Well, we are finally gettin’ ready for the big night – The Gulf of Mexico Crossing !
I was telling Jonell that this may be one of the most exciting & boring things we have ever done.
Exciting – because it’s CROSSING THE GULF OF MEXICO overnight !
Boring – Because it will likely be, 20 uneventful hours of plodding along at about 10mph
You may ask, why not go during the day, why not go faster than 10mph ?
1. It is about 200 miles from Carrabelle to Clearwater Florida.
2. At 10mph, we burn about 10 gallons/hour = 1 mpg = 200 gallons will be used
3. At 20 mph , we burn 30 gallons/hour = 0.66 mpg = 300 gallons will be used
4. Gettin’ Looped has two 150 gallon tanks , 300 gallons total.
5. You may recall that in spite of the 300 gallon capacity, that we did have an issue and ran the port tank empty going into Green Turtle Bay @ 256 total gallons used (the port engine is less efficient than the starboard engine).
6. Gettin’ Looped needs 17-18 mph to stay on plane, so we either go 10mph or 18mph, nothing in between & fuel burn is still near 30 gal/hr at 18mph.
7. Running the powertrain at 10mph / 1900rpm is 40% of it’s full rated duty cycle, running at 20mph/3400rpm is about 74% rated duty cycle. The slower speed is much less taxing on the powertrain.
8. Going slower at night is probably a better idea than going fast.
We will depart Carrabelle about 4:00 pm tonight/Thursday night – Nov 30
We will arrive in Clearwater about 12 noon tomorrow/Friday – Dec 1st
It is about 6 miles from Carrabelle to the mouth of the Gulf
It will take about 45 minutes to get to the mouth (due to no wake zones in Carrabelle)
We will have about 1 hour of daylight to get our sea legs before dusk
The trip will be 200 miles / 20 hours / mostly overnight.
We will arrive in Clearwater about 12 noon Friday.
We don’t leave earlier than 4pm, because we do not want to get near Clearwater too early in the morning, because there will be many off-shore crab pot nets to steer around.
If we hit a crab pot harness, it will tangle in the prop/output shaft of the boat and we will lose propulsion.
Heading southeast, if we arrive too early, we would get blinded by the sun rise off of the water, and not be able to see the markers for the crab pot nets.
Checklist – Are all systems ready = yes Done !
1. Lights –
– can we see the graphics on both chartplotters at night ?
– can we read the gauges backlighting ?
– do the NAV lights still work – needed to replace green NAV light bulb
– is the spot light charged ?
2. Are the Charts Programmed ?
3. Is the Fuel Topped off ?
4. Are the Heads Pumped Out ?
5. Did we Secure the Cabin of items which could fall/break ?
6. Tow Boat US 24-hour Dispatch Phone Number Ready = 800-391-4869
7. Nearest Coast Guard Stations to hail on VHF & their phone numbers if within range ?
Carrabelle = 850-697-9835
Clearwater Air Rescue = 727-535-1437
7. Emergency Distress VHF Radio Button Understood by All ?
8. Is the Dinghy Cover Removed for quick access ?
9. Is the Ditch Bag Ready with Personal Items ?
10. Are Reservations made at Clearwater ?
11. Is the final wind/wave report still good ?
I think we are ready !!!
If you wish to follow along, you can watch our GPS Track every hour by clicking on the following Link = https://share.garmin.com/GettinLooped2017
There are little dots recorded each time the GPS Tracker sends a mark.
You can click on the dot to see if we are still doing about 10mph.
If you see multiple dots in the same area, that means we have stopped moving (we intend to keep moving).