Clearwater Florida (Port #50) – Successful Crossing of the Gulf of Mexico ; Nov 30-Dec 1

Hey blog followers,

Sorry for the delayed follow-up to the Gulf Crossing note from Thursday night.

It has been a world-wind weekend.
After crossing the Gulf Thursday night/Friday morning, we were exhausted, crashed Friday night, and Saturday morning welcomed Jonell’s cousin Anita Cook & husband Rich from Clarkston Michigan onto the SS Gettin’ Looped. In addition to being Jonell’s cousin, Rich & Anita are among the group of our local boater pals from metro Detroit. They arrived Saturday morning and will spend the week with us as we travel to Fort Myers Beach.

I want to start by thanking all of you who either made a comment on the blog, or sent an email, sent a text, or called before we crossed the Gulf of Mexico & tracked our progress while crossing !
The best part of the Great Loop Trip has been knowing that all of our friends & family are watching over us.

Here is our Summary of the Gulf of Mexico Crossing

Emotions
Serenity – the quietness of hearing only the sound of the motors & boat wake
Dolphins – following us out of Carrabelle & welcoming us into Clearwater
Sunset – Spectacular (see attached pics)
Moon Light / Stars – We had clear skies until about 3am, the moon lit up the water nicely
Moon Set – Very nice, not as cool as the Sunset
Darkness – Eerie feeling after the clouds covered the moon, very dark
Isolation – Only saw 2 vessels during the entire Gulf crossing, 1 Tow/Barge (10pm) & 1 Fishing boat (2am).
Sunrise – As sweet as the Sunset, wild cloud formations (see attached pics)
Almost There – the euphoria of the tall buildings entering Clearwater after 20 hours.
Achievement – Accomplishing something that we had spent many nights thinking about.

At about 3am in the morning, in very dark conditions, with only the noise of the motors & wake , while Jonell was sleeping – I had almost a euphoric feeling and felt as alive as I have ever felt in my life.

Stats
Left Carrabelle 4pm
Arrived @ Clearwater  & tied up by 12 noon
20 hours
180 miles
8-9 mph
141 gallons fuel (very low for Gettin’ Looped, pretty efficient at 8-9mph, 1.25mpg )
Only two,  1-hour sleep sessions each for Jonell & I

Videos (go for the ride, click on Links in red)
1. Video #1 “Leaving Carrabelle” – Cancelled, not much info, cutting room floor !
2. Red Can #2 Entry into the Gulf of Mexico = https://youtu.be/KrKXjX8UMxA
2. Sunset = https://youtu.be/u5b2fevVqfE
3. 10pm Bow Ride  = https://youtu.be/oY-BTGKMEGE
4. Midnight – Aft Deck = https://youtu.be/I7TPm1GhrOU
5. 7am Sunrise = https://youtu.be/RRT4WhhT7Kk

Photos

Chartplotters
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Sunset
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Moon
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Sunrise
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Crab Pot Nets – we were told they were a big deal, but they were not really a big deal for us, we had to steer around about 25 nets. They can be a little difficult to see with sun glare. You don’t want the line in your props.
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Entering Clearwater
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Our GPS Tracker Path – I love looking at this !
GPS-Gulf Mexico

We landed in Clearwater Florida on Friday afternoon about 12 noon, we have since traveled to Sarasota with Jonell’s cousin Anita Cook & 1st mate Rich from Clarkston Michigan. Rich & Anita will be with us for the week, traveling from Clearwater to Sarasota to TBD to Fort Myers Beach. We will then bed down for December at the Pink Shell Marina Resort in Fort Myers Beach – more to come on the next post.
rich-Anita

32 thoughts on “Clearwater Florida (Port #50) – Successful Crossing of the Gulf of Mexico ; Nov 30-Dec 1

  1. Nice work. Can’t think of a better place to spend December. The Pink Shell is an awesome place. While you’re there be sure to check out Yo Taco, Nervous Nellies, have a drink is the swing boats atop the Lani Kai (just don’t touch anything inside the elevator going up!), along with a plethora of other cool places on Estero Island. Maybe venture over to Sanibel Island too!

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      1. Nothing on the elevators other than the place is a dump. But the roof top is cool…and worth the dirty ride to the top. I’ve got tons of Ft. Myers info if you’re interested.

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  2. Wow, exciting and scary, I don’t know how you could even think about sleeping during that crossing. I would’ve been on pins and needles the whole time.
    My lack of experience I guess. A little sensory deprivation and being one in the present moment will give you that eurphoric feeling. Thanks for the update, I’m looking forward to the next one.
    BTW , the last video was unavailable. Don’t know if that’s on my end or yours. I’ll check back later.
    George

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  3. Watched you cross, glad was easy enough for you both. Looks like you are about half way around, feel good??
    I didn’t think the crab pots were a big deal either, glad you said something. Wondered if I was crazy. Thought they were laid down in nice strings with large enough spacing to follow and cut through.
    Enjoy the ride down the coast!!

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  4. Congrats on a successful crossing. You are entering my area of Florida, we spend 6 weeks in Cape Coral, visit the Ft. Myers Beach area frequently. Favorite restaurant in Ft. Myers is the Prawnbroker, probably 5 miles from Ft Myers Beach on McGregor. Lots of good restaurants. Good seafood restaurants just over the San Carlos bridge. Have fun.

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  5. Glad to hear you made it across safe! Missed you guys at Brenda’s. Keep the posts coming, even though they’re making me extremely jealous;-)

    Tom

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  6. Mike and Jonell – I have read every one of your blog entries along your journey and have been enjoying the ride. I think back of when you and Jonell gave us a Powerpoint presentation (of course) of what your plan was. It’s great to see a plan come together and I’m so glad you’re having a fun and safe trip. We are all thinking about you here. Keep up the great work and I look forward to future updates!

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