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Date: 27 August 2015. From Carrabelle to St. Pete (via truck)

I'd not 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.

The post Engine Debacles 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...

When I 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 job completion.

Having a 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.

Side Note: I have the DVD Sky High, 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 Keeper so...
 

 

Seaweed 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 want one.

 


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 leave Carrabelle.

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.

The first 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 another boat.

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.
 

This is Butch and Skipper:


My 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 come next.

In the 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 lunches.

While 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 their jet-skis.

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.

The timing was fortuitous. If you wonder where that word came from, try watching The Happiest Millionaire. That Disney musical is great fun.
 

 

Preparing for Departure

 


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 it.

 

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.

His boat 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.

A Bertram31 is often referred to as a Moppy. It's a nickname for the go-fast fishing boats that are preferred by many serious anglers.

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 too.
 

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.

Then I 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.

It also 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:

 

 

Rocky Raccoon

 

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 Rocky Raccoon 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 restaurant:


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 named Spu.
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 purse  


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:


 

 

Haganland 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.

 

 Several things impressed me about Butch Hagan:

 

#1) His 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. 

#3) Butch was meticulous, insuring the multiple support pads under Seaweed were properly aligned.

#4) The 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.

website: HaganLand transportation

I hired him through U-Ship incidentally.

 


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.

Leaving was by no means easy. Passing C-Quarters from the road was tough...
 


One of the hardest parts of boating is making and leaving behind friends...

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?

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