Home again, home again, jiggity jig…

We are home for Christmas and all is well. Cbay remains in Steinhatchee until we return around January 6th but I thought my faithful readers deserved an update in the meantime.

Old Seabiscuit decided to take her chances and challenge the Gulf again on Friday morning against my advice and the Commander’s but that tale must wait while I first catch you up on Cbay.

Wednesday morning, after our arrival in Steinhatchee, the Gulf was hit by a weather front that brought 42 mph wind gusts and 12 foot waves! We were so happy to be tied to a dock but I had eight lines tying us down and numerous fenders. You can see Seabiscuit tied just across on the next dock. The wind still howled pretty good. Bill and Pam from Seabiscuit braved the weather to join us for a delicious spaghetti dinner. We discussed the weather as they wanted to try and get out by weeks end. They had plane reservations in Tampa on the 16th and a covered slip in St. Pete to leave the boat.

Thursday morning we broke out the folding bikes and toured Steinhatchee.

The place has quite a history. It has had at least three names in modern times. Old Ponce de Leon himself crossed the river at the falls and General Andy Jackson came here to put down a Seminole uprising and protect the local population. The Seminoles were the only American Indians that never officially surrendered to the US Government I believe. There is evidence that prehistoric Indians were present around 12,000 BC. Anyway if you ever want to get away from it all and pretend it is 1950 again, this is the place. We bought some smoked mullet dip to try later. We are connoisseurs of smoked fish dip. The rest of the day was spent packing and prepping the boat. We even broke out the winter window covers.

On Friday morning there was a record low tide due to a nearly full moon and NE winds. This delayed Seabiscuit leaving until around 10am and this picture is their departure. Little did they know what fate had in store for them. But first let me set the stage.

At 1125 good friends, Colonel Frank Reece and Dr. Allyn Bell, arrived to fetch us home. Above they are pictured with yours truly. Imagine what kind of friends it takes to leave Coweta County, GA at 0530 and drive straight through to Steinhatchee. We have truly been blessed to know these good men and I have ridden across Georgia on bicycles with them many times over and expect to do it many times again before the planting of any of us.

The trip home was a hoot and we told many stories of our journey and of journeys past. We tried to contact Seabiscuit several times but got no reply. I assumed they had gone into an escape hole on the coast and had no cell coverage. Little did we know that they were still at sea when darkness fell.

Jan’s sister Beth and her husband Jim, who put the name on Cbay, had taken our car to Moreland, GA over the weekend so it was sitting in Bell’s front yard upon our arrival. This saved our rescuers several hours of drive time and they were most appreciative. We transferred to the BMW and were headed on the final leg of our journey when finally we heard from Seabiscuit. They had been forced to try and get into Tarpon Springs in the dark. Navigating a strange harbor at night is scary and dangerous but Bill and Pam had no choice as that is where they found themselves. At least the weather held off as they worked their way into Anclote Village Marina, the first marina available. Bill said they tied up to the first pier he saw and would worry about it in the morning light. We have since learned that they moved on into Tarpon Springs City Dock the next morning. I am just glad they are safe and that it was not me creeping along in the dark. Congratulations Seabiscuit. Winston Churchill said, “There is nothing quite so exhilarating as being shot at and missed.” We are so glad the Gulf missed you and never got a shot at us. Wait until January.

By the way, I bought a new Samsung WIFI hotspot at the Verizon store and this is being written on it. This should end my WIFI blues. Thanks Miss Lindsay Cash for hooking us up. It is neat gadget and an early Christmas present to ourselves. Until we talk again.