Oh the Too Do’s Are Mounting

I love my office…

For those of you that have sailed with me, you know that I do my best to keep the boat looking good and clean.  But she's working and that makes it harder.  My list of to "Do's" is mounting and so since a front is coming in tomorrow, I'll have a chance to get some of the little stuff done.

Sailing will commence again on Wednesday.  Tomorrow is promising rain, so I can get some of the cleaning done in the corners.  The ports will be cleaned and the hatches worked on.  I was down and replaced the fancy lighting I have.  It only needed 5 bulbs, but when I got in there, they weren't bulbs. Each light was a hard wired unit.  I found the units and spent a few hours tearing this apart, snipping wires and putting it all back together again.  So the fancy lighting is back.

I've got some lockers that need cleaning and I'm changing some clamps that just don't look that good anymore.  I like to maintain not repair.  I'm also going to organize some lockers.  Did I say the "O" word? Don't tell anyone.

Tuesday Star of Orion gets a new stripe on the side and fresh lettering.  She was due and she's been good so what the hell…

While it rains, I'm going to chase down some small leaks that, well boats just have.  I've got one that I can't figure out where it starts, but maybe tomorrow when the rain hits.  Then I'll have it.  I know I will.

A new fuel gauge is being ordered and I'm going to talk Capt. Ron into putting in a new engine temperature gauge.  The alarm works, but I want to see it every once and a while.

The Saint Petersburg Strictly Sail Show is coming next weekend, so I'm counting out my change and pick up some new running rigging while I'm there.  If you can make it, give me a call I'll be there all day and most of the night on Saturday and maybe we can have a coldie together.  If you are going to be there, just call the 800 number and we can connect.  Remember the Latts & Atts party is Saturday night.

Well you guys do what you have to do and I'll continue sailing in Fort Myers Beach.

The weather is going to be great from Wednesday on, so give me a call and Let's Go Sailing.

I'll wait for you on the dock.

Travel Safe…

Capt. Paul



“Just Like That” Another Great Sail

You now I had this sail with a couple from Canada, John and Judi.  Once again, new friends were made and memories that will never be forgotten.  It all started when they made a phone call and wanted to go sailing for a few days.  It's always hard to pass that up, in my case.

We made the plans and it all came together just fine…

November 12th

After stocking with provisions on the 11th, John & Judi came down to the boat at around 0830 and we all got settled on Star of Orion for our voyage.  The weather was checked and we had a great window for the next 4 days.  We headed out   Pass and went south with plans to anchor at Marco Island tonight. The sail was wonderful but we were plagued with light winds and we motor sailed and sailed through the day.

Well we decided that to sail more the next day, we should change our destination to Naples.  We could head in Gordon Pass and go all the way up to the City Dock, but a friend of mine, Capt. Ray, told me, one time about an anchorage that was just inside and had great protection from all directions.  I called him up and put on my trusty blue tooth, zoomed in on the GPS and followed his directions once we were in the channel.

I never would have made that turn to port.  All I saw was 4 to 5 feet depth on the chart, but Capt. Ray said, "Just keep on going and stay to the left of the channel."  So I did, (at about a knot), and eased my way into another channel where we dropped the hook for the night.  It was great.  Thanks Capt.  It was good holding and real smooth.  It was a good night with a great sunset topped off with a full moon.


November 13th

We woke up, had breakfast and headed back out into the channel and toward the entrance of Gordon Pass.

As you can see, on the way out we pass the classic "Southwest Florida" photo op.  It's just sand, blue sky, light clouds and palm trees.

Good by Naples and once again, thanks Capt. Ray for making my balls just that much bigger. (I would have never found that place on my own with the marked water depths of 4 to 5 feet.) Off for another day of sailing…
And sail we did.  We had some fun.  We headed off shore about 8 miles and got to see more crab trap balls than I've ever seen.  Just like going through Iowa and seeing corn…  "It's everywhere."  And so were they.  Every color you could think of and they even intersected with each other.  Just everywhere. Since the wind was on our nose, we sailed as long as we could and then we motor sailed back up toward our next destination…  Glover Bight to anchor for the night.

But as were were passing Fort Myers Beach, I broke a traveler line and called Capt. Ron.  Not the guy from the movie.  Capt. Ron had just purchased the line to do this project and he told us he would meet us at Salty Sam's Marina and we could do the repair that night.

So we pulled into Star of Orion's home slip and spent the night there instead of Glover Bight. Being a cruiser, it's pretty easy to change plans. The only problem of being in the slip was that we were having very low tides because of the full moon, so the time I could get out of the C/D channel was calculated. It would have to be at around 0400.

