Crossing the Gulf

Carrabell is a small fishing village located East of Apalachicola on the Gulf of Mexico.  At one time ships were the only way to bring supplies to the island.  These marinas are considered the gateway to the gulf.  Boaters that stop call it the best jumping off spot in the panhandle before crossing the gulf.


We stayed for two nights and were able to enjoy dinning at The Fishermans Wife, stock up on grocery’s, and fuel before the crossing.  When coming into marinas its very important to remember “red right return” meaning watch your markers.  The red ones will now be on your right.  Unfortunately this boat that was ahead of us didn’t watch what he was doing and ran aground.  He had to wait for the tide to go up before he could leave.


The marina offers you breakfast every morning.  Now that is a first on this trip and it was delicious.  That is where we meet the other loopers that were doing the Gulf crossing.  The marina also offer a chart room for meetings and a big TV and pool table for entertainment.  We had two looper meeting about the crossing with four other couples in this beautiful room.


Kent and I  walked downtown and found the worlds smallest Police Station.  On March 10, 1963 Carrabells police phone rang in the outside highway booth, so that Chief Albin Westberg could answer calls and watch for speeders.  This is a replica of the original booth and was featured on a variety of televisions shows.


Veterans Park is a memory park honoring local veterans who served our country.  It’s also home to the town clock.  Camp Gordon Johnston WW II museum is dedicated to the amphibious World War II Soldiers who trained for the D-day invasion at Camp Gordon Johnston from 1943-1945.


Carrabelle  also has the 12th street Fishing Pier, river walk, and a fish cleaning station. Julie and I had a nice walk Monday morning stopping and looking at all the nice scenery along with checking out the small shops.


On our walk Julie and I went to see Carrabelle Bottle House.   A local artist started building the bottle house in 2012 and plans on continuing to add elements as weather and age permits.  The Bottle House and light House are lit at dusk for several hrs.  Zap and Sophie the standard poodles will show you the way.  The artist wife was so nice to stop gardening and visit with us. She showed us a picture of an arch her husband built that took him over a yr to build but didn’t survive the harsh rains.


Kent wanted to make sure everything was ready for the crossing.  He took the motor off the raft and moved it to the inside of the boat on top.  He put the gas tanks for the outboard motor in the bathtub.  He said this was to lower the center of gravity of the boat in case a storm came up while crossing the gulf. I thought he was kidding until I looked in the bathtub.   He even cleaned the windows on top so he could see out of them during the crossing.  Kent did a great job backing into this slip.  Take note on how narrow and small the dock is.  I don’t know if I will ever get use to these slips, but heard this is only the start they are all like this in Florida and up the coast.  YA

img_3354These are some friends that came to visit us.  I think we were invading their space, but it was nice they let us stay here.

img_3316We are as ready as we can for the crossing Monday at 3:00 P.M. with six other boats.  The weather is supposed to be good all day and night for the crossing with a full moon.  We can’t leave before 3:00 due to our arrival time has to be after 10:00 the next morning so we can see the crab pods.  You start to see them 25 miles before you get to shore.

We were told to call someone and let them know that you’re doing the crossing and call them when you arrive at your destination.  We tried calling Dale our friend but no answer so we called only Anita.  WELL!!!!we found out later that was a big mistake not letting Amy know what was going on. Our daughter Amy was beside herselp that we didn’t let her know.

At 3 P.M. we all untied our boats and ventured out with “Miss Bailey” in the front and “CJ” in the rear the rest of us were in the middle.  I was excited and nervous at the same time.  This trip will take us 20 hrs to do the crossing if all goes as planned.  I got to see the beautiful sunset, watch the moon come up and go down.



“O” What a beautiful full moon to guide us across the wide open Gulf of Mexico.  We did get some small waves towards morning.  We had a radio check set up for every hr which made the time go faster.  I had no flame candles light in the salon of our boat as it takes time for your eyes to adjust from dark to light, to avoid this problem.   We took turns driving and resting on the couch near the helm.  I did have to make a pot of coffee half way through the night for the captain.  We had heard some many terrible stories of loopers crossing.  Ours was a piece of cake when all said and done.


We watched the sunrise and now we can see the dolphins swimming in front and a long side our boat.  We can’t forget about the crab pots we have to watch and dodge.  Crab pots are round balls of different colors fastend to a long line marking the pods below them.  Now it would be nice if they were all the same bright color but that’s not going to happen.  Linda from “Miss Baily” was so nice to let us know the color and side the pots were on.  We were so glad to see this channel marker Red R4. This is where we turned and knew we only had 15 more mile to navigate to Turtle Cove Marina in Turpin Springs Florida.


Kent and I took turns navigating on this adventures journey and arrived safely but tired at Turtle Cove Marina in Turpin Springs, Florida.  We are staying for a couple of days to recoup.  We want to thank all our family and friends that are following us on our great journey we love and miss you all.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathy McCarthy says:

    Great writing, Jan! Sounds like an awesome trip! What an experience. We are enjoying your photos too. Hi to the skipper!

  2. Pam says:

    Your writing takes me on an adventure!
    Thank you

  3. Jeri Bunting says:

    So glad you are there safe. Loved Tarpon Springs. Check out all the shopping.

    1. jansyverson says:

      Thank you a long day and we checked out the shops today.

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