From Carrabelle to St. Pete

November 27th we headed out of Carrabelle, FL (our last stop im Panhandle and on the Gulf ICW) to anchor at Dog Island. We poised ourselves there to make a dawn departure for Steinhatchie, FL; our first stop on Florida’s gulf coast. We dropped anchor around 3:00PM and between then and sunset, 10 other boats arrived to ready themselves to cross the gulf as well. the journey across is long, about 80 miles, far from land, and the water can be quite volatile therefore; it is wise to wait for just right weather. And, we did. it was a perfect day. Thank you for all the prayers, good wishes and positive vibes.

On anchor with other crossers at Dog Island.
Setting out at dawn behind O’Tug.

Steinhatchee is a long way out of the gulf and up the Steinhatchee River. We tied up at the Sea Hag Marina along with several other of the boats that had crossed. We were the second boat to arrive, just behind another Nordic Tug, O’Tug, a 37 footer. O’Tugs Captain, Tom, turned out to be an ethical and angelic force throughout the following days travel. It is an amazing world we live in.

A storm front came through the night we arrived and consequently, we stayed at Sea Hag a second night. A few of us got together to toast ourselves, our boats, our good fortune, and one another. Cheers to the final remaining weeks of our voyage as well. David, Irene and I have traveled over 5400 miles on this ”great loop” to date. We are excited to cross our wake at Caya Costa in just a few days!

Little Irene in front of big O’Tug. 📷 Captain Tom.
The crossing boats at Sea Hag.
Salu! (That’s me in the back, third from the left. David napped through the festivities).

November 30th the sky and wind were clear for us to travel again and we headed back out the river and south to Cedar Key- A beautiful island amidst a dozen equally beautiful, but smaller, islands. There was a fairly strong current and a significant tide. It took three attempts to get a good hold with the anchor! Well worth the effort in sunset, stars, a crescent moon, and a stunning sunrise.

Sunrise. 12/1/21

Next stop was a journey up the Crystal River to visit a dear friend and to be in that sacred space. Crystal River is the source of springs and spring water that feeds the Gulf and creates an ecological oasis habitat for manatees, dolphins, gulls, fish and more. It’s up a long and shallow channel to the river itself. We got there in time to appreciate the rising tide. Hallelujah! Even with the rising tide, we still saw depths of under 5 feet. We got a slip at Twin Rivers Marina and got swept off our feet by our fellow North Hero immigrant, Terry. We explored the wonders, coves and creeks with her and her buddy, Gregory, on his fishing boat. It was wonderful. (We even took hot showers and did laundry at Gregory’s beautiful home on a tiny island.) They treated us to a delicious dinner at a restaurant on the water and a ping pong tournament. PS: I went for the gold but settled for silver. I will be back!

A sacred Seminole burial site on Crystal River.
Terry 👊🏽
Lots of big houses along King’s Bay.
Heading back out to sea. 12/2/21

December 2nd was a very long day. it was about 10 hours from Crystal River to Clearwater. This day reminded us just how much stamina it takes to do this journey, day after day. We are so blessed to have good friends and family to continually connect with. Never underestimate how appreciated the texts, calls, face-times, zooms and actual visits have fed our soul’s reserves.

And these spirit animals! 📷 Jeff on Loafer.

The long ride to Clearwater took its toll on my body. Around 8 hours in my body felt exhausted, like a plug got pulled and the air leaked out. We managed a few laughs regardless and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude when we reached the inlet at Clearwater. Approaching the fuel dock from the canal, we received a text from O’Tug’s Captain, Tom. He saw us and gave us directions and met us on the dock. Truly, a sight for sore eyes.

Along the Clearwater canal.
On the dock in Clearwater, Little Toot 😁 📷 Jim on Sisu.

On the way to Clearwater we had some surging in our RPM’s which meant it’s time to change the primary fuel filter. We opted for a nice dinner out, an early to bed, and early up and at it so David could change the filter and I could walk to a market for the final provisions we’ll need to finish this pilgrimage as we make our way from Clearwater to St. Pete, Sarasota, Venice and over our wake, early next week.

Foggy sunrise in Boca Ciega Bay, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Celebratory meal at Boca Ceiga. David’s most tasty baked potato with butter!
Off we go again, into the great and divine unknown.

12 thoughts on “From Carrabelle to St. Pete

  1. kathyyost01

    So happy you are nearing the end of this epic voyage!  It will be so wonderful to put my arms around you and hold you close❤️ Stay safe, stay vigilant and know e are waiting for you both.   Well done, well done.♥️♥️🌞

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

  2. jeannehommel

    So happy you are close by now. What an adventure. Can’t wait to see you.❤ all our love to you and David.

  3. Kathie

    I will miss your story telling! I am so happy David got to do this…… how lucky he was to have you on this journey and to have you in his life. He has told me more than once that you are an Angel sent from Heaven. He knows how blessed he is. Hugs to both of you!😘🙏❤️

  4. Wendy Hobbins McGrath

    WOW, you are amazing! I mean, I’ve always know that, but your capacity is just extraordinary!! Gorgeous photos, heartfelt stories, and spirit that stirs a belief in the mystery and audacity of hope and humanity, and above all the power to love all of it. Thank you for the gift of your blog and the gift of your presence. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    1. betheship Post author

      Deep gratitude for you. 30 years of friendship is as epic as any journey can be. Love you and your brilliant mind, enormous heart- and your sweet family. Next up: Road trip 🚎

  5. perkks

    I somehow missed this blog. It was great you got to see Terry and enjoy some time together. I happy to know this is all behind you for awhile and you are in “the neighborhood” for awhile. Can’t wait to see you both.
    Much love,

  6. Douglas

    Kudos.. Wow What a Trip!!…. you are essentially Home in FLA! I have enjoyed keeping track of your adventure… intermittently! xoxo DDD


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