Actually, Carter was watching the weather radar very closely saw an opening between the bands of incoming storms and decided we could thread the needle and try to scurt over in between. It was a pretty choppy ride but we managed not to get rained on and stay just ahead of it for the two hour passage. The storm caught up to us shortly after we dropped anchor in the FSU basin directly across from the Apalachee, the brand new research vessel that Carter was interested in checking out. We were set for the open house the next morning.
We kept a watchful eye on the weather fronts very carefully. This was in front of us.
Then to the side of us.
And to our rear.
We blew into the basin at FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory with the storm!
The 1st order of business...as always...shore leave for Radar. He now considers the dingy as his because he's always paying close attention whenever either of us gets near it!
We had a great spot in the basin directly across from the research vessel Apalachee.
The open house was super interesting with exhibits of all manner of marine life. It was mostly geared toward the youngsters but visitors of all ages enjoyed the day.
The Captain of the R/V Apalachee giving us a tour of the vessel.
Future Ship Capains on the bridge! I'm sure this event inspired many youngsters to share a love for the marine world and possibly enter into the field someday.
Carter from the deck of the Apalachee with the Arc in the background.
We headed out under solar power about 2pm and arrived in Panacea right at sunset.
Unfortunately, Panacea was hit very hard by a hurricane in 2010 causing heavy damage to the marina and they have not been able to do much reapair yet. The Marina is actually under new ownership now and we couldn't find anyone there to ask about staying. Although the chart plotter was saying there was only 1' of water in the bay, there was a sailboat anchored out there so we knew there had to be deeper water. With the assistance of Google Maps (satelite view) Carter was able to see the deep water and found us a place to anchor for the night.
We weighed anchor the next day and moved on to St. Marks which was just a short ways up the trail.
This will be a stopping point for us as we try and develop the support we need to continue the cruise aid.
We believeTallahasee will be a good stop over spot for this.
The shakedown cruise was a total success and the Arc has exceeded our expectations. There are some pressing things we need to do to improve the Arc like installing rub rails, lifelines, and more batteries to make the rest of our passage easier and safer but we were able to cross the entire pan handle on nothing but sunshine and we know the Arc is up to the task of circumnavigating Florida now. We will lay over here while we raise the funds to continue our little cruise aid for a sustainable Florida, a grassroots effort to raise public awareness about important energy issues in the Sunshine
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