SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Monday, 6 April 2015
FL to CT Day 3
Fort Myers, FL to Clewiston, FL
Departed from Fort Myers Yacht Basin at 0730 and headed east up the Caloosahatchee River. Destination for the day Clewiston, FL.

Forecast for the day was east winds 5-10 knots… which of course was way off and we had 15-20 knots winds all day. The winds did nothing as far as the sea state and it was smooth cruising all day. The only issue we had today with waves were boats passing us with huge wakes… no radio calls… just get beside us and plow through the water creating 4-5 wakes as they passed.

Had to transit 3 locks today… Franklin Lock, Ortona Lock and Moore Haven Lock… with a total rise of al most 14 feet to put at the level of Lake Okeechobee. All the lockings went smoothly with little to no wait.

We saw tons of boat traffic today and all were larger cruising style boats. A few headed east but the majority were heading west back toward Fort Myers. We expected to see just the opposite traffic flow with a lot of boats heading back north this time of the year.

We had several bridges to transit as well and all required a lift for us to pass through… Wilson Pigott Bridge, Alva Bridge, Fort Denaud Bridge and the Labelle Bridge. They always hold you up a few minutes at each bridge but today was very nice with very little wait at any of them.

We had left Fort Myers planning to make Clewiston as we needed to be in a good position to depart on Tuesday for the Port Mayacca Lock which is on restricted opening schedule due to divers repairing the Manatee protection netting at the locks… they are only allowing lockings three times a day for a 30 minute period… 0700-0730, 1130-1200 and 1630-1700. so we planned to be in Clewiston to leave… cross the lake and be a the lock for the 1330-1200 locking. It takes us about 3.5 hours to cross the lake so we will leave at about 0730 to give ourselves a 30 minute buffer… rather be early than late.

We arrived to Clewiston at approximately 1710 and were securely docked at Roland and Martins Marina with power on at 1720. Our location for the night is N26°45.444, W080°55.118 We traveled today for 9 hours 50 minutes covering 59.23 nautical miles averaging 6.02 knots.
Posted at 4:54 PM
Sunday, 5 April 2015
FL to CT Day 2
Pelican Bay to Fort Myers, FL
Alarm went off at 0400 this morning… way too early but we needed to be to Fort Myers around 1000. Plans were to go to meet my sons and families at their church for the 1100 service and then go out for lunch… the last visit till we return to Florida this winter.

I had not really slept well due to the winds… 20 knots all night long… being the first night on the hook in several months you always have that anxiety especially with winds at 20 knots. Anchor alarm was on but you sleep with one eye open and get up and check every unfamiliar noise. Everything sounds different than what you hear tied to a dock. So, when the alarm went off it was sort of a relief and I popped out of bed and had the engines running and all the electronics fired up by 0410. Susan was up and ready to assist with the anchor retrieval… 0420 anchor was up, Susan was back in bed with Beecha and we were underway.

Winds were remained at 20 knots… a little choppy but fairly protected waters so it was not an uncomfortable ride at all. There was a full moon and it was very bright out and the radar was really redundant as I could see everything well ahead of the boat.

The best part was the sunrise… it was absolutely gorgeous. For about 45 minutes the sky turned every color in the rainbow until finally an orange ball popped up over the horizon… AWESOME!

Shortly after sunrise I received an email… “Trouble in Paradise”… from Jim and Peg Healy aboard “Sanctuary”… they had stopped on Saturday night at Cabbage Key for dinner and when they tried to leave… their boat would not start… We had planned to meet them on Sunday night somewhere around Franklin Locks and continue the trip north together. Something to do with their starter.

We had planned to stop and see the kids and when done continue on to Franklin Locks… with not meeting the Healy’s we decided to spent the night in Fort Myers and continue on Monday morning. We arrived to Fort Myers at approximately 0930 and were securely docked with power on at 0945. Our location for the night N26°38.848, W081°52.211. We traveled today for 5 hours 25 minutes covering 35.0 nautical miles averaging 6.5 knots.

We were able to spend about 5 hours with the kids and grandkids… had a great lunch at the Farmer’s Market Restaurant and ready for a nap now.
Posted at 3:18 PM
Saturday, 4 April 2015
FL to CT Day 1
Punta Gorda, FL to Pelican Bay
First day of our trek north to CT... we were happy to be underway but also very sad to say goodbye to our friends family in Punta Gorda. We had a great send off with everyone out to help and say goodbye.

We were underway at approximately 0900 and had the towboat in tow along side us. Once we got outside the marina we dropped the towboat to behind us and headed south... destination Pelican Bay.

Just south of Cape Haze marker #5 we were hailed on the VHF by two friends from fishermen's village... they were headed back to Punta Gorda on their sailboats... was great running into them and getting to say our goodbyes via VHF.

Just past marker #6 we were met by one of my fellow captains at TowBoatUS Charlotte Harbor... he come out to meet us so we could hand off my towboat to him... 5 minute hand off and we were back underway.

We arrived to Pelican Bay and were safely anchored at 1300 in approximate location N26°40.966, W082°14.442. We traveled today for 4 hours covering 20 nautical miles averaging 5 knots.

I spent the afternoon underwater cleaning the running gear and bottom of the boat. It was not bad for having done nothing to it for a year... but still took a about 3 hours... :)

Posted at 7:23 PM
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