SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Saturday, 26 March 2022
FL to CT Day 7
Lignumvitae Key, FL to Key Largo,FL
We had a very interesting night on the mooring ball… winds picked up to over 20 knots and lines were really creaking as we swung on the ball in the wind… plus we had a current that was beam to the boat so the swing was extreme… it was a 1000lb mooring and we were assured it would hold us in any winds… I was not so sure so before we went to bed, I set the anchor drag alarm for 250 ft. About 5am I was awoken by the noise… I got up and checked the winds and they were gusting to 30 knots… we had 2-foot waves… then the anchor alarm went off… we were dragging the 1000lb mooring… was just getting ready to start the engines and we stopped dragging… wind settled down to less than 20 knots… I stayed up and monitored the wind and dragging… 0730 arrived and winds down to less than 15 knots… We had planned to stay here another day but with the events of early morning we decided to move on.

We dropped the mooring ball at 0830 and headed back out to the ICW… hunting for a new more protected area to anchor and get to land… we have not been to land at this point for 5 or is it 6 days… not sure… but the dogs need some land time and so do we….

The northerly winds evidently push the water out of Florida Bay in the Upper Keys… we were seeing a foot to 1.5 feet lower than charted depths… depth alarm was going off all days long… or the depth stopped working totally as it was too shallow to get a reading… between the shallow water and the crab pots it was an anxious day… did not hit any crab pots luckily… you could sure tell where we had been… leaving a trail of mud/sand in the water behind us.

We looked at every anchorage there was along the way and nothing seemed right… just no real wind protection for northerly winds and it was forecast to be windy again tonight so we wanted to be sure and be in a safe spot… We thought about Tarpon Bay in Key Largo… good wind protection but we could not find any place to land the dinghy to get to land… made several calls and asked about dinghy access and all said NO… no marinas of adequate size to accommodate us… finally we found two options at the far north end of Key Largo… Northeast end of Blackwater Sound at Jewfish Creek… Gilbert’s Resort and Anchorage Resort… made calls to both… Gilbert’s was no reservations… “fish come first serve”… Anchorage Resort was an answering machine… There was an anchorage option in the area as well… so we continued on hoping that there were either be space at Gilbert’s Resort or Anchorage Resort would call us back.

About 2 miles out Anchorage Resort called us back and we reserved a slip… YAY! Upon arriving to the area we saw that Gilbert’s had no available dock space so were very happy to have a slip at Anchorage Resort.

We arrived at approximately 1245 and were secure in the slip for the night at approximately 1300. Our Position for the night is N25°11.003', W080°23.287'. We traveled today for 4.5 hours covering 25.95 nautical miles averaging 5.8 knots.
Posted at 4:45 PM
Friday, 25 March 2022
FL to CT Day 6
Little Shark River, FL to Lignumvitae Key, FL
We left Little Shark River at approximately 0730… Wind direction had changed and was now from the Northwest and the temperature also dropped… was a bit chilly pulling the anchor this morning. I had anticipated a muddy anchor and chain, but it came up quite clean… which is nice….

We again were following FULL MOON out of the anchorage… this morning they were only 10 minutes ahead of us… After leaving the river he headed quite far offshore for some reason… We hugged the shore to get as much wind protection as we could from it… winds were NW at 15-20 knots and seas 2 to 3 feet with a few bigger rogue waves but it was a following seas and produces an entirely different ride… much more comfortable than the last couple of days pounding into the waves.

At Cabe Sable we took a 40 degree turn to follow the shoreline and the get even more wind protection from land… heading for the Florida Yacht Channel that would take us to the keys entering about Long Key area. FULL MOON left us at Cap Sable area continuing their SW path… they evidently were heading to Marathon.

I had forgotten how shallow Florida Bay is… we never saw anything over 10 feet all day… in fact most of the time we were running in 6-7 feet of water or less a few times the depth alarm sounded… it’s set to 5.5 feet.

We had not really decided where we were going to stop for the day… marina dockage is virtually nonexistent in the keys this time of year or if available so expensive we are not stopping… the max we like to pay for dockage is $2.50 per foot.. prefer the $1.00 to $1.50 per foot range… these marinas are hard to find anymore… and not it the Florida Keys for sure… cheapest I saw was $3.20 per foot and we have stayed there in the past… it’s not a fancy place and sort of run down…. SAD.

After an hour or two of browsing the available anchorage areas we came upon a state park… Lignumvitae Key. They had 5 mooring balls available and were FREE… can’t beat that. We figured when we arrived, they would be full.

We arrived at approximately 1415 and found the mooring balls… all 5 were open surprisingly… We were secure on the mooring ball for the night at approximately 1430. Our Position for the night is N24°54.619', W080°42.064'. We traveled today for 7.0 hours covering 45.81 nautical miles averaging 6.5 knots.

Posted at 3:30 PM
Thursday, 24 March 2022
FL to CT Day 5
Marco Island, FL to Little Shark River, FL
We departed from Marco Island at 0800… forecast today winds SE 10-15 knots seas 2 foot… and of course this was accurate… NOT!

The forecast did eventually become accurate about 6 hours after we left Marco… be this seas were 3 to 4 feet… SE winds 20 knots… Was not the best day.

Destination for the day Little Shark River in the Everglades National Park… The boat that we had anchored beside in Marco… FULL MOON and 49 Ft Defever from Punta Gorda… It appears they had the same destination planned as we did were anchored in Little Shark River when we arrived.

We were securely anchored for the night at approximately 1700. Our Position for the night is N25°19.653', W081°08.547'. We traveled today for 9.0 hours covering 57.14 nautical miles averaging 6.35 knots.
Posted at 6:04 PM
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