SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Wednesday, 9 April 2014
FL to CT Day 4
Alva, FL to Moore Haven, FL
Arriving yesterday during the rain storm we were unable to check-in at the ranger office for dockage, so before departing I took Beecha for a long walk with a stop to check-in and pay for our dockage for the night... $24 total includes electric and water... hard to beat that price.

We departed the dock at approximately 0900 and were sent off by some new friends we had met at Fort Myers Beach that were at the Franklin Lock docks when we arrived. They gave us a nice send off... spoiling Susan as they did the dock lines for her... :)

We had a few bridges and one lock to deal with today... Alva Bridge, Fort Denaud Bridge, Labelle Bridge and finally Ortona Lock. Bridges were uneventful...did have a little fun in the lock though... With the wind wiping around in the lock and blowing SAILS off the wall... Susan lost the stern line and the stern blew away from the wall... out to about a 45 degree angle... I had a bow line so just had to power the stern into the wall so Susan could grab another line. Problem at this lock and others is that the lines are not quite long enough to reach down to our stern deck cleat and get a decent wrap on the cleat... that was the case here... a minute of excitement for the spectators along the wall... :)

We arrived to our destination for the night at approximately 1445. The Riverhouse Marina in Moore Haven, FL (N26°49.852',W081°05.449') and were securely tied and shore power plugged in by 1500. We traveled today for 5.75 hours covering 36.2 nautical miles averaging 6.3 knots.
Posted at 2:20 PM
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
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