Monday, November 16, 2015

Just When We Were Warmed by the Sun, the North Winds Chilled Us!

Our anchorage at Big Sabine just off the coast of Santa Rosa Island was lovely.  The Thurday morning walk along the Gulf beach was terrific!

Those tiny spots out on the deep blue water are our boat and Sandrobber.  We simply used the Whaler to go to shore, then we walked over the sand to the road and over some more sand and Voila! we were on the real beach of the Gulf.  It was so warm, I was back into summer walking clothes.  Had plans to return to the beach for a swim in the afternoon.  

These young men were enjoying powered para gliding.

It was fun to watch them take off and soar over the land and water.  We had reached Nirvana! So I settled into a ralaxing time on the flybridge and started to feel some wind and felt chilly and within an hour or so I donned a long sleeve shirt and then a sweatshirt.  No swimming but it still was an enjoyable place to be. So we settled in to a second night in this anchorage.  Gathering on California Lady in the wind was tricky but we are stout boaters so did our thing to meet up for sunset watch and snacks.  Then we headed back to the boats in our dingys in heavy wind and water chop, such fun!!
Friday morning we all struggled with heavy wind as we worked to up anchor and Cap Al gave me a high compliment on how smoothly ours was raised!!  One more step toward my 1st mate license!
On Friday we went to Fort Walton Beach City dock which was free for us to tie up and I headed out to get my toes into Florida flip flop shape and get some more supplies at, yes, PUBLIX!! 
We were out of the wind some so the night was restful with a good tie up to land. The sun still was high in the sky.  All is well in this new world of ours.  But Saturday we left our land support and headed into Choctawhatchee Bay knowing we would be hit with North winds which are cold and strong.  Back into winter garb!

For those that like the Gulf as a summer or fall vacation, we are headed toward Destin but the swell was 1-3' and I felt the motion too strongly and became motion sick.  Took some Dramamine and toughed it out  while looking on my handy iPad  using Active Captain to find a protected  anchorage. We turned into a much more quiet and protected area and enjoyed a quiet night, gently rocking out of the strong wind.  Finally got warm while eating thick pea soup and moist, warm corn bread, lashed up with Sandrobber.  We do have everything we need for comfort so know that even in high winds, we are safe and comfortable!

Rob on Sandrobber took these shots of the spectacular sunset as he grilled chicken thighs and corn on the cob to share with our soup dinner. This group work is what makes this trip so special!

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