A Nice Mix of Work and Fun

Day 69: Monday, November 12, 2012

Port to Port: Carabbelle, Florida

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 00      Stayed At: Marina

First Things First: First visit to the beach.

Mile 381 to Mile 381: The day dawned bright and sunny and, although it seems calm at the marina, the Gulf is windy and has a moderate chop. Our list of projects has grown to more than 20 items which need to be done before we leave so today is a “work” day.

On the first of many trips to the hardware store, we met Jim and Sharon on Blue Angel – Cindy overheard them talking to someone on the phone about their plans for making the Gulf crossing so we introduced ourselves and chatted for awhile. They invited us to happy hour this afternoon at the Moorings – a marina a few blocks up river from C-Quarters. The work of the Looper is never done.

We decided to knock off a critical item on our list – “Go to the beach” – right away in the morning to take advantage of the beautiful weather. We haven’t had the chance to explore any of the amazing beaches we have passed over the last couple of weeks so we need to fit this in even though it isn’t really an important boat project. The closest beach was 3 miles away so we hiked out the other end of town towards the beach. One thing you notice in most towns we have visited is the complete lack of walking paths or sidewalks. Walking is not encouraged and, in fact, we can tell other boaters a mile away because we are usually the only ones walking anywhere. We feel much more vulnerable walking along the edge of a busy road than anything we have done on the boat.

We finally reached the beach and it was well worth the trip – a nice white sand beach stretched out in both directions with only one person fishing and a couple of kids playing in the sand. Schools of dolphin cruised by well offshore. We met Cody who was fishing with his son. In just a few minutes he pulled in the cutest little baby hammerhead shark and a few minutes later he pulled in another shark about 18 inches long and, even though it was a baby, it was not happy being dragged out of the ocean and it bit down on Cody’s finger hard and drew blood. He was kept busy going from one pole to the other. His son was having a blast.

On the walk home, we noticed a couple walking on the other side of the road and we started chatting. We quickly learned Eddy and Linda (on Spiritus) were Loopers too (remember, boaters are the only ones we ever see walking anywhere) and that they had already heard about us from Jim and Sharon on Blue Angel who are parked right in front of them at the Moorings. They will be stopping by at docktails later in the afternoon. (This is of course a critical item on our to do list since we will be spending at least a little time discussing the options for crossing the Gulf).

Some of the boat projects we need to get done include getting a couple more gas cans to increase our range, installing some safety lines, fixing the dinghy, finding our harnesses, plotting our course and monitoring the weather. Even though Aurora is small, there always seems to be something that can be made better, stronger, safer or easier. Perfection is a moving target.

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