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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where in the world?



On my last post we were on Cayo Costa, waiting for a break in the weather to head south. We woke up to dense fog from the south -not a good combination for sailing southward. I was pretty much resigned to spending another night. However, by 11 a. m. the fog lifted. Soon after our anchor was also lifted.

We traveled the ICW southward, motoring most of the way. When winds seemed suitable, we stopped the motor and raised the sails. Our speed rarely exceeded 2 knots. After an hour and a half of that the wind died completely so it was back to the iron sail.



My destination was Picnic Island, a small spoil island next to Sanibel Island. Just as we came to the island, the 6 gallon gas tank finally ran dry just a couple hundred feet short of where I wanted to anchor. Fortunately, I've a second 3 gallon fuel tank, so we were just fine.

Picnic Island is a nice place to walk the dog and for the crew to stretch their legs. Our anchorage was quiet and calm until just about sunrise. In the north, a black wall of nasty weather advanced like Sherman through Georgia.

I though we could outrun it across the bay. I was wrong. Seriously wrong. Half way across the bay darkness overcame us. That's all I needed to find myself down the wrong channel. The boat grounded, but we were going slow enough to back off the sand. We backtracked using my phone chart app and a depth finder. We didn't find the causeway until it was looming over us.

We tied up next to the boat ramp, determined to sit it out. Soon after we got in, a nice couple paddled in a double kayak. They spent the night camped on Picnic Island and got caught in the fog just like us. Like us, they even got grounded. . . in a kayak.

My lovely wife and I got to talking with the kayakers. They've been traveling south from Venice Florida and plan on going all the way down to the Keys. Nice to be young, strong, and crazy. As you can imagine, we got along famously. We even unloaded a couple of books on them. Raise our water line, lower theirs.

Once the fog lifted, Captain Sixbears made a command decision. We were low on supplies, my lovely wife was feeling a bit under the weather, and the weather was nasty. It wasn't in the budget, but I picked up two nights in a nice marina. That's what emergency funds are for.

So now I'm sitting in a nice warm boater's lounge, drinking coffee, and had a nice warm shower.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. Glad you made it back to the marina and a safe place to wait out the weather.

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    1. 3 to 5 foot seas across the bay. . . interesting.

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    2. I got caught in a small open boat just off Roanoke Island when a strong storm blew in. Unbelievable how bad fairly shallow water can get. We had a few mile to fight our way back to safety. Our kids were young and thought it was fun.

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    3. High winds and shallow water make some nasty chop.

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  2. Glad y'all found a safe anchorage, the CG had to rescue a sailor off the coast here when that front whipped up 11 foot seas!

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    Replies
    1. 3 to 5 was bad enough. Another front howling through right now.

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  3. Sometimes old and wise trumps young and tough.

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    Replies
    1. The wind is howling like a demon out there right now.

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