Carrabelle FL - Tarpon Springs
- Start 12:05 PM 12/2/21
- End 10:52 AM 12/3/21
- Underway 21:25 Hours
- Distance 150 miles
- Total Miles on Trip 4083
- Av Speed 7 knots
- Weather Clear , 62 Degrees, Wind 4 Knts N
YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT 150 miles, and 21.5 hours!!!! We crossed the Gulf Of Mexico from Carrabelle Fl to Tarpon Spring FL. What a spectacular trip. We pulled off the dock shortly after noon for our 150 mile trip. We were prepared, mentally, physically, and the boat.
Wednesday we stocked the boat with snacks and drinks. We check all the fluids on the boat and prepared a "Ditch Bag". (a small bag with essentials to take with us, in the event we have to abandon our boat.) We also planned our route and a confirmed that the three of us (Kay Dee, Happiness Is, and us) had the same route charted.
We planned our departure for noon on Thursday so our arrival in Tarpon Springs, would be well after sunrise on Friday morning. The final approach to Tarpon Springs is riddled with crab pots, and we needed daylight to be able to spot the crab pot markers.
Nothing To Plunder is well equipped to handle the trip. We have radar, autopilot, AIS (Allows us to electronically see all commercial vessels and for them to see us) and an EPRIB. An EPRIB is a satellite rescue beacon that when activated will contact the USCG and give them our position, and notify them we are in distress. Out of the 22 hours, we only have cell phone coverage for the first and last hour.
The crossing was incredible. The weather conditions were perfect. Light winds and the seas were one foot and less. Within two hours of our departure we could no longer see land and would not see land again until Friday morning around 7am. The sunset was like no other sunset I have seen, and after the sunset it got dark. It was unbelievable how truly dark it was with absolutely no light pollution, it felt like we could reach out and grab the stars.
As we got underway two other boats joined us. It is normal for like speed boats to do the crossing together in groups. This way if someone has a problem we can help each other.
Two Tee's, one of the two boats that joined us, informed us that there would be a space rocket launch at 6:12pm. We were very surprised at how well we could see the rocket, at 6:13 there was a very clear ball of fire shooting from the ground up to space. It lasted about 40 seconds.
Driving the boat was very easy. As soon as we reached open water, I turned on the autopilot (Jimmy) and Jimmy drove the boat for 120 miles without us touching the steering wheel once. All we had to do was watch the radar and AIS. The five of us were about ½ mile apart as we traveled. This was close enough that we could all see each other's running lights but far enough apart that we did not worry about hitting each other. About once an hour were would check in with each other by radio.
Sunrise was a spectacular as sunset was and was very welcomed. The overnight run was fairly easy, the hardest part was staying awake. We both got a short nap during the night, but not enough to call it sleep.
Tarpon Springs had both their Christmas tree lighting street fair, and their lighted boat parade. We did not spend much time exploring. We will be able to come back while we spend a month in Clearwater. It is a short trolley ride.
Matt & Ilene joined us and will be with us until Clearwater.