This is the way our second night started
As we said in an earlier post, a good crossing is a boring one, and day two was just that. About the only excitement we had was watching a huge storm cell take shape just north of Panama City and of course it was headed in our direction.

We have a computer weather system onboard provided by XM radio and Barons weather (WxWorx) and with a bit of time on our hands watching that turned into our entertainment

But our luck held out and we were able to cut around the storm and go in behind it. So now more boredom.

Meanwhile 80 miles to the northwest, the population of Panama City was getting pounded. Timing is everything.

It’s gets very dark out on the Gulf during a moonless night and about all we saw was the occasional shrimp boat. But the stars light up brilliantly and on this dark night they were out in all their glory. The Milky Way looked like an image downloaded from the Hubble Space Telescope.

As we rounded Cape San Blas and made our way northwest toward Panama City things got a little crowded. We had never seen so many blips on the radar. Must have been 50 fishing boats anchored just off the Cape. It was about 4:00 am, tired and a little goofy from lack of sleep, we picked our way through. But again our luck held out and the next thing we saw was good old Sol coming up to start another day. We had timed this to happen just as we were about 10 miles from the sea buoy at Panama City… our timing was right on the money.

We had a couple of milestones on this last day in the Gulf. One being my 55th birthday but more importantly… Radar and Sadie both relieved themselves on the small patch of Astroturf on the aft deck. (now called the poop deck) Woo Hoo!!!

This is a big deal for boaters with dogs. Other folks will probably not understand.

But anyway….

We made the cut into St Andrews Bay, rounded the buoy into Grand Lagoon, then eased through the Baypoint marina channel to tie up. Our first long crossing was over.

It was one of those bitter sweet moments folks talk about. We were happy to be on Terra Firma and really looking forward to sleep but a bit sad because we knew our sea voyaging days had come to an end for a while. We had a cure for this….

At 7:00 am we hosed off the boat, mixed up the celebratory Bloody Mary, and lit my last Cuban cigar. We consumed all that, told a few stories, laughed a lot (from drinkin one of Mel’s Bloodies at 7:00 am) and went to bed.

Bitter sweet moment over.

Happy days

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