cedarkey-crystalriver-8 This was our view in every direction on our way to Tarpon Springs. It looked fake, like a painting. Shallow the entire way, we were at the edge of our seats hoping no large rocks were planted in our path.

cedarkey-crystalriver-9 Katie at the tiller. Check out that awesome broom handle tiller extension. Thanks Felix.

cedarkey-crystalriver-10 A borderline non-existent wind pushed us along for a little bit. The sail ended up just blocking our visibility while we looked out for crab traps.

cedarkey-crystalriver-11 No more wind.

Crystal River to Tarpon Springs was the last trip we had to take in unprotected waters before re-entering the intra-coastal. We left on a rainy morning knowing there were chances of thunderstorms the entire day. Katie was ready to tough it out, and a with a little convincing she got me in my rain gear. With many miles to cover that day, we left at sun up. Unfortunately this also meant leaving at low tide. Exiting the Crystal River channel, we scraped the bottom endless times and somehow avoided putting a hole in our house.

About 12 miles off shore we finally had enough depth for a straight shot to Tarpon. Completely surrounded by black clouds, it looked like rain would pour at any moment. Somehow the seas were dead calm, glassy, with only 9 feet of water beneath us the entire way. Freaky. Ten hours of “calm before the storm” without ever being hit by one. Almost. It was absolutely beautiful out there, and stayed that way until our final 8 mile stretch. The wind picked up, quicker than either of us had ever experienced. We motor-sailed with the head sail cruising just over 7 knots. With the wind behind us, Louise was hauling. The wind was so strong that we experienced 5 minutes of hell just trying to roll up our genoa.. Just about horizontal, rail in the water, items down below being thrown from all corners. For just a moment, everything turned to slow-motion. Me, trying to avoid a mine field of crap traps, Katie using all her strength to roll up the head sail, holding on for dear life as the wind whipped us uncontrollably in circles. Of course we figured it out, because if we didn’t I wouldn’t be around to write about it. I openly admit both of us need some work when it comes to high seas and high wind sailing. But man… that motor-boatin thing, we got it down.

Thankfully we found an anchorage safely protected from high winds that evening, and made it there just after dark. It’s not fun anchoring in the dark and I do not recommended trying it. Sometimes you can’t make it before the sun goes down and YA JUST HAVE TO FIGURE IT OUT.  It was my fault having to anchor in the dark, because I was the one dragging my feet that morning. Either way, I am thankful we crossed over to Tarpon that day, for the following day called for excessively high winds . No thanks. Would have been like our last hour, but for 50 miles instead of 8.

cedarkey-crystalriver-12Our buddies. Bird and Reggie. They have truly overcome their differences… Reggie is warming up to Bird, and I think he secretly loves her.

cedarkey-crystalriver-13 So this is what the bachelorette pad is looking like these days. Filling up with a lot of non-sense. It’s busy, cluttered, of course still hairy and wet. Very appealing.

cedarkey-crystalriver-14 We often find ourselves losing sanity nearing the end of a 12 hour day. So we sing Disney songs. This piece of wood is actually a make-shift door we made to keep Bird out of the V-berth. When we left Michigan, we neglected to bring the real door that came with the boat because we thought it would just get in the way. Big mistake, Bird figured out how to get through any kind of barrier, even this one.

cedarkey-crystalriver-15 Bird thinks she is a model. Hah.


3 thoughts on “Crystal River to Tarpon Springs

  1. Good Morning Ladies, Some time has past since my last post to you. But I Just wanted you to know that I really appreciate reading your diary Jessie, and seeing pictures of all the crew. I envy your warm weather now, it is 21 degrees and sunny here this morning, but the snow on the ground is practically gone. Interesting pic of inside your “home”. Wow, my boat cabins never looked so bad (not), guess it’s a gender thing! Or was the pic taken just after the storm, when the rail was buried, and everything left it’s neat place in order? Whatever. We visited Tarpon Springs a few years ago when we wintered in FL….the sponge capitol of the world. They have a special religious (I think!) when a priest throws a cross off the breakwater of the city, and the kids dive for it. I don’t know what the finder receives as a reward, but I’m sure it is really; worth while. I saw a video of it, and the waters really swirled when the divers went in. All for now, wish you were here, and me there, or just me there! So, ladies, keep your powder dry, your sails full, and your rails buried. TTUL………..Dave

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