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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pine Island II

It’s only 17 miles from HideAways berth in Gulfport Fl to Pine Island near Apollo Beach according to our ancient GPS. The math is easy; distance divided by speed concludes the trip will take about 4 hours. Factor in the weather and wind speed and maybe add an hour or so for the safety factor and we find a mid afternoon arrival in the realm of some reality.

The HideAway carries her navigation table in a three ring binder containing large font course plans for various expected wind as well as tide and weather forecasts for the period. In addition each course has been plotted on a water proof paper chart with detailed notes. Her crew are equally well versed in the plans’ details and are prepared to take over navigation duties at a moments notice.

Despite passing St. Petersburg and anchoring fairly close to Apollo Beach there is little opportunity to replenish supplies of gas on this cruise. A refueling stop would add too much time to the trip therefore the HideAways carried nearly nine gallons of gas, should extended use of the motor be required. She returned with less than one gallon in her tank.

Sailing like a scalded cat across Boca Ciega Bay at 6 kn/GPS while pulling our East Port Pram brought large smiles to the HideAways. Seventeen other boats of the fleet sailing out of Boca Ciega Yacht Club stretched across the bay like a work of art Saturday morning. After a slight delay getting under Structure “C” the fleet proceeded along the ICW past St Pete Beach to the next drawbridge to the East with the inspired name of Structure “E” that separates Tierra Verde island from the mainland.

In the good old days each bridge raised on the twenties so a boat would have little delay making both bridges. Given the strong currents around “E” this was an important benefit. Then some Bozo from the State of Florida decided to put “E” on the halves in favor of the wealthy home owners on Tierra Verde. (We have the best government money can buy apparently.)

To be continued...