Spent three great days hanging out in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon FL. Provisioning, exploring hanging out with some new friends. We had met Randy and Rosalie on Contessa Rosa when we were anchored in Snake River. It turned out that we were assigned the mooring ball right next to theirs when we pulled into Boot Key. They had us over for wine cheese and crackers the evening we pulled in and we decided to invite them over for dinner the next night. We cooked salmon on the grill and had a great evening. This was another first for us, entertaining on Terrapin.
We had an adventurous and challenging passage from Shark River inlet to the keys. We picked up anchor at around 1000 hours and headed out into the gulf. The winds were forecast to be 15-20 knots out of the East right on the beam, perfect for sailing. However, what we didn’t expect was the rough sea state. We were moving along at 8-10 knots but getting tossed around by short-period waves coming in different directions, often described as a washing machine. This is due to a combination of the shallow waters in the Gulf (10-12 feet in this area) and a strong current in the opposite direction of the wind. It gave the boat a real work out and Terrapin passed with flying colors. After an unexpected 1.5 hour delay (to be described in a separate post) we made it to Boot Key Harbor and picked up a mooring ball.
Sunrise over the Everglades.We spent a wonderful day relaxing in the 10,000 Islands preserve, about 3 miles from Everglades city. Today we are going to sail 35 miles South to Cape Sable at the Southern tip of Florida. From there we will sail across to the keys tomorrow.
We sailed from Marco island to the 10,000 islands region of the Everglades. We are in a totally uninhabited anchorage. But we still have WiFi!
After a pleasant overnight in Naples we are headed to the 10,000 islands aquatic preserve offshore from Everglades city.
We sailed out in the Gulf due South from Fort Myers to Naples on a broad reach making 6-7 knots. We anchored near the Naples City Dock.
Yesterday our old Suzuki 2.5 hp outboard conked out on us when we were motoring in our dinghy to the Fort Myers beach dinghy dock. The dinghy has oars so I rowed the last few hundred yards. But how do we get back to our boat? It was way too far to try to row. Call Sea Tow! Last year I joined Sea Tow, kind of like the marine version of AAA. If you get stuck, Sea Tow will come and tow you back to your marina or safe port. So, we showered and had dinner and met Sea Tow at the dock and they towed us back to our boat in the mooring field. I started dismantling the Suzuki to repair it and quickly realized that it wasn’t worth repairing So I formulated a plan to go into town and buy a new Yamaha 6 hp outboard. The next day, we moved to Moss Marina, about a 1/4 mile away to tie up to their dock overnight. We rented a car for the day and drove to buy the new engine and also to pick up a new Navionics chart microSD card. The extra hp should get our dinghy “up on plane” allowing us to go faster and smoother.
Batten down the hatches
We are on a mooring ball in Fort Myers Beach watching a powerful front pass by. This is the system that spawned tornadoes in the South. Luckily it’s passing just to the North of us but we are ready.
A nice 10 knot wind in Pelican Bay keeping our batteries charged. A solar panel charges the batteries when the sun is shining, and the wind generator charges all night as long as the wind is blowing.
We finally got away from the dock yesterday and motored 20 miles South to Pelican Bay, a great little anchorage next to Cayo Costa State Park, one of the barrier islands along the Gulf. We plan to head further South during the next 4 weeks and hopefully make it to the Keys. We’ll keep you posted.