December 26, 2012

December 25, 2012    Day 228                           
Turtle Cove Marina, Tarpon Springs, FL
Total miles to date:  4320.3

At 10:10 am on Sunday, December 23, we began our crossing of the Gulf with Irish Attitude and Sea Hunt IV. We were pleased to find calm water with waves no more than a foot most of the time. About 2:30 in the morning they did pick up to about 2 ½ ft. for an hour or so, and then diminished again. What a wonderful ride!  The sky was mostly cloudy so we did not get our starry night, but the moon did appear from time to time and glistened on the water through the clouds. 
Before leaving we decided we needed a “call sign” for radio communications, so we became the “Rudolph Flight” (thanks to Luc for the Christmas themed title!). We checked in during the night every hour on the radio. At one point Joyce returned from her 2 hour break to find Bill writing poems to share with the other boats during our hourly check!  Here are two examples of his creativity:

“Tis two nights before Christmas

On the Gulf of Mexico

Three boats they do travel

Three boats in a row

Their lights do shine

Green white and red

And how we do wish we

Could all go to bed.”


“In the night

On the Gulf of Mexico

We traveled south

We traveled slow

The clouds flew away

And the moon came out to shine

It’s 2:00 am

And there are 65 miles to go!”

About 6:40 am we slowed down to idle to wait for the sunrise.  We were starting to see the ubiquitous crab pots and need better visibility.  Sea Hunt was the lead boat and communicated over the radio calling out crab pots to port or starboard, giving us time to adjust!

We arrived at Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs on December 24, at 11:30 am, tired, but so very happy to be here. We are thankful for a safe, successful crossing. Prayers were answered!

After getting about three hours rest we had Gay and Mike (Irish Attitude) over for Christmas Eve dinner.  It was so nice to relax and enjoy the evening with friends.  Gay and Mike joined us Christmas morning for breakfast – another fun time. We are away from our families and it was good to have company!  Christmas afternoon was spent cleaning the outside of the boat to remove all the salt spray we accumulated during the crossing. Gay and Mike returned for Christmas dinner and we talked until after 11:00pm!

We will likely stay here in Tarpon Springs until Friday. We have some boat chores and also want to tour the town, known for its Greek heritage and food and also for being the “Sponge Capital of the World”.

Following Sea Hunt IV into the Gulf

Irish Attitude followed us

Sun setting on the Gulf - see how calm it is!
8 hours into the trip at 6:10pm 123.2 miles to go!
Beautiful sunrise
Irish Attitude, Sea Hunt IV, Carried Away
docked at Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs