Repositioning to Fort Myers From Charlotte Harbor… TAKE TWO!

Pat and I spent the night on s/v Magic Wind last night. It was a good night. We worked all day putting the blades back on the wind generator, placing the dingy back on the davits, hoisted the sails, putting the canvas back on and just getting her back in shape to sail. We had dinner at Porto Bello’s and then went back to the boat to settle in for the night. It was cool and nice.

At 0445 hrs. I took off the last line and headed, under power, out of the harbor heading to the Boca Grand and the Gulf of Mexico. It was beautiful. The wind was under 4 kts, so I motored out of the pass and set the sails in the Gulf with a reef in the main. I had a solid 12 kts and didn’t want to reef it later. We cut the engine and sailed along at about 6.5 to 7 mph over ground. At around 1100 hrs. the wind dropped down to 7 to 10 kts, so I put the main all the way up and kept moving.

As we rounded the southern tip of Sanabel Island, the wind kicked in to about 15 to 20 kts and Magic Wind slid into a nice groove. We healed at about 15 to 20 degrees and got to hull speed and sailed that way for the next couple of hours.

During that time, we dogged a ton of those lobster trap balls. It was like a mine field. But nothing on the rudder or prop so all was well. Here’s a short clip of motoring her in after a great day of sailing.

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We pulled into Fort Myers Beach Marina and checked in at 1530 hrs. Ten and a half hours for 56 miles. Her slip is nice. We are right next to the Coast Guard Station. I think that may have a nice security advantage. We are out of our gated community now so I’m getting locks and stuff that I didn’t have to think of before. But we like it so far. There is a good energy about it and people are very nice. It’s 5 minutes from the trailer by land and 40 minutes by dingy. It was a long dingy ride. We had to get to the trailer by dingy, because the Harley is there and the car is up at Burnt Store. We’ll deal with the pick up tomorrow. We’re beat tonight.

Miles: 56.9 – Max Speed: 8.8 mph. – Moving Time: 10 hrs. 16 min. – Moving Avg: 5.5 mph.

So the weather was good, the winds were good, the company was good and nothing broke. I’m going to book this one as a 10.

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Another view from the wheel.

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A shot from the bow.

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A great day for sailing with Sanabel Island in the distance.

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All Is Well With OUR World

Ok… Ok… Ok… It’s been 3 days and a busy 3 days. After we got back to the San Carlos RV Park, we moved in and were pleasantly surprised that they took the hit, with gusts, of up to 120 mph a mile down the road at the Coast Guard Station by Estero Island. Whew, sorry we missed that.

The area south of here took quite a beating and the coastal areas have a lot of work to do to get them up and going. In the center part of the state, one of the biggest problems is that the sugar cane fields were laid flat. It will mean a lot of people out of work and it’s not a rich area anyway, so we can only hope that they get some help.

The east coast really had a lot of damage. Wilma didn’t slow down much since it was moving at over 22 miles an hour and the state is only about 150 miles wide, so they got smacked. She was strong and fast. A lot of folks will be out of power until Thanksgiving. Too long.

We took yesterday and put Magic Wind back together, hoisted sails and put up all the canvas. Remounted the dingy and generally cleaned her up. She did well. One little bump on the rail. That was it. We were up at 4 am and headed south to take her to her new berth in Fort Myers Beach. It’s a good slip and a busy shrimping channel. We look forward to the new activities we will have here. More stories to tell. We log the sailing adventures at: http://bpwmagic.typepad.com/magicwind. So you can go there and get your sailing fix.

Here’s a good one… For those of you that know Pete and Iva, well they went on a cruise last week. It was supposed to go to the the eastern Caribbean, but with Wilma and Alpha the line told them that they would be surprised to see where they end up. We won’t talk to them untill the come in on Saturday morning. I wonder where they went…

Now they were going to stay at the Thunderbird Hotel when they got back for a couple of days. We called and checked on their damage and they are not open. We checked on rental cars and they may be nonexistent. So we may be running over to Miami and picking them up at the docks and bringing them here for a couple of days. It will be good to see them, not exactly the way we wanted to see them, but any time with those two is a joy. We look forward to it unless they just change their tickets and head home.

So our lives are busy and full of happiness. I’ll continue to blog here and at s/v Magic Winds site, but if I miss a day or two or three, go ahead and call and check on us. It’s always good to talk with you all.

The sunset is across the street from our park. A nice place to watch ’em as you lean on that dock and watch it sizzle in the water.

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Going Home Today

Well up early and checking all our options. Looks we got in touch with San Carlos RV Park and they were just checking out the damage and all looks pretty good. They were out of power this morning, but I just received a call and they have it back now. They weathered well. A few of the permanent RVs that are up on blocks are not on blocks anymore and a couple of storage sheds are not storage sheds anymore but besides that they only lost a couple of trees.

I checked with the marina dock master and D dock is fine. They didn’t have much of a surge and they have electricity on already.

So all in all our world is intact and we will head south this morning and put it all back together. The weather is great and looks to be a very good week or two coming up.

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Good Bye Wilma!

She’s gone. At least from our lives. At the moment she is shooting up the east coast at around 35 miles an hour. I hear she is going to meet up with “Alpha” and then drop, maybe, SNOW on the northeast. They are calling her a “Super” storm. We’re sorry she is still causing grief in peoples lives, but at least she is out-a-here… Now it’s just cold and dry. The front came through at the same time. So it went from the upper 80’s yesterday to the lower 40’s tonight. Big turn real fast.

We are trying to get some information out of Fort Myers. We don’t know about the electricity or flood damage to our RV Park. We’ve got some calls in and are waiting for info.

I think we are going to go down to Punta Gorda in the morning and park at our old RV Park for a night or two. That will get us back into the area and close to the boat and Fort Myers so we can monitor the situation with a hands on feel.

I think it will be the best answer. We did get the word that Magic Wind is doing fine. She took 100 mile per hour winds and held up well. I will still need to give her a good going over to see if all the parts are still part of the boat. We’ll find out later. The first step is to get our home set up again.

Anyway we want to thank everyone that kept up with our adventure. Your thoughts, emails and phone calls gave us plenty of support. There’s a lot of cleaning up to do here in Florida and we’ll do what we can from here.

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Wilma’s Moving Fast This Morning

We had a good nights sleep. The winds here are expected to be around 45 mph today, so we are blessed. There are a lot of tornado warnings going on right now in our area, so we are just praying that we dodge all of those. It’s moving at 23 miles an hour, so she is going to move through pretty fast. That’s good.

The storm surge in the Charlotte Harbor area is only expected to be 2 to 5 feet as opposed to the 10 to 18 feet in the Everglades. That’s the advantage of being on the north side of the eye. We are worried about Magic Wind and should know more about her tonight.

I think the guys on the Weather Channel are nuts. Why don’t they just go inside and stop trying to get hit with stuff that’s flying around. Makes more sense to me. We all know it’s a hurricane. We don’t need to see them get chopped in half by a roof or something.

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Looks Like We’ll Be Safe Here

Wilma is making her attack on Florida. We are watching and it looks like she is going to be on track to the Naples area. That means that we have gone north far enough to keep us safe. We will still get the tropical force winds and the rain has already started, but we should be able to ride it out here and stay safe.

It started to rain hard at about 8 pm this evening just as we were leaving Epcot. We ended up with a couple of Micky Mouse ponchos. It helped keep us dry and comfy on the way to the car. Sharon and Terry are still with us and plan on moving north to their little house about 70 miles from here and stay there until they can get back to Key West. It may be a week before they can get back because of power and flooding.

We expect the winds to kick in around 5 am so we are hitting the sack and getting some sleep while we can.

Wilma is moving at 18 miles per hour at this time, so when she makes land fall she will move pretty fast across the state.

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Here She Comes… Finally!

Well it’s about time. I mean if Wilma has to blow through here then come on girl let’s dance. We are out of the area, sitting in Orlando. Everyone I’ve talked to is ready to the point of boredom. They say the same thing… Bring her on and let us clean up the mess and get on with our lives.

Well finally she has let go of the Yucatan and is on her way to Florida. Looks like Naples is going to take the hit at this point, but the next 24 hours will tell. Those hurricanes do have a mind of their own.

