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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First week on the water

Just got back after a week on the water. After 4 days of heading south, we decided not to slog our way against a headwind through condo canyons. Instead, we headed north for more favorable winds and nicer views. I really hate to motor and that's what I'd be forced to do in the narrows. Later, we plan to trailer to other parts of the state that interest us more and head back on the water again.

Night Sail to Anclote Key

The first day of our trip turned into a night sail. Winds were favorable, from the north, but light. We chugged along at “burble speed.” That’s just fast enough for the hull to make happy gurgling noises. I was content enough.

As the afternoon wore on, my lovely wife and I had to come to a decision. Do we head down a channel and stay at a marina, or do we night sail and anchor out. We sailed on. It had been a pleasant day, sunny with temps in the upper 60s. As soon as the sun went down, it got pretty chilly. I’m glad I had my winter hat on the boat.

Eventually, the wind died completely and we reluctantly started the motor. As luck would have it, we were surrounded by crab pots. The last thing you want to do is get one of those buoys tangled up in your prop. We motored a few stressful miles in near total darkness, ever watchful.

We relied heavily on our chart and GPS to find our anchorage at Anclote Key. Lacking a depth finder, we used the boat hook at full extension to feel our way along the bottom. The plan was to take advantage of our shallow draft and get as close to the island as possible, staying far outside the channel. I almost cut it too close. I allowed for low tide, but just barely. In the morning, the boat was floating, but not by much.

My lovely wife and I slept well, comfortable in our wee little boat. In the morning, we were treated to a visit by a couple of porpoises. I made coffee on the boat. After a light breakfast, we raised anchor and continued our southward journey.



  1. Sounds like a great time, but dang, I wouldn't have thought it would have been that cold. Guess for awhile we will have to call your blog "six bears on the water".

  2. That was the last cold night. Warmer than normal after that.

  3. Chilly in the Keys?! Dayum! Boat hook depth finder is more reliable than the electronic version in shallow water. I've run across 2 foot with the sounder flashing 200'...

  4. Been there done that, trying to go south in January on the west coast. It ain't easy...
    Too much or too little or from the wrong direction lol

  5. Craig: I might get an old school lead weight, but the book hook does the job in these skinny waters.

    Spud: Exactly. Still, a day of sailing is a day of sailing.

  6. Sounds like you both are having a good time! That's the important thing!

    Enjoy all that peace and quiet!