Total Miles Traveled 1158
Port St Joe is a cool little town that we will definitely revisit in the future. We spent two days here, November 28 and 29, but didn’t really see the entire town. We developed a small leak on our main engine cooling system and found the culprit to be a leaking drain valve. I walked to the local Napa Auto with both fingers crossed, hoping they would have a replacement valve I could use, they didn’t but said they could order it and it would arrive from Jacksonville by 8 a.m. the next morning.
The next morning didn’t look very promising, what I thought was thick fog moving in, turned out to be smoke. I learned that a controlled burn was started overnight to clear land for a cow pasture north of town.
I walked to Napa Auto and sure enough the exact part I needed had arrived…. for less than $3. It wasn’t much of a leak, but we didn’t want any surprises crossing the Gulf next week.
Sunset at Port St Joe Marina.
We departed Port St Joe November 30 and traveled 14 miles to one of our favorite anchorages at the Searcy Creek Oxbow. Anchoring here allows us to be less than 50 miles from Carrabelle, FL our last marina before starting our Gulf crossing.
Although we tried several lures and a piece of shrimp, we didn’t have any luck fishing. The last time we anchored here we watched and alligator make his rounds, but no gators this time.
We arrived at Carrabelle, Fl December 1st topping off our fuel tanks and preparing for the first section of our Gulf crossing to Steinhatchee, FL. The marina is a little over 5 miles up the Carrabelle River, so we departed the marina December 2nd and anchored behind Dog Island, just a few hundred feet of sand between us and the Gulf of Mexico.
Before I could record the information in my daily log, my best mate already had a line in the water and was yelling “I have a big one”. I ran down to grab the fish net but before we could see what it was, it darted under the boat breaking the line. We had purchased a heavy pole and line for salt water fishing, but didn’t have it set up yet so the pole we used only had 6 lb test line on it.
We set up the new pole and almost immediately Moni had another hit, but lost it before getting it to the boat. Then another hit, this time although smaller we caught our first salt water fish of the season, a Grey Trout. After looking it up we found we could keep them and the edibility was reported to be excellent. Now all we need is a half dozen or so for dinner.
We kept about a dozen, all around 12 inches or so. We had several hits, and some seemed to be big fish but then we would lose them. While reeling one in, Moni discovered the problem, a 2-3 foot shark was eating our fish while we were bringing them into the boat. We didn’t lose this one but you can see where the shark had a bite on it.
Okay, I learned something that is not an issue back home, rule #1; if you’re going to clean the fish while you’re fishing, wait until you are finished before throwing the scraps into the water, and rule #2; don’t kneel down on the swim platform and wash your hands in the water 😏
We had a supermoon while anchored at Dog Island, the closest distance that the Moon reaches to Earth in its elliptic orbit, resulting in a larger than normal size as viewed from Earth. I took several pictures but my camera just didn’t capture the real event.
At first light December 3rd, we weighed anchor and started our 77 mile journey across the northern section of the Gulf to Steinhatchee, Fl.
We had awesome weather and seas for cruising today.
We talked to a couple of people about trolling in Gulf waters and purchased a couple of lures that could be used trolling at 8 mph, but no luck today.
This picture didn’t turn our very well, but there are a couple of jelly fish in this picture. Maybe Santa will bring us a new camera; I think I have worn this one out with the hundreds of pictures I have taken over the last three years.
After a little over 10 hours and 81.6 miles, we arrived at the River Haven Marina at Steinhatchee. The town is known as” a drinking village with a fishing problem”……..hmmm. This is a small town along the river with a grocery, hardware store, a few local restaurants, and a post office. We will be here at least a week waiting on a weather window to make the two day cruise to Cedar Key, Tarpon Springs and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW).
Our good friends from Palatka, Florida drove over to spend the day with us Monday December 4th. Judy, Ralph, and Pearl hung out on the boat for a while, and then we visited a local restaurant for lunch, then spent the afternoon sightseeing around town. We had a great visit, and appreciate them driving us around town to see the area.
On Tuesday we took advantage of the weather before the approaching cold front arrived to visit the post office, hardware store, and grocery. Probably a two mile walk on a sunny 75 degree day, our last nice day for a few days with high temperatures predicted to be around 50 degrees the rest of the week.
Someone is definitely into the Christmas spirit.
Ahh yes, that Grey Trout dinner, awesome!
Only 48 degrees and rain at 12:00 today December 8, 2017, is this Florida?
Our next possible weather window is expected to be sometime after Wednesday, December 13th.