We left the dock at just before 3:30. Our buddy boat, My Bluegill Heaven, with Ted Swartz single handing his boat, pulled out just in front of us. We headed for East Pass just off Dog Island, and nosed out into the Gulf of Mexico. This is My Bluegill Heaven just ahead of us. The many dolphins were escorting us as we waved good-bye to the panhandle of Florida. A good omen, we thought.
The first two hours were in daylight and the seas were calm. After that we could feel the seas increasing. All reports were that the seas would lay down. The sunset was gorgeous.
We had agreed on what way points we would follow on our chart plotter and that we would keep visual contact. The Hydrophilic runs radar, so the plan was that we would follow Ted as we would be able to track him on radar. That purple blob is what My Bluegill Heaven looked like on our radar. John had named the agreed upon way point that we were going to Tedpoint 1.
By 8 pm, the seas got quite a bit rollier. While our boat is very seaworthy, this made it uncomfortable. I was laying on our heavy sleeper sofa in the salon, when a wave moved the couch with me on it across the salon. John was a trooper, he navigated most of the night. Each hour we made contact with our buddy boat. Fortunately, neither of us had problems to report.
Finally, just about 7 am the sun rose out of the horizon. What a wonderful way to welcome a new day.
As we entered the Anclote River, Herb Seaton, the Tarpon Springs Harbor Host, greeted us in his boat Phantom. Later, at the docks, he came by with a map of the area and streusel cakes. Apparently, we made it here for the fish festival, too. He gave me recommendations for dinner and offered rides and anything else he could help with. What a nice man.
We ate lunch at the restaurant that was right on the dock. My shrimp were huge and tasty. This fellow was standing right over our table waiting for us. John took our picture.
Lat 28 degrees 9.71 North
Long 82 degrees 46.20 West