SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Monday, 28 February 2011
Cruise to St. Petersburg
Been a while since my last post... but we have not been cruising... docked in Punta Gorda, FL at Fishermen's Village Marina... enjoying the area very much!

This morning we left Fishermen's at 0500 bound for St. Petersburg, FL... we have to return the boat to Vilking Boatworks there and have some issues taken care of with a previous bottom job they did for us.

It's approximately 120nm from Fishermen's Village Marina to Viking Boatworks and we plan to make the trip in one day... one LONG day... should take approximately 15 hours. We are scheduled to be hauled out on March 1st at 0800.

Update to the trip after we arrive to St. Pete.

We arrived in St. Petersburg at approximately 1900 hours and quickly stopped at the St. Pete Municipal Marina to walk the dog... easier than dropping the dinghy into the water... anyway, Beech did her business and we left the marina and moved just north of it into Vinoy Basin located at N27°46.582', W082°37.752' and anchored.

We appear to be the only power boat anchored in the basin but there are about half a dozen sailboats anchored around us... very nice location to drop the hook... St. Pete skyline surrounds you on three sides... very pretty.

We have about an hour and a half to go in the morning to get to the boat yard... plan to leave about 0600 to be sure we are there by our scheduled 0800 haul out.

Today we traveled for approximately 14 hours and covered 92nm (106 miles)... average speed of 6.6 knots... not bad since we had to wait for three bridges... :)
Posted at 10:33 AM
Friday, 24 December 2010
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 19
We departed on the last day of our trip from Rhode Island to Florida this morning at 0630 hours... leaving from the Rum Runners docks in Cape Coral, FL.

When I awoke at 0545 hours I noticed the boat was listing slightly to port away from the dock... the list I discovered was not due to water tanks levels being uneven but rather the starboard side of the boat was sitting on the bottom... high tide had been at 0400 hours and in just under two hours we had lost a lot of water... I was not sure if we would get off the docks or not... we dropped the lines and I attempted to roll the bow off the dock and swing the stern away from the dock into deeper water... I said attempt to do this as it took about 20025 minutes to get the boat to swing around and away from the docks into deep enough water that we could maneuver... but it was not very deep... depth sounder would not even register a reading... :( we skimmed along the bottom for about a quarter of a mile out of the canal that leads back to Rum Runners and finally as we turned into the main canal the depth sounder started to work reading instantly 14 feet deep... :)

That behind us we continued out of the canals and channels that led us back to the Okeechobee Waterway channel or the Caloosahatchee River by name and head down the channel towards our final destination Punta Gorda.

The tide was extremely lower than what I ever remembered seeing in the past in this area... large areas that were normally sand bars hidden a foot below the surface of the water were fully exposed land masses rising a foot above the surface. We had to move slowly as even the channel was very shallow... with depth readings of 5, 6 and 7 feet. So we crept along at 5-6 knots... the trip which should of taken 6 hours took us 7-1/2 hours.

We arrived to Fishermen's Village Marina in Punta Gorda, FL at 1400 hours and proceeded to the slip that had been assigned to us a few days earlier... Slip B-13. Arriving at dead low tide even getting into the slip was interesting as we churned mud up with the props but we were floating... unlike earlier this day... LOL

We traveled today for 7-1/2 hours covering 45 nautical miles. This made the trip from Rhode Island to Florida a total of 1362 nautical miles or approximately 1566 statute miles. We did this in actually 18 days as one day we only moved 10 miles... does not count... LOL

The entire trip leaving Florida in April going north to Rhode Island and returning to Florida we traveled 3144 nautical miles or 3616 statute miles.

Now that we are back in Florida I will return to work as captain for TowboatUS Charlotte Harbor and Susan will return to her old job working for National Cremation Society.
Posted at 4:21 PM
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 18
We departed from Moorehaven, FL this morning 0730 hours and headed west across the Okeechobee Waterway towards Fort Myers, FL. We had about 60 nautical miles to go and planned to stop there for the night.

We had two locks to go through... Ortona Lock and Franklin Lock... we reached Ortona Lock at 0915 hours and only had to wait a couple of minutes before we got the green light to enter. We dropped 9 feet at this lock and the lock tender was not shy about the speed he lowered us... we were down 9 feet and out of the lock in 15 minutes exiting at 0930 hours.

After Ortona Lock we had three bridges to deal with... all of which were on request so they did slow us down at all... first the Labelle Bridge, then the Denaud Swing Bridge and finally the Alva Bridge.

Then we came to the Franklin Lock... we heard on the VHF ahead of us two boats that had passed us were entering the lock to lock through westbound... we were still 8 minutes away... luckily for us one of the boats had some very "novice" operators on board and as we rounded the bend we could see they were having some trouble in the lock.. their boat was sideways halfway into the lock... they were right at where the gate that closes is located... anyway, their troubles enabled us to make it the lock at 1250 hours and lock through with the other boats westbound... if we had missed the westbound lock through we would of had to wait 30-45 minutes for the next westbound lock... :) We dropped 2 feet at this lock and exited at 1300 hours.

After the Franklin Lock we had one more bridge to open... the Wilson Pigott Bridge... it was on request and we passed through with no wait at all... :)

We decided to stop in Cape Coral rather than Fort Myers... it would only add another hour to day’s travels and the place we were going is very nice... Rum Runners at Cape Harbor... a restaurant dock and it offers FREE dockage while you eat.

We arrived at Rum Runners dock at 1630 hours and secured the boat. (N26°32.592', W082°00.424') We traveled for 9 hours today covering 60 nautical miles. Tomorrow we head to our final destination... Fisherman's Village Marina in Punta Gorda. We will be docked there until Mid April 2011 when we will start our trek back north to Rhode Island.
Posted at 5:30 PM
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