GreenTurtleBay to Rock Harbor Marina


Arrive Monday afternoon w Nelson.

Rain in afternoon. Had a good meeting w Dana at Southwestern

Started raining and we waited for a window to go to boat. Had a Rusty nail. We sat for a while and then off loaded gear. Engine took a minute to start. Nelson was nervous and I had faith she would start. She purred. Went to Patti’s for dinner and back to hotel


Day 1. April 30 Tuesday

Up early.

Dense fog advisory till 9

No fog on river.

Cast off lines 7:40

Arrive 3:15

7 hrs.

Take off and a little smoke coming from engine turns out it burned off. Oil pressure seems low called Vague. Ok.

Ran out of gas but switched tanks and worked. Needed to be leveled.

Lousy Waffle House sandwich.

Beautiful day. Smoked cigar and listening to Van Morrison



Mm 56.4 11:36 can see bridge


62.4 mm see Bridge


Run out of gas a 2nd time only using 2/3 tank and had to pee so bad went.

Starts back up but ignition loose.

Pass two barges and speak to both.

Nelson and I both cancer survivors are glad to be back on river. Day is heating up. General nervousness typical first day stuff. Lots of unknowns. Zyg tracking us on Navionics.

Phone screen gets hard to read.

AC texts and calls several times. He is there to greet us at Bumpus. Fills tanks. Cold beer. Golf cart to cabin. Love the cabin.

We are mentally exhausted sit down for Rusty nail and cigar. After an hour or two go back to boat and work. Clean up, add oil, repair ignition, rig tarp as Bimini

Head back to room for sandwich and apple then shower and bed.

What do you call being willing to take a sail in unknown boat w issues in a four day trip. Faith or folly.

Nelson has been an excellent partner.


Day 2. May 1

Depart 7:15


Nice morning 60 sunshine

2nd tank refill at 9:40

Passed Dover Island




Clarksville is mm127 we are at 92 now at 9:42. 35 miles to go avg 6mph


Cumberland City



Refilled at 11:07

Cumberland City



Fill d tank at 12:35

16 miles to go.

Just 111.8 12:43

16 miles to go. Mostly clear sky’s. 80 temp light winds. Very nice


Mm 114 at 1.02


Changed tanks 1:48

Mm 121


Arrive 3:25

9.8 gal

8 hr. 10 min

1.25 gal per hour

Mm 127.3


Bumpus 77 mm


50 miles

5 miles to gallon


Day Three

Depart Clarksville 6.30

127.3 to 175


148.7 Cheatum Dam


Depart Clarksville 6.30 clear cool beautiful



Mike 132 7:15

Mm 134 7:37

Mm 137 8.03


Swapped 1st tank 8.20

Mm 143 9.09

Mm 144 9.30

Lock 148.7

Swapped tank 9.45


Rock Harbor 175

26 miles

Arrive 3.30

Mm153 11.30

Swapped tank 12:05


Mm 159 12.30

Mm 164 1.30


Switched tank 1.30


Mm167 2 pm


Mm 169 2.13


Arrive 3:25






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NorthStar 500- Sugar

I purchased the NorthStar 500 April 17,2023. Looking forward to new sailing adventures. She is on Kentucky Lake now. Hull 84. Purchased from John George, who purchased from Jerry Mullins a sail maker, who bought it from George Weiss.

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Hurricane Ian and more

Sept. 28, 2022
Ian made landfall Sept. 28, 2022, in the Fort Myers area as a Category 4 hurricane. The ferocious 150-mph winds pushed ashore feet of water from the Gulf of Mexico that tore through homes and businesses along the coast.  
After a month of searching and calling I finally discovered where Shadow landed in the mangroves. I made a trip down but could not find anyone to take me into the mangroves. Next my son Robbie and I travelled and penetrated the mangroves and recovered items off the boat. One funny story, we first noticed the dingy engine was gone. Moments later Robbie saw a note and someone in distress borrowed it and left a phone number. We called and went and picked it up.
Six months later, after 3 months of neck rehab, prostate surgery and the hardest blow my dog Max was killed, I am recovering. I have a new dog Gus, surgery went well and I have a new boat, Northstar 500.



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Work And Play Ft Myers Beach 5-22

R Continue reading

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2022 New Years

In order to celebrate New Years for 2022 a 850 mile drive was required with the worst traffic I have ever seen from Chattanooga to Ft Myers. Once there it was all worth it.

I was excited to see my new Suzuki 6hp engine shipped cousin Zeke’s.


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Carrabelle to FtMyers Beach

Tuesday April 27, 2021

After a long night of being battered we arrived at the entrance to Tarpon Springs. We considered going further south to Tampa due to strong winds and waves, but after talking to Zyg we decided to enter. What an unexpected paradise.

