Saturday, September 5, 2015

Final Leg

     We planned on staying in Carrabelle for a few days to clean up the boat but when Beth pointed out the impending thunderstorms for the weekend and that Friday was the best weather we would have for several days, the decision to get to Doc's Holidays new home port was made.  We filled up the forward tanks with fuel and took off for the 6 hour ride across Appalachicola Bay into the Intercoastal Waterway, and around the end of the canal into Port St. Joe Marina.

                                                          Leaving Carrabelle

     Stopping when we saw a fellow in a small boat waving his arms in distress we quickly determined that he had a problem that we couldn't fix and called Sea Tow for him.  We made sure he and the two girls aboard were safe and had water then continued towards our destination.


                           Oyster beds our starboard prop met when we were here in 2012

     The wind came up and thunderclouds threatened as we entered and navigated  through Apalachicola and the ICW but we only had to go to the lower helm  for a brief period of rain. The cruise was easy and relaxing, allowing us to talk about the good times, good anchorages, nice towns and museums, our favorite islands and ....the difficult times. It seemed like such a long time ago that we left Eastport . Both of us were relieved the traveling was coming to an end and we could have a rest from our vacation. Indeed, we had experienced a lot, and no doubt learned a lot about cruising on our boat... The bottom line was,"Our experience continues to grow."
     However, our experience was not over! As we entered St. Joseph's Bay I could see  the wind had increased producing white caps and some rollers coming into the canal.  Beth quickly went forward and closed the forward hatch just in time to prevent a huge wave from filling up the front state room.  We had to turn side to the waves to get to the marina and the boat began to roll.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw Beth squat down and hang on.  When the boat righted itself she went into the main lounge, sat on the floor and hugged her knees.
      "Oh! This is the motion I hate." she moaned
      " Are you going to be able to get by the rocks at the entrance to the marina?  I guess the weather gods are giving us a reminder that they are the ones truly in control!" she said in a low nervous voice.
       "Please just relax. I have to concentrate on getting through the entrance. I am going to have to power in through the turbulence." I responded.
        We flushed in with a swell and as I maintained control of the boat Beth said with a glee, "Oh my Ralph. Look! The have a Doc's Holiday Welcome home banner strung up!" When I looked up boat horns were blaring, people were waving and I could see the smiling faces of our friends and club members. It was heartwarming.


                                                      Click on picture to enlarge.

     We managed to turn the boat around the very narrow fairway and glide into Doc's Holidays new slip.  We were greeted by more smiling faces; Vicki and Danny-Dale Hellemn; our club commodore Dave and his wife Margo; and holding a bottle of wine and the biggest smile of them all, Huin.
     Thank you all for being so kind and making us feel so much at home. 





Bittersweet!!!......until the next adventure.

 We celebrated by opening the bottle of champagne Beth had on chill for when we reached our final destination.


  1. Congrats on this great adventure (again). You guys sure make a great team.

    1. Thanks Joan. We sure wish we could have gotten you and Brian out on the boat when we were in Maine. Maybe when you come to visit this winter. xoxo

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  3. Glad to see you made it home safely. Enjoyed meeting you and hope we cross wakes in the future!
    Barbara & David
    "Miss My Money"
    34' PDQ

    1. Thanks. We didn't take time to stop at the free dock y'all mentioned in Jacksonville but we saw it. Maybe next time. Safe travels.