tarpon Springs in an overnight crossing. I felt they should have waited until Thursday but each one has to decide based on their situation. At least 15 boats are leaving at various times depending on their speed. All eventually made it but text and emails say they got beat up pretty good by the seas. We are not interested in getting beat up. 

We make it to Carrabelle by 1500 and take on 176 gallons of diesel at $4.05 per gallon. You do the math; it hurts me too much. Jan handled the boat backing into our slip for the first time. She is a natural and I can handle the lines tying up more efficiently in these situations plus she does backing far better than me. When we had a small trailerable boat she always had to back it down the ramp because I never felt comfortable doing it. My mind barely works in forward and is lost in reverse. We are truly co-captains. 

Lastly the news on the weather. It looks like we may have a shot at a Friday crossing but this could change. After that things begin to deteriorate. Jim Peeler arrives Thursday at 5pm and we will confer with the Commander and decide. If we go, we go. But if we cannot then we will close up the boat and call for reinforcements to come pick us up to go home for Christmas and return in January to wait on a more ideal weather window. Only Mother Nature knows for sure. We can live with it either way. This is a good place to leave the boat and we need to get home and see our kids and grandkids. Stay tuned to see what happens.