November 14th

At that time of the morning we had a full moon, and when we headed out we hit fog. Visibility was about 50 yards.  So up went the radar ball and we sailed through the fog around Sanibel Island.  John and Judi were up and stayed up for the first couple of hours and then opted to take a snooze, so back to bed they went.

We motored up the coast and then when we came up to my favorite marker, marker 2, (She's a bell buoy), the first marker that heads into the Boca Grande the wind was up and we were turning east so we could put up the laundry and sail for a couple of hours pushing about 5 miles into Charlotte Harbor.

It was great sailing too. A good solid 18 miles per hour.  So I had more calculating to do.  We were going to anchor at Pelican Bay, but if we did we couldn't get out until about 1300 the next day.  That was too late.  So the decision was to cruise through Pelican Bayu and then drop the hook just off Usepa Island across from Cabbage Key.

So we did and it was another great place to catch a sunset, have a coldie and cook dinner.  We listed to music and I broke out my guitar and played a bit as well as listened to John play a bit.  I can't wait to see him with a classical guitar in his hands.

November 15th

The morning was wonderful.  It always is when you've been sailing for 3 days.  Today we headed south down the Intracoastal Waterway.  It was a smooth trip and John held the helm all the way down.  He can sail with me any day.  In fact we are talking about doing a cat in the BVI's in 2010.  John and Judi, let's make that happen.  I just found another Canadian couple that we should talk to…

Anyway it was a good day.  We got through the Sanibel Causeway Bridge and the wind was in our favor so we hoisted the sails and sailed San Carlos Bay and a bit of the Gulf and made it back to our home port just before the oncoming front came in.

We put on close to 200 nm and they were all good.  Every one of them.

I gave them a ride to my apartment and got them on their way.  They had rented a convertible and I told them the night was great, so put the top down and enjoy the ride. They did and took off.  I moved my stuff into the house and walked back out and it was pouring outside.  I mean pouring.

Well don't listen to me, what the hell do I know.

In any case, it was a great time.  I had a ball. They did too and we'll do it again.

Since that time, I've been sailing like crazy. The 800 number is ringing and the weather has been cool, but it's been sunny.  The sailing season is off to a great start and I look forward to sailing with all you folks out there soon.

Remember it's first come first serve and I only take 6 at a time.  If you are looking for overnight passages, please call early so I can insure your dates.  That goes for the half day and sunset sails too.

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is the best value for your money.  Vacations always seem short, so plan early and sail within your first few days down.  If I have weather issues we will be able to do a rescheduling-thing for you, and I have some great local knowledge you may want as soon as you get here.  It kills me to tell you things on the boat that you are going to miss when you leave the next day…

Always think about chartering in Florida.  I always look for sailing charters in Fort Myers Beach and think you should do the same.

See you on the dock…

Capt. Paul



Catchin’ You Up…

Well I've got some catching up to do on this blog, so let me see, where do I start…

It's Sunday.  November 16th.  At noon.  I slept in this morning and woke up with the thoughts that I was still running around the sea with my Canadian friends.  But then I heard a couple of laughs from the dock and the bubble burst…  I was back in slip C-18 at Salty Sam's Marina.

Since I last updated this blog, things have been moving pretty fast except for the past 4 days.  Pat, my wife booked us on a short 4 day cruise.  It left on the 4th and came back to Miami on the 7th.  We went to Key West and Cozumel.  It wasn't really the destinations, but it was the time together that we needed. Running 3 businesses makes us take time for each other every now and then.

It was a great cruise.  When we got there they upgraded us from an ocean view to a category 12.  Full balcony and a large room, wet bar, great couch and sitting area, large flat screen and walk in closet. Very nice digs for the 4 days.  The weather was perfect and we just chilled…  Now we were ready for work again.

So we got back on the 7th, I had a charter on the 8th and on the 9th and 10th Pat and I did an overnight run to Marco Island, just for fun.

We had the 11th to pull it together for Pat leaving for Phoenix for the Fountain Hills Arts & Crafts Show.  She's got to go sell that Garlic.  (http://www.PatTheGarlicLady.com).  I pulled it together for a 4 day charter with friends from Alberta Canada.

In my next entry, I'll give you the log of the charter.

Remember, the phone is ringing now and you need to call as early as possible to book your voyage dates.  I only take 6 out at a time and I don't want you to be disappointed.

Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is a vacation highlight you don't want to miss.

I'll see you on the dock…

Capt. Paul