Saturday, November 9, 2019

Apalachicola to Carrabelle

(subtitled... when it rains it pours)

When we woke this morning there were still some stiff breezes, stiff enough that small craft advisories were issued. They lessened as the afternoon came.

We keep going back and forth about what to do. We originally planned on breaking up the crossing into 3 chunks. But a couple of hitches made that less appealing. First, the second stop, Crystal River, didn't have room for us. And the weather windows would close at about that time. We envisioned ourselves having to anchor out there for a couple of weeks, waiting for the next go day.

So we decided to either do a 2 day (from Carrabelle to Steinhatchee to Tarpon Springs) or --  dun dun duuuuun -- do the overnight run.

I've been against the idea from day 1 of the loop. Driving at night does not sound like a good idea. Driving all night, even worse.

Sunset in Apalachicola. There's a tow on the horizon.
However, tomorrow night would be absolutely perfect, smack in the middle of 2 weather systems. Calm winds, calm waters, and a full(ish) moon to boot. Quick recap: The idea is leave just before the sun goes down, cross over night, and arrive after sunrise, around 10 am or so. That way all your docking antics are done in daylight -- the crossing is just a straight line so no real need to see much.

We needed fuel, and it's cheaper in Carrabelle. We decided to run there in the afternoon (about 3 1/2 hours), fuel up, and make the decision in the morning. The winds had calmed tremendously and the trip was absolutely dandy.

So, why the rains/pours subtitle?

Upon arriving at the fuel dock one of my dogs demanded to be let out. Our bad, really, we should have walked them before we left. While Russ pumped the diesel I took the dog to some grass where she promptly threw up. This dog is so stoic -- she never tosses her cookies. 

In the distance is the bridge to St. George Island.
Last time I crossed it we fled away from Michael.
I brought her back on board and she seemed fine. I fed both dogs, assuming this was a one-off kind of thing. Next thing I know Russ is screaming obscenities. While talking to someone he hadn't noticed that the fuel tank was overflowing. There was shut off on the nozzle, just like at a gas station, but it didn't work. Fuel went everywhere, covering the stern transome and spilling into the back hatch. This was the starboard side.

After a bunch of cleaning and cursing he got it worked out. He then filled the port side. And once done we fired up the engines and headed to our slip.

Pulling into the quaint town of Carrabelle.
Which I believe is cursed.
Only, the boat wasn't behaving right. I checked the rudder, then my gauges, only to discover that the port engine wasn't running. I called to Russ to turn it over (which I thought I had) and... It. Wouldn't. Start. We can hear a click to the starter, but it never turns over.

Before we drifted too far from the dock we tossed lines to folks to reel us back in. We're tied to the fuel dock as I type.

...and I just heard the engine start. Turns out, bad starter relay. We don't have a spare, but Russ was taught by the handy gentlemen who rescued us how to jump it.

Looks like the crossing is back on.

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