Friday, March 14, 2014

Off to a rough start

First voyage of the year: Houston to Panama City, FL. Winter in the Gulf  of Mexico can be  a bit tedious. Due to the vagaries of the weather, the entire 11 day trip was spent close hauled, tacking with every wind shift.  There were a few light air days, but the wind was predominately 15-30kts out of the NE  even in between cold fronts.  Decided to motor the last 130 miles in very light wind to avoid bashing through a third cold front approaching from the west. The photo shows the usual sail plan for this trip: jib and three panels up on the main and fore.
Panama City FL notes:
Rented a slip at Sun Harbor Marina, near the Hathaway bridge for a few weeks. Cost was $330 per month and credit given for part of month not used, electric included. Docking is a little tight for a long boat, but manageable during calm conditions. Friendly, helpful staff here and reportedly the best fuel price on the bay-$3.90/ gallon last week.  There is not much protection from wakes or waves in the marina, so particular attention is needed when adjusting dock lines. After checking out of the marina, I anchored out front and the marina is allowing me to land the dinghy on their beach and use the laundry, etc. Also can land on beach behind the No Name Bar. No food there but good rum and nice bartendersNot much accessible without a long walk, but with a bike there is shopping for anything you may need within 3-5 miles on either side of the bay.
Seeking a more peaceful anchorage, I moved about 6 miles up the bay towards Lynn Haven to work on the boat for a week. Quiet up by the powerplant, but no shore access. Tall boats beware! The overhead cables crossing from the powerplant have an authorized clearance of 45'.
Enjoyed a brisk downwind sail in 25kts returning to the anchorage in front of Sun Harbor Marina to get mail and prepare for the next voyage.

Last construction post for awhile

November 2013, the galley gets a much needed improvement. Meganite countertops installed throughout and in the head. Construction will be ongoing, but the blog is supposed to be Nomad's travels, not Nomad's construction. It is time for some sailing, no major projects planned for the summer. There are parts onboard for a multitude of small projects and insulation for the engine room and aft cabin. The insulation will get done before heading north and anything else will be as time permits to make some small progress on "the Project"