SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Tuesday, 8 April 2014
FL to CT Day 3
Fort Myers Beach, FL to Alva, FL
For the last 7 days we have been on the hard for SAILS to get new bottom paint at Gulf Marine Ways, Fort Myers Beach. We were splashed this morning at 0830 and were underway at 0900. The time at the boat yard was extended slightly but the yard did an awesome job... time will be the test now... the last two bottom jobs looked great when we were dropped back in the water but did not last... :(

Very windy today with forecast SSW winds 15-20 knots... the wind lived up to every inch of the forecast... we had sustained winds at 20 knots with gusts to 30 knots... was a bit lumpy leaving the beach with 3-4 seas on the beam. Once we got back to GICW it settled down to a moderate chop on the Caloosahatchee River.

Boat traffic was non existent... only boat we passed was the Captain J.P. a paddle wheeler that runs out of Fort Myers downtown area.

We did get hailed by some friends that live on the Caloosahatchee just east of the US 41 bridges in Fort Myers... Jack and Carole Driscoll... always nice to hear a friendly voice on the VHF when you are cruising.

We arrived to Wilson Pigott Bridge and I went to boat deck to lower the VHF antennas and mast... we can clear the 27 feet with everything lowered. To our surprise the bridge opens as we approached... did not hail them on the radio... they just opened it... a real surprise when for a bridge to do this.

Shortly after the bridge we arrived to the Franklin Lock... hailed them ahead of time to give them a heads-up we were coming... did not want to have to sit and wait with the winds so high. They had the lock gates open and ready for us to pull right in... no wait at all. Took all of 10 minutes to lock through... there was not much water level difference with the river at high tide... if there was any difference at all.

The high winds today were the prelude to a front passing over the area. We had hoped to get through the lock and docked on the east side at the state park docks before the rains hit.... Almost made it... got a little wet as we docked.

We were securely docked at 1330 traveling today for 4.5 hours covering 30 nautical miles averaging 6.7 knots. Approximate location for the night at N26°43.386', W081°41.449'.
Posted at 12:56 PM
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
FL to CT Day 2
Pelican Bay to Fort Myers Beach, FL
We pulled the anchor and departed at approximately 0800... a quick stop at the Cayo Costa State Park docks to Beecha and we were underway to Fort Myers Beach where SAILS would be hauled for new bottom paint.

It was a beautiful sunny day with light winds and what seemed like hundreds of boaters out on the water. The amount of boat traffic was very surprising for a Tuesday morning but it was nice to see so many people out enjoying the day on the water.

We arrived to Fort Myers Beach and Gulf Marine Ways at approximately 1230 and pulled to the travel lift docks. We lowered the dinghy so we would have it to explorer the beach by water. We had also brought our car to the marina a couple of days earlier so we would have it as well if needed.

By 1300 SAILS was hanging in the travel lift being to her new home on the hard for the next few days. If all went as planned we would only be on the hard for 4-5 days. Fingers crossed that we are back in the water on Friday and underway Saturday and heading north.

Today we traveled for 4.5 hours covering 26.8 nautical miles averaging 6 knots.
Posted at 8:49 AM
Monday, 31 March 2014
FL to CT Day 1
Punta Gorda, FL to Pelican Bay
First day of our journey back to CT... we were very excited to get underway... we had a short day planned going only to Pelican Bay and anchor for the night. Having only 21 nautical miles to travel we did not depart at first light... we slept in and did not leave the docks until approximately 0930.

It was a little windy today with NE winds at 10-15 knots making Charlotte Harbor a bit lumpy with 2-3 waves and no sunshine... overcast the entire cruise to Pelican Bay. The current was against as well so we did not make a lot of speed... but again only 21 miles to travel... no big deal... :)
We arrived to Pelican bay and dropped the hook at approximately 1300 at N26 40.994', W082 14.487'. We traveled for 3.5 hours covering 20.6 nautical miles averaging 5.87 knots.

Posted at 8:09 PM
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