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Breaking the rules...

posted: Jul 22, 09:47 AM

July 16 – 19: Brittany Hailes of Ruckus Film visited John in Cedar Key. Brittany gathered film footage for her ongoing project about John and his journeys.

Bob Treat rebuilt the blocks for John’s oar pivots and they installed them over the course of a couple of days. Bob also looked at the tide tables and charts with John and they determined that he would need to leave before dawn on the 20th in order to take advantage of the tides. John will have a 28-mile crossing in open water to Crystal River.

Hugh Horton interviewed John and is writing an article about him for Small Craft Advisor magazine. Hugh and the Treats have been really special hosts to John in Cedar Key. He really appreciates all of their help and support! John also thanks George, a retired police officer and avid traveler, for letting him sleep on his deck.

July 20: John left Cedar Key around 3:00am to take advantage of the tide and rowed all day until sunset. He landed somewhere on a gravel bar that stretches out into the gulf from the channel that runs to the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant. He said he found a slight cove and the winds were from the east and very calm. He was tired and decided to anchor on the windward side — rather than row an extra mile to the leeward side. He said he broke all the rules and really had to pay for it.

He had firmly anchored and tied down his boat, but the wind kicked up after sunset and the boat came loose and began hitting the rocky shore. John had to stand in the water for almost eight hours holding the boat off the shore as large waves broke. He sliced his toe on a rock and another rock cut the rope on the bow of the boat.

July 21: John left in the morning as soon as there was enough light to see. He made it to Shell Island at the mouth of Crystal River and a woman offered to give him a tow toward town. She dropped him off at Twin Rivers Marina about 5 miles short of town. John got something to eat and called to update on his progress. He said that Bob Treat’s oar pivots performed perfectly during all of his rowing – very solid and secure!

Despite being exhausted, he was determined to continue south. He said he wanted to take advantage of the tides and hoped to sail most of the day – out around the oyster shoals. A tropical depression is approaching the gulf. John needs to reach the protection of the Intracoastal Waterway near Tarpon Springs in order to avoid rough seas this weekend.

Will update when we hear more!

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