Tuesday, February 19, 2008

PICTURES from JACK - trip around the peninsula

Mike seeing his boat for the 1st time. Al on the right.

This is Al waiting to go. Al's specialty is reading all the electrical "stuff" like radar, chart plotters, auto-pilot, bottom machines, fish finders, etc.

Jack is driving them out of the inlet in St. Petersburg, out into the Tampa Bay and eventually out to the Gulf of Mexico.

Jack's main purpose this whole trip was to park and unpark the boat and teach Mike how to do it. This Luhrs has twin diesel props for those dying to know.

Saying good-bye to the port and hello to the flat Gulf of Mexico. Look at the gorgeous weather that they started off with.

Jack's view for the next few hours.

The Gulf of Mexico is pretty shallow near-shore so they couldn't always go top speed. This is why the trip took 2 days heading down the west coast and 1 day going up the east coast.

As soon as the boat was put on auto-pilot, Mike and Al were quick to play with all the equipment seeing what they could learn.

Does anybody ever get tired of seeing blue-green water? I don't.

At this point, the sun was setting and the purple hues started coming out the clouds. It was gorgeous Jack said.

This was sunset, just outside of Marco Island. They anchored approx 5 mi offshore and took a little time out to do some night fishing with produced mainly sand perch and baby sharks.

Here Mike is with one of them.

Being that they all got up around 4am to start the journey, they did end up going to sleep relatively early.

Jack caught these 2 gorgeously marked crabs. (Ahhh, the grass is always green on the other side of the state.)
DAY 2 - leaving Marco Island
This the view after leaving the fueling dock. Still another beautiful day in paradise. Can you hear Jimmy Buffet music in the background?

I don't know if this will ever show up on the blog but in the original, I can see land. Jack knew that I would love seeing the tip of mainland Florida. Not the Keys, but the southernmost point of the peninsula. He also said that passing Ten Thousands Islands was a cool view and it was appropriately named.
Here is the first bridge they passed under that took them from the Gulf of Mexico (actually Florida Bay) into the Atlantic Ocean. So very cool!! They are somewhere north of Islamorada at this point but he wasn't certain of the exact location.

The spent a long time looking for their slip (parking space for boats) at Smuggler's Cove in Islamorada. Unfortunately, Jack never did get a picture of that area.

Again, water was shallow and made traveling slow-going. You may need to click & enlarge to see what I'm talking about. There are a bunch of loons sitting on white pvc pipes that somebody stuck in a sandbar to warn fellow boaters. Jack said there were often times that markers seemed like they were in the right place and you'd think you were in a deep-water channel, but you weren't.

Very beautiful & slow-going. However, the weather began to change on the night of Day 2. A front had come in and what normally is flat shallows for the Keys are now becoming very choppy waves.

This is one of the many mansions they passed looking for Smuggler's Cove.

Here is the fuel dock down in Islamorada. And this concludes day 2.

Day 3 - Atlantic Ocean. I missed downsizing the morning picture of Mike in the water. Jack says that when they started off, they could hear a thumping in the propellers. So, the guys dove under the boat and found rope entangled around the engines. They lost time cutting those out.
Here they were trying to do a little trolling while they were in open water. As you can see, the seas are unhappy and the clouds are building. They did encounter some 5-6 ft waves which thankfully, this boat can handle easily.

Here is Jack on break. He did a superb job of manuervering the 32' Luhrs in & out of small slips, tight corners and never once bumped the boat into something. That's why you are my Captain!! This is somewhere around Biscayne Bay (near Miami).
I had to lighten up the photo a little because it was so cloudy outside that you couldn't see Jack's face. I guess nobody thought to put on the flash. Ugh.

I have many less photos of the east coast because they were up on plane (fast) and what photos Jack took were bumpy, cloudy or unacceptable to my photo standards. LOL This is West Palm Beach. They did stop in here for refueling and a quick lunch.

I'm trying to remember if it was here that the Sailfish Marina makes it's home. Jack said there were million dollar yachts everywhere and all the landscaping is pristine. He wanted to go back there one day when a thunder storm wasn't chasing him down.
Jack loves to look at boats like some guys like to look at cars.

At the end of day 3, Jack did take a couple sunset pictures but they were blurred. This is Mike & his new boat, arriving safely at Port Canaveral docks at midnight. Again, another fine parking job for Jack. Mike slept on the boat until his wife & kids came to pick him up. He is keeping his boat in dry storage (out of the water) at this marina.
Jack and Al were able to hitch a ride back to their respective homes with a friend who was curious in seeing the new boat. I'm so thankful for curious people because I did not want to drag myself & the kids out of the house at midnight or so. Who says God doesn't answer even the simplest prayers?
So, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and short bits of info. It looks like we may be fishing on Saturday with Mike & his family. Oh and partly, we have to cruise around so Jack can teach Mike the finer points of working the levers. I don't suppose I care as long as we're on the water with the family & the weather is nice.

1 comment:

Knatolee said...

Hey! My Aunt and Uncle had a condo on Marco Island for years. I went there a few times in the 80s. Beautfiul seashells on the beach!