SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Sunday, 8 April 2012
Punta Gorda,FL to Pelican Bay
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 1
At approximately 1945 hours we had cast our lines and were departing from Fishermen’s Village Marina, Punta Gorda, Florida and beginning our trip north… final destination Rhode Island. We had hoped to depart a little earlier but being Easter Sunday we spent the afternoon with family in Cape Coral having Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt with the grand kids. The afternoon was awesome and yet very sad as this was also goodbye… we would not see them again till November or December. It was also very sad saying goodbye to all our friends at the marina… they had all come out to assist us getting away from the dock.

We did get a late start but we were only going to Pelican Bay for the night… I needed to clean the bottom of the boat before the long trip north and the water is not the clearest in Fishermen’s Village… and I also need to turn in my final towing forms and get my final check from work… TowBoatUS Charlotte Harbor… so a night in Pelican Bay… an early morning dive and bottom cleaning… a quick ride in the dingy to Bokeelia to finalize things at TowBoatUS and we would depart by noon.

Today we traveled for 3 hours and 5 minutes covering 16.41 nautical miles averaging 5.32 knots.
Posted at 2:09 PM
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Cape Coral, FL to Punta Gorda,FL
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 41
We departed on the last leg of our trip from Rhode Island to Florida at 0800 hours... not far to go so we left a little later... enjoying the morning.

The anchorage had a very muddy bottom... sticking to the chain like glue as I raised it... so it took a little longer to retrieve it... taking in a foot or so at a time and hosing it off as I went... :)

Being a Saturday there was a lot of boat traffic... mostly smaller boats but there were a few larger boats... we did not actually pass any boats... everyone was passing us today... :)

The trip was smooth until we got to Charlotte Harbor and then the wind picked up... blowing about 20 knots with some stronger gusts over 25 knots... it stirred the waves up in the harbor and we had good chop to deal with... making more noise and spray than anything else... had the winds all the way up the harbor.

We arrived to Fishermen's Village Marina in Punta Gorda, FL at approximately 1430 hours and were directed to slip B-15 for the night... directly adjacent to B-13 which we had occupied the previous year. Randy from the marina told us that we would move over to B-13 on Sunday once the boat occupying the slip now left.

We were securely docked at 1445 hours. The slip we are in now is 18 feet wide between pilings... our beam is 18 feet... so we are sitting between the two pilings very snugly... :)

We traveled today for 6 hours and 45 minutes covering 43.74 nautical miles and averaging 6.48 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 1637.8 nautical miles (1834.47 statute miles)
Hours: 254 hours 50 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.43 knots (7.39 miles per hour)
Avg distance per day: 56.48 nautical miles (64.95 statute miles)
Days moving: 29
Days not moving: 12 total (3 days for weather delay, 9 days for mechanical)
Posted at 4:37 PM
Friday, 2 December 2011
Moore Haven,FL to Cape Coral, FL
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 40
We departed Moore Haven, FL just before sunrise at 0640 hours and continued west on the Okeechobee Waterway. TERRAPIN was still docked but I did see some lights on inside.

Today we had several bridges and two locks... the only bridge that I would need to open would be the Fort Denaud Swing Bridge... the others I could clear with my mast and antennas lowered. The locks were another matter... no avoiding them you just hope to arrive at just the right time so as to not have to wait too long to lock through.

About an hour or so after departing I could see TERRAPIN approaching our stern... they hailed and were going to pass on our starboard side... no problem... they must of left Moore Haven right after us to have caught us so quickly... :) Once past they did slow somewhat and it seemed as if we were running closer to the same speed today... we would arrive to each location... bridge or lock just minutes apart.

First lock was the Ortona Lock and we arrived at approximately 0840 hours and had to wait only a couple of minutes before we had the green light to enter the lock... we dropped 8 feet in this lock and we were back underway at 0900 hours.

Next was the Labelle Bridge... no opening required... slid right under with no delay... shortly afterwards we came to the Fort Denaud Swing Bridge... TERRAPIN was ahead of us and hailed the bridge and let them know that there were two trawlers coming... made it easy for me... I arrived just after the bridge had opened completely and without any delay slid through the bridge opening. Alva Bridge was next... again TERRAPIN hailed for an opening... I did not require one but they did... no delays... :)

Second lock was next... Franklin Lock and I arrived just as the green light to enter came on... slid right into the lock at 1215 hours... they lowered us 3 feet and we were underway again at 1230 hours... timing was working out very well today.

Was not long before we were in Fort Myers, FL and back in our home waters... a nice feeling but yet sad knowing that soon our cruising would end for a few months... :)

Susan asked where I had planned to stop for the evening... I had wanted to make to Pelican Bay and anchor out one last time before we would in a slip for months... she said we were out of beer... YIKES! NO BEER! We needed to make a pit stop... have to have a cold beer when you anchor... :) We were just passing the Fort Myers Yacht Basin... they had a ships store but I was not sure if they sold beer... Then it hit me... there was a Publix a block off the waterway just west of Legacy Marina... doubt they would let us stop to make a run to Publix for beer... but there were some old docks that used to be attached to a waterfront restaurant and bar... Shooters... the docks were still there and they were directly across from the Publix... so we made a turn to port and into the old Shooters docks and tied up... Susan walked a block to Publix... picked up some beer and we were off... stocked and ready for happy hour once we anchored for the night... :)

We had planned to go to Pelican Bay and anchor for the night... I did not have it plotted in so was not sure exactly how long it would take us but figured it was still about 28 miles ahead of us... 3-4 hours which was well past sunset... was not up to running at night today so we opted out of Pelican Bay and dropped into Cape Coral... Tarpon Point... a small bay named Glover Bight... TERRAPIN had told us they were going to anchor here so as we came around the last bend before the anchorage we saw TERRAPIN anchored and there were two other trawlers also anchored. I dropped the hook between TERRAPIN and one of the other trawlers and we were securely anchored at approximately 1645 hours at coordinates N26°32.264, W08°159.826.

We traveled today for 9 hours and 50 minutes covering 59.23 nautical miles and averaging 6.02 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 1594.06 nautical miles
Hours: 248 hours 5 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.43 knots
Days not moving: 12
Posted at 5:40 PM
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