Yesterday, manatees. Today, crab pots. Florida in late November!
I write this on Sunday night from the small town of Cedar Key, about 30 miles north of Crystal River. The boat is almost 100 miles away, as I move north while Many Moons heads south. But I got to see her, and “the guys,” one more time.
I followed the boat by car from Carrabelle to Crystal River yesterday. As planned, I brought medical and cooking supplies to the boat…and decided to spend the night on board, near Pete’s Pier. How could I not? The boat was anchored in the perfect place for water-level visits with the “sea cows!” That’s been on my must-do list for years. (I was hoping to scuba dive with them but that is not allowed anymore, nor should it be.) I was delivered back to land before sunrise, and once again watched as the boat pulled away without me. Once again, it felt odd. I have a few days to play with, so sat in the parking lot a long time trying to decide whether to drive south (to its next port) or north (toward my house near Washington D.C.). I drove north.
Which is just as well. Tonight, Many Moons is anchored about four miles offshore in the vicinity of Tarpon Springs. It would have been hard to get to the boat! (I tried to find a marina slip there but none was available, which isn’t surprising with so many Looping boats in Florida right now. At least 15 boats left Carrabelle this morning to cross the gulf, all headed in this direction. I wonder if that’s a record.)
Today’s 66-mile leg for Many Moons was marked by crab pots – lots of them – and a large pod of dolphins. “There were minefields out there!,” said Jeff. (He meant the crab pots, not the dolphins. 😉 ) Skies were gray but seas were calm, and the depth was never over 12 feet as she followed Florida’s west coast from 15 miles off-shore. Isn’t that amazing? Just 12 feet deep, so far out!
Tonight’s stop — #66 of the trip — brings Many Moons back into the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) after 230 miles in the Gulf of Mexico. Tomorrow, Jeff and Tom will head south another 60 miles or so, while I head north more than 800 miles…but not before I explore this charming town a little more. I made a point to come here to Cedar Key, well off my designated route, and I don’t want to rush it. After all, you can “see America” by boat or car! Photos and captions below.
PS: I’ve been calling it the intercoastal. It’s actually the intracoastal. Oops. (See explanation here.)