We have guests with us. Sharon and Terry Crystal from LA and Key West were running north from Wilma and we connected here in Orlando. We did dinner and they spent the night and we plan to go to Epcot today and do some walking around while we wait it out. They are great people and we are having a wonderful time as we refugees hang together.

I’ll keep you posted as things progress here.

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Just Sittin’… And Waitin… And…

Well here we sit in a KOA in Orlando at the junction of 4 and 27. Not much to say. Just sitting and waiting. We are going exploring today and top off the gas tank and see what is around here. I know there is a Chevron station and a Circle K, a Waffle House and well that’s about it. So we will expand our area today since I think Wilma is going to sit for another day or two.

She is moving so slow. We have friends in that area and our thoughts and prayers are with them as they just sit and continue to be pounded by Wilma. It’s bad enough to be spanked by one of these, but to have her just sit there and spin for days is not the way it should be. Reminds me of the one that Brad and Stacie had last year over West Palm. Same thing, just sat there and spun.

So we will sit and wait it out. All I can say is that I hope “Alpha” doesn’t get started. We’re watching that one too.

We’ll keep you updated.

Gulfir

Repositioning to Fort Myers From Charlotte Harbor… Almost

On October 17th Pat and I got Magic Wind ready to head down to Fort Myers Beach Marina from Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda, FL. It’s about a nine hour sail, so we wanted to get going early in the morning on the 18th.

We spent a nice night on the boat and got to bed early. I set the alarm for 0430 hours because I wanted to be leaving the harbor by 0500. That’s exactly what I did.

It was wonderful. The sound of the diesel purring and Pat slept in. Since there was not much of a wind, I didn’t have much of a problem taking off the stern lines and electric cord as I cleaned all the lines. I didn’t want to leave anything behind since this was the last time in this slip.

Once out of the marina I brought her up to 2600 rpm and headed toward the Boca Grande. It was a nice motor sail. The moon was bright and full and low in the sky. As I headed west, it was easy to keep her on course.

Once through the Boca Grande, I followed the channel to marker #2. It’s a bell and the wind was from the northeast at 16 kts so when I turned south we were on a nice broad reach and moving along at 6.5 mph over ground. The sun was coming up and my mind was questioning the move as I knew that Wilma was brewing in the Caribbean and going to be heading our way.

Not more than a half hour later, Captain Ray called me on the cell phone and wanted me to think about leaving the slip and heading south because of the direction of Wilma. I informed him that I was about 5 miles south of marker #2 and was questioning my judgement, so we sailed around in the gulf for a while and headed back to Burnt Store.

49.7 miles and we were back home… Again.

I have spent the last couple of days buttoning her up for the blow, if there is one and left her today in Gods hands… And the insurance companies…

We will check on her when we return from our evacuation of the area.

Waiting as Wilma Does What She Does…

It was a preparation day. Finished the boat preparation. Pulled off the blades of the wind generator, which I just installed a few days ago. But figured I didn’t want them flying around the marina. Got our reservation in an RV park in Orlando. That will be a place we will park and watch the storm and see if we need to go north, south, east or west.

It’s still all up in the air at this point. Everyone here is taking Wilma very seriously. Boarding up, heading out and watching closely. Since this our first hurricane, we are doing what everyone is telling us to do and trying to make the right decisions. At this point, it’s watch and wait.

We are going to head north in the morning.

There is a site you may want to check out: http://www.sunstream.com/beachcam.htm

It is a webcam of Fort Myers Beach from the top of a hotel. this is our backyard. So we will be watching it as we move out of here and hunker down in the middle of the state. We are still in hopes that she will weaken as she heads into the gulf. Lots of things factor into this; the cooler water temperatures, the cold front coming in from the north means she will be mixing cooler air with the warm air from the Caribbean and a wind shear of 50 miles an hour, (a vertical wind), so as I said we wait and watch. She won’t be here until Sunday night or Monday at this time.

But since we are at 5 feet above sea level, we are out of here. If she maintains her strength a storm surge of 6 to 8 feet is possible. That puts the trailer underwater. So to dryer land we go.

We will continue to keep you updated as things progress.

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