Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pensacola to Panama City Beach

We took a first stab at this run on Friday 12/2. We aborted after a few hours because of steep, sloppy seas and wind on the nose. After waiting several days we departed a second time on Tuesday 12/6 around 3pm. The seas were rolling from leftover southerly winds but not too bad and the forecast was for it to settle down. It did for a while. But around 3 AM it swung around to the north much earlier than predicted and started blowing in the high teens. That switch stirred up the southerly swell and made things very uncomfortable once again. The boat can handle it fine, can the crew? Well, nobody barfed! That's something. By dawn, the wind reached 30 knots. We had to run cross wise to the seas to get into the inlet which created quite a bit of rolling. This is one place where a sailboat does much better than power as the sails act as a huge roll damper. It was quite a wild roller coaster ride into the inlet in 10' waves. The inlet is plenty wide and deep so there was no real danger, just more 'entertainment'.

I'd made arrangements to shoot a video for a local marina in Panama City, so that was the destination. It was 6am and the wind was blowing like stink. So we dropped anchor in the lagoon inside the pass to wait for the marina staff, wait for the wind to die down a bit and take a well deserved nap.

That front blew in some chilly overnight temps. But that has passed and now we're looking forward to about a week of hi's in the 70's and lows in the 50's. I successfully completed the video and we're ready to continue on. We'll head for Apalachacola over the next few days and then another overnight to Clearwater and Tampa/St. Pete's.

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