Date: 27 August 2015. From Carrabelle
to St. Pete (via truck)
told you how it came to be that I moved the boat south. This article
details how that came to be, and the folks that helped me make a
fresh start. I truly am blessed. You might wish to pour yourself a spot of tea.
I've run on at the fingers for certain.
brought you almost to present.
For safety's sake I'm not quite as specific as I used to be. No longer will
you find GPS coordinates listed, unless I'm already gone. No,
nothing adverse has happened. I'm just becoming more circumspect.
There are a lot of crazies in the world. Heck, I married into a
family of them so I know they breed.
When I suggest
you call on VHF Channel 16,
I mean do so first, before knocking on my hull.
But back to
the near present...
realized the chances of Seaweed being finished this decade in
Carrabelle were close
to zero I looked around for choices. Fortunately I was blessed. To
recap the previous article, on that Friday morning I was terribly
distressed to hear Seaweed was still not at the top of the list for
boat that does not move under her own power in hurricane season is a
disaster waiting to happen. I worry about that more than folks
ashore can imagine. The stress level was sky-high.
I have the DVD
and enjoy watching it. The Wonder Woman reference near the end is perfection
indeed. It's dorky escapism, which means it's just my type of movie.
Sci-fi isn't generally found at marina swap libraries. There are
usually bunches of blood and guts movies plus some westerns. I don't see
musicals (Sound of Music, etc.) then again, that sort of movie is a
tucked in behind Shrimp Boats:
As you can see from the
above picture, the view could be better. The one part that
makes July in Florida at a dock bearable is air-conditioning.
I've got a room AC unit mounted in the starboard side doorway.
It is not pretty. Plywood holds the Haier air
conditioner into the doorframe. It does cool the boat.
Seaweed is stern tied to
a dock. It sure would have been nice to have a *tuna door in
the transom to make boarding better...
*A tuna door is an opening in the transom originally designed so
fishermen could easily drag aboard large fish. Mostly though they are
used to make boarding the boat easier for humans and large dogs. I
But I digress.
Hearing that Seaweed was not
going to be finished, especially with the job so close to completion
was a real kick in the gut. That's when I came to the decision to
It was not
an easily made choice. Traumatic would not be too strong a word. I'm
an optimist by nature and always want to believe the best in people.
When I'm disappointed, I tend to take it personally.
step was to figure out a way to move a boat without a working engine
out of town. The weather is dreadful for a Gulf of Mexico crossing
this time of the year. Thus, the easiest and least expensive option
was o-u-t. I would have much preferred being towed across behind
I opted to
hire a trucking company. I put an advertisement up on U-Ship with a
pick-up date one year from arrival back in Carrabelle. Early Friday
afternoon Butch Hagan contacted me. He said he could pick me up at 8
a.m. Monday morning.
Butch and Skipper:
immediate concern was "could I be ready in less than 72 hours?" and
I worried about the logistics. Nonetheless, I said Yes. Figuring out the details would
meantime I received a note from a lovely couple I'd met some
time ago. They were in town and wanted to go to lunch. I love
chatting with Heather I detailed my problem. I needed to get Seaweed hauled across the
river on Sunday afternoon. Monday the trucking company was due to
pick me up at 8 a.m.
You have no
idea what a relief it was when Heather and
her Freddie offered to to tow me with one of
What I needed was a miracle, and Heather solved my problem without
hesitation. It was such a weight off my shoulders to know that I'd secured a tow
across the river. That they were visiting this area and took the
time to help was, well, just what I needed.
was fortuitous. If you wonder where that word came from, try
The Happiest Millionaire.
That Disney musical is great fun.
Saturday I went about getting ready to leave. That included
making sure I removed all the tools and assorted gear that
belonged to the mechanic and putting his stuff where he could find
Fortunately, he'd left the back of his boat opened by accident.
In the past I just closed it. That's what boat folks do.
is on an adjacent pier. I'd shut the door to the cabin
earlier in the day so knew it was unlocked. Therefore, I put a bucket full of his
stuff aboard the Moppy and closed the boat back up. What with
raccoons in the area, having an open door is an invitation for
the critters to visit. See the
Rocky Raccoon Returns
article for more details.
Bertram31 is often referred to as a Moppy. It's a nickname for
the go-fast fishing boats that are preferred by many serious
Mechanic's Moppy underway:
Also I wrote notes saying
good-bye. One I left for a
dear friend, Louise. Her hubby owns Rollin' Stone, the big
shrimp boat that has been doing an overhaul next to me. She
(the shrimper) is looking mighty fine of late. Keeping a steel
working boat in good condition is not for the faint of heart.
