Covid, Thanksgiving and…Sherlock Holmes

December 4

As always, one meets lots of great folks when pursuing such a great adventure such as the Great Loop. One couple we met while waiting for Huricane Eta in Orange Beach, Alabama complained of stuffy noses. Then chills. Kept our distance. Until I got a ride from this guy to pick up a rental car so Deb and I could visit Pensacola. He was not wearing a mask so I got in the back seat with my mask in place. Unfortunately for my buddy Marvin, he had to sit in the front seat. Our new pal driving, not wearing a mask. I survived the encounter. My pal Marvin, did not. As everyone knows it takes a spell for Covid to rear it’s ugly head. We hitched a ride on Crimson Tug with Marvin and Nancy as we had a flight out of Fort Walton/Destin to come home for Thanksgiving. Apparently Marvin had picked it up in the ride to pick up our rental car and then I got it from him on the boat ride to Fort Walton. God Bless Debbie, she never got it. Tested twice. All good! By the time we got home on the Sunday, 10 days before Thanksgiving I was showing symptoms on Wednesday and tested positive on Thursday. Went to the lower level in the house and stayed there for 2 weeks. Still have the remnants of a dry cough. Pretty maddening.

My constant companion for the last 2 weeks.
Having been stuck in the lower level for 2 weeks I whiled away the hours watching old Sherlock Holmes movies. Basil Rathbone was Sherlock Holmes like Sean Connery was THE James Bond in the movies.

This past Wednesday having been fever free for 5 days, Deb and I rented a car and drove back to Orange Beach, Alabama to continue the journey. We have our buddy Dave Heilman as additional crew for the Gulf crossing.

The upside to a 13 hour car ride. Found this Bar BQ place many years ago when we would dirve to Destin for Spring Break with the kids. Fabulous pulled pork sandwiches. Great lunch on the picnic tables.

We left Orange Beach late yesterday morning for a 60 mile run to Shalimar, Florida near Fort Walton on Thursday.

Wheels up at 6:30 AM, the sun just barely got a head start.

Here’s an example of an entreprenureal fellow. Old fishing boat with a HUGE video screen mounted on the deck. Marry Me, Happy Birthday wishes, etc.

We ran 91 miles today for 9 and a half hours to make an anchorage.

Anchored in Wetappo Creek, about 50 miles east of Panama City just off the Intracoastal Waterway.

The entire run today was in cloud although there was not much wind. Quite a bit of rain though.
Most of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) is a narrow channel of deep water dredged through a wide bay. Looks like plenty of water, and there is, only oftentimes it is only a few feet deep.
The above photo is of one of our multifunction displays. This display shows the tide where we are anchored tonight. Low tide will be around 1 AM with a rising tide starting around 5 AM. The wind and incoming tide will keep us straight in our anchorage without the boat making a 180 degree swing when the tide changes direction.

After dinner Deb kicked our butts 2 out of 3 times in dominoes.

Tomorrow may be one helluva day. The plan is to start at first light, about 5:30 AM, run for 4-5 hours to Carabelle, Florida. If the right weather window presents itself, starting at 3 PM we will then make a 180 mile run across the Gulf of Mexico to Tarpon Springs. This crossing will last all night long and take 18 hours. To be sure a grueling 26 hours. Keep your fingers crosseed for us!

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