We landed at Tarpon Springs Marina and greeted by Nick who was a welcoming soul. After catching our breath and thanking God we survived, I checked the V birth and found over 50 gallons of water in the holds. Left over Covid toilet paper was soaked as well as all my clothes. A profound sense of satisfaction begins to set in.

A Greek culture is hidden here in Florida. Sponge was discovered here and brought by the Greeks. Greek is still spoken and filled with Greek design and restaurants. Greek eateries line waterfront Dodecanese Boulevard, a legacy of the Greek sponge divers who settled here in the early 1900s. Along the water, the Historic Sponge Docks are a reminder of the once booming industry. The 1940s St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church has stained glass and a Grecian marble altar.


Nelson and I Uber to B21 liquor store for LePanto Spanish cognac aged in sherry casks.

We walked over to Rusty Bellies a delicious seafood restaurant and a 30 minute wait. We considered leaving but I walked into the bar. My Ron White persona got us a quick table and new friends. Great scallops and waitress. We bought a skillet from the kitchen.

Docked next to us was the UK Lelee owned by Sue and her husband. Tim exchanged submarine stuff with her brother.

Tim and I motor over for fuel and run aground twice.

Next we sailed to Bradenton and met Henry Bedford, my Sewanee classmate and Nelson’s long time friend. Henry had a friend motor him out to meet us and he jumped aboard and guided us to his dock and home.

Beautiful home. We cook tenderloin and Mango Snapper with 2 rich bottles of wine.


Henry cooks fabulous breakfast and then we go to the beach. It warmed my soul to finally put my feet on sand and swim in the ocean.

Pina Coladas. Then lunch w grouper.

Go home and we all siesta.  Mexican dinner. Discover Henry and Tom Seigenthaler and Tupper Saussy were friends.

Next we sailed to Venice. It is always concerning to enter a new port. Beautiful sail with light winds. Enter Venice with people every where. Intercoastal becomes increasing busy and frustrating. We cross numerous bridges and finally found a peaceful anchorage at Cape Haze. Steaks for dinner.  Emerson Lake and Palmer. Kentucky Derby. Stars. Awesome.


We then sailed to North Captiva Island where cousin Zeke lives and anchored.

Decide not to go to Burnt Store but on to North Captiva. We arrive around 10.30 and slowly approach and drop anchor. We deploy the Lord Nelson with dolphin swimming around. Have lunch and a few beers. Walk over to get Zeke’s golf cart. Beautiful day. Sad to see Zeke’s place without Ashlyn. Scallop and frozen salad for dinner. 


Dinghy over to house to use bathroom before departing for Ft Myers beach.

Long sail around Sanibel. Waze leads us to wrong bridge. Call Zyg and we have to turn around and back track to right bridge.  After crossing bridge Navionics tries to take right into 1 foot water. We turn around immediately and head back out to open waters. Call Zyg again to discuss big open  water and poor charts. We  finally arrived in Ft Myers Beach and met by our good friend Zyg Durski.

The dock hand says try Pink Shell Marina. Craig was great. Big pool and nice bar. Zeke and Zyg join us for dinner at Rheas.We all had a blast.


Tim decides to fly home. I drive home with Zyg and we drop off Nelson at his sisters. A great life changing trip.


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The Crossing: Lord Nelson, Wolverine and Ron White sailing the deep blue sea.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

The camaraderie of sailors is the picture of selfless giving. We seem to know that our ability to travel and sail is interdependent.

Nelson Miller, Tim Parshall and I planned to sail from Carrabelle, Florida to Tarpon Springs, Florida a 170 mile trip taking us 50 miles offshore lasting 27 hours.


Nelson Miller is a smart, seemingly stern, quiet when it comes to speaking ill of others, generous, good natured, funny and has a

penchant for good cigars and fine whiskey. My kind of sailor.

And a sailor he is.


Tim Parshall. The Wolverine. A die hard Michigan fan.

A true wolverine in many ways. Always greets you with a

big, bright smile, a helping hand and a tenacious ability to

get things done. Almost anything. Generous to a fault.

I, who organized this trip, took it exceedingly serious. My friends lives were at stake as well my own.

For years, however, people believe I am Ron White. We share a certain look and savoirfaire.

So we play it up everywhere we go and have loads of laughs and get into special places.


We were struggling with how to get to Carrabelle from Nashville without leaving a car. There are no car rentals or buses to or from Carrabelle. Enter Howard Toole.

He offers to drive us to Carrabelle in Nelson Miller’s car. We drive to Tallahassee to pick up a dinghy which we named the Lord Nelson. All Howard asks for is camaraderie, a hot meal and a room to stay. He gave so much more. Helping rig the sails with reefing lines and inspecting and questioning all aspects of the boat. He is a licensed captain.