This is Rollin' Stone:
A final trip to the post
office, dropping off my new mailing address was difficult. I
knew I'd miss the smiling face of Miss Connie. She's a real
treasure to the people who visit the Carrabelle Post Office.
Folks don't realize how "little things" really make a
difference. Miss Connie always has a cheery word for everyone. Some
days, she was the only person I saw or spoke with. Her positive
attitude was always a bright spot in my day.
Another person, Mr. Gander, was
just that way too. He always said "Thank you for your business. Come
back and see us again." And I did. I'd much rather support a
small hardware store where folks are friendly. I'll miss Mr. Gander
This is Mr. Gander, of Gander's
Hardware Store in Carrabelle:
My Saturday was taken up reminiscing. I wrote notes to friends
too. I've been a letter writer all my life. Of late I've taken to
sending post cards or smaller missives versus the longer letters I
used to mail.
Writing is an
easy way to stay in touch with people you care about. And too, a
tangible note seems nicer to me. I've saved some of the letters sent
me over the years.
dragged Algae back into the water for the tow across the river.
The dinghy had been on the bank of the river. Stored out of the
water, I didn't have to scrape barnacles off her bottom.
meant taking Skipper for a row was nigh on to impossible. Getting
Algae out of the water required extremely high tides and a lot of
strength. The First Mate loves her boat rides. I do too, especially
with a trolling motor making it all easy.
This is JonGarret taking Skipper for a ride:
Just prior to pulling
Algae back into the water, I had a visitor. Yes, Rocky Raccoon
sauntered by. It's good to know he's getting along fine. He's
growing into such a big guy. I "met" him when he was a
teenager and now he's almost the size of an adult. The
article tells about when I saw him first.
Rocky Raccoon's feet are wet. He's most
likely been in the river collecting oysters.
New friends Heather and Freddie came by right at noon
on Sunday on one of their jet-skis. We disconnected the final dock
lines and they towed me across the river to Dockside Marina.
Once Seaweed was secured and their jet-ski back on the trailer we
went to lunch.
Me and Freddie outside the
Heather is a lovely lady. I wish I had a picture of
her too... she's so charming. Both Heather and Freddie went out of
their way to make my Sunday better. Helping me move Seaweed was a
huge thing. I hope they realize how much I appreciate their efforts!
We three, Heather, Freddie and I, went over to The Fisherman's Wife
for lunch. I was disappointed Pat wasn't working at the restaurant
that day. I guess it was Pat's day off.
Her kids, Asti and
Monty are good pups. I did hope to say good-bye to Pat in person.
Alas, I didn't get the chance.
Asti and Monty need a baby sister.
Pat would like a miniature Australian Shepherd, to be
Then she'll have AstiSpuMonti and a glass of wine on the side...
Lunch at Fisherman's Wife
was okay. The best part was getting to know Freddie and
Heather. We have children and that was a common ground. Son
was a pip when a teenager... the stories I could tell. Yes, I
shared a few.
Suffice it to say, my
grey hair was earned. Every. Last. Strand.
Still, it was fun
reminiscing about old times. Those are always better in
retrospect than during the moment. Trust me on that!!!
Skipper is hiding in my
The following morning Vernon and crew placed me on the LowBoy
trailer belonging to
HaganLand trucking. The owner/operator, Butch is a very
particular man. Several things impressed me about him.
Seaweed is on a forklift, getting
ready to be placed on the trailer:
trucking moves big boats too.
Butch and Vernon discuss alignment of the forklift
putting Seaweed on the trailer.
Butch had a job to pick
up a Nordic Tug (be still my heart) that was unavoidably
delayed. Instead of going straight home, he opted to swing by
Carrabelle and get Seaweed. I was fortunate to fit so easily
into his schedule.
things impressed me about Butch Hagan:
equipment was in top shape, painted, clean and well-cared for.
#2) He was
very particular as to placement of my boat on his trailer.
was meticulous, insuring the multiple support pads
under Seaweed were properly aligned.
trailer is called a LowBoy and he has a ton of square steel slots
pads fit into. Anywhere one could want, there was a place where
support could be provided.
Yes, I would recommend this company if you want to have your
boat moved professionally. Butch's office phone number is
407-697-6500. He'll call you back.
hired him through
Once safe and secure, one more trip around the trailer made sure all
was well. Then we were off.
My time is Carrabelle was longer than anticipated. Originally I came
in with a blown head-gasket intending to stay for a couple of months
until it was repaired. The intervening two years were not without
merit. I fell hard for the town and the people.
by no means easy. Passing C-Quarters from the road was tough...
One of the hardest parts of boating is making and leaving behind
How do you keep in touch with old friends that are no
longer a part of your day-to-day life?
Do you make phone calls, email, or post on Facebook to those who are our
of your locale?
Engine Debacles ~
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