That night we saunter over to Fathoms for dinner and have a boat load of laughs and numerous Ron White encounters.

Sunday, April 25

We go out looking for breakfast and nobody but the gas station sells breakfast and they were out. Tim has barbecue. The grocery store has Hunt Pizza and Polish sausage.


We spend the day rigging the boat and a great dinner, drinks and cigars on board.

Monday, April 26

Tim insists on having breakfast before departure. Glad he did. Zyg Durski has consulted with me all along the way having made this trip a few times. His last text said to expect 15k winds and 3′ waves but there was something in the text that felt ominous. Later he shared he was worried and tracked our weather throughout the night.We consulted Windy and Weather4D for forecast. It seemed right on.

We depart Carrabelle at 9 am. Our heading is 136. Conditions are predicted to be winds out of the NE 8-12 knots until 2 then dropping to 3-4K. Around midnight expected 13-20K winds with 3 ft waves. Perhaps uncomfortable but we have done it before.

Low pressure passed through and we are riding a high.


There is no one out here but us chickens. No land in sight. No cell service. On our own for 170 miles, 50 miles off shore and pure adventure ahead.


We raise our sails. Shadow is racing through the water at maximum hull speed in a hurry to get home to Ft Myers.

Around 2 pm the wind starts to fall off and we drop sails and leave them down knowing that around midnight stronger winds are coming.

We see lone birds flying hoping to land. Birds on the backs of giant sea turtles. Airforce radio towers and the occasional fishing boat.

At one point I thought we entered the Bermuda triangle. My compass was spinning but the GPS indicated we were dead on course. Turns out the GPS had frozen and we were sailing in circles. Hard to tell with no land to judge.

We worked out a watch system for the night. We had no auto helm so we had to hand steer through the night. Two on deck at all times and one sleeps. Nelson and I used the Patch to be sure we did not get sick. Tim is a Navy man. A submariner. He was not going to get seasick. Maybe. 2 hour shifts. 2 hours at the helm, 2 hours on watch and 2 hours of sleep. We laid out Jack straps with tether lines and kept our life jackets on at all times.

Celestial Night

Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night sailors delight. Something went awry.

Tim was at the helm as the sunset a deep purple overcast sky with streaks of orange. The moon was completely full coming from the east.

I took the helm at 9 pm and Nelson was on watch. The light from the moon cast a perfect glow to sail by. I turned off the lights from the electronic navigation and practiced celestial navigation. It was dead on. Once the moon moved for a couple of hours both Jupiter and Saturn came up. I fixed each of their coordinates and again sailed through the night. Nelson may have been concerned but the track was dead on.

My time at the helm was over at 11 and I went below and slept like the dead. Nelson was at the helm and Tim on watch. Seas were beginning to build and wind pick up.

At 1 am I feel a tap on my shoulder and it is Nelson. ” Hay bud it’s your turn”. He was soaked with a little grin on his face. I asked how bad it was and if I needed rain gear. I did. This reminded my of General Richard Seitz as a battalion commander in WWII, when asked how bad it was when given orders to cross an open field at night, the officer he was relieving said ” Dick, there is nothing out there but a bunch of old men”. Turns out is was a reinforced German battalion with mortars.

So I go on my watch and am suddenly soaked with salt water spray from pounding waves. We believe they reach 6′ with a short span between each wave. Right on our nose. Pitch dark. Halfway across the Gulf. Quiet desperation. Tim begins to howl. Kind of maniacal.

Shadow is pounding through the night. Raising up like a Stallion and plummeting down hard onto the sea.

I take out my 5000 Lumen light to try and light up the sea but just too dark.

My time at the helm begins at 3 a.m. The seas are fierce. There is nothing to do but stand. I believe the trauma of the night caused a temporary black out of my memory. It took days to recall the events of the night.

5 a.m. came and  it was my time for sleep and Nelson was at the helm and Tim on watch. Moments later Tim comes down and turns on the lights and starts cussing that he cannot get his foul weather gear on. I remembered my first trip when that happened and I understood his frustration.

We all bounced like jelly beans when we tried to sit down. The girl was bucking. I had a dream about Shadow’s name and designed her logo as a Stallion horse with a seahorse as the tail.

Sunrise eventually came. The seas were still rough but we made it through the night and sailed into Tarpon Springs. Shew buddy as Ron White would say.


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Apalachicola to Carrabelle

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Port St. Joe to Apalachicola

We left early and immediately our engine alarm went off. We stopped and found Tim had connected a wire that should not have been connected. No harm. We had an easy day of motoring through the GICW.


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Panama City to Port St. Joe

Conditions were good but cold. We arrived Port St Joe and stayed on the dock and ate on the boat.


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