I have to tell you, it's been almost "work" since I came back from our trip to Saint Pete. The weather is working against me and is a little early to be in this summer pattern. But it's here and so I have to be on the radar all the time and on the phone moving people from sunsets to half days and moving them from one day to another and canceling their sails and… and… and…
So it's just weather. I've been a street performer since 1974 and I know weather. In fact, I know how to make weather work in my favor and make it fun. But when it comes to thunder, lightening and squalls, I think the best thing to do is crack a beer or put a rum something in your hand and tell jokes and play cards until it just stops. That's fun too you know.
So when summer comes the winds slow
down and it the water gets warm… Now that's a good time to drop the hook during a sail, kick on some music and slip into the water for a while. Hop out take a fresh water shower on deck and take in some sun. What a day.
As you can see in the photo, everyone hopped in the water and cooled right down.
I put out a line with a life jacket tied to the end so that you can pull yourself to the boat. There's usually a current so it keeps you safe and helps you get back to the boat.
I got a sunset off tonight and it was wonderful. Ok, ok… We couldn't really see the sunset, but it was a great sail and we had a wonderful time. I don't get too many sunsets because of the weather, but when we can get out, we do have a great time.
So I go out early for the half day 9 to 1 and the sunsets are usually canceled, but the sailing is still great. Sailing in Fort Myers Beach
will continue. Keep calling and getting your name on the books. I'm here for you and it's a special time for me. Let me share it with you.
Well the title says it all. Since last Wednesday, we've dropped into a weird weather pattern… First we are in the summer pattern where in the afternoons we have a thunder storm or 5 and then we have this low that's bringing up moisture from the south which has a tropical wave that is loaded with water.
All that boils down to rain. And lots of it. I'm trying to get charters off and I'm doing a pretty good job, but it's really touch and go. By the moment.
So that's really about it. I'm strapped to the apartment and doing my lists and taking care of business, paperwork and marketing. It's all good, and I'm glad I got in a good personal sail for a couple of weeks before all this began to happen.
Yes. I'm trying to get a scroll bar on the YouTube page. Seems there's videos up there, but it's really hard to get to them all. I'll keep working with YouTube and see if there is a piece of code that I'm missing.
So keep doing what you're doing then drop it all and get down here. Yea, I get a bit wet every now and then, but that's why I called it "Adventure Sailing."
After being blown into Cabbage Key, we decided to get up early and beat the weather to Fort Myers Beach. I hate thunderstorms. They are just a pain. Flash high winds and water and then the horizontal rain. Gets me soaked and then 20 minutes later it's calm with no wind. I change clothes and then wait to do it again. But it's summer in Florida.
So we left Cabbage Key at around 8:30 and put out the jib and motor sailed down the Intracoastal Waterway. At around the power lines at the north end of Sanibel, we dropped the jib and continued the sail. It was still a wonderful ride. I really like that part of the Waterway. It has a ton of islands, wildlife, dolphins etc. I kick up the music or break out the guitar and enjoy the ride.
We pulled into Salty Sam's Marina at about 4:00 p.m. and cleaned up Star of Orion, pulled off a bunch of personal gear and got her ready for charters starting on the 16th.
I guess I'll just have to go sailing again tomorrow. I have moved the half day to the summer hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It's just a smart thing to do. So if you are ready to have a sailboat charter in Fort Myers Beach
, just give me a call and we can make it happen.
Sunset sails in Fort Myers
are at a stand still as the thunderstorms are coming in at around 2 or 4 p.m every day. Sometimes, I can pull one off, but it seems that the summer pattern started a couple of weeks early and I'm doing what I can, but weather happens.
It's good to be home, but I have to say, the last couple of weeks have been wonderful. I'll do it again soon.
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P.S. Photo's will be added within the next couple of days. The cable is not with my computer.
Ahhhhhhhhhh… This is a very nice outside run. We pulled out of the inlet and headed out to sea. Up went the sails and we turned south with a nice wind from the east. As the next couple of hours went by, we kept pulling in the sails until the wind was right on our nose. So the sails went down and we took the sea and wind and chugged along at a solid 4.9 knots. I wanted to go faster if I had to use the motor.
It takes about 8 hours and if the tide is right, you can use a little cut, right at the docks and avoid going all the way to sea marker #2 and then riding the channel into the Boca Grande. That saves about and hour and a half. But if the tide is ripping and it's on the low side, just take the ride to marker #2 and enjoy the ride down the channel.
Well I'm glad the tide was right. As we used the little 7 foot deep cut, the clouds were building over Pine Island. It was black… Real black. So as I worked my way to the main channel, Pat cleared the decks and we got ready for the blow, rain, hail and lightening.
Because of the time savings, we only caught about a quarter of the storm and that was enough. The winds were a nice 30 to 35 and the rain was sideways and hard. We ran as fast as we could to Cabbage Key knowing that if I could just get behind Usepa that we would be in the lee of the island. At that point, I didn't even want to dock, I just wanted to duck and hide. Well we got hit for about 20 to 30 minutes and then we made it to Usepa. At that point the storm had passed.
Cabbage Key was not answering the VHF, so I just ran the small channel and when I got to the dock the dock master just waved his hand and then he was gone. I think a waiter came out next and helped me by catching a line and then off he went too. I was blessed that I've been there several times and knew where I wanted to be and so we got hooked up and settled in for the night. After checking in and a rum or two, we grilled on Star of Orion and had a great movie night. I slept through most of the movie.
After walking Maggie at 11:30 it was off to bed to finish off the sleep I started. I checked the weather before I hit the sack and decided to head out early to beat the storms to Fort Myers Beach.
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It was a great day on the water. The Gulf had 2 to 3 foot rollies and we started out with the motor on, then we put up the main. later we put up the jib and then later we cut the motor and sailed into Venice. A very pleasant day on the water for everyone. Just perfect.
Then we pulled into Venice. Here's a tip for you… If you make a reservation at the Crow's nest and you do, ALWAYS tell them you want to be at the long dock. The short docks are bumpy. I've had anchorages on the sea that were a smother ride. BUT remember that even though you make your reservation for the "long dock", you may not get it.
It's all about the money. If they have a bigger boat call after you, then you get bumped to the short docks. Always try to push the idea that you really want the long dock and tell them please don't bump me. It happened to us last night and the current was not with us. Wow what a docking.
Besides that it was late in the day and the dock guy had a chip on his shoulder… Go figure. 85.00 a night and the guy gives you shit when you dock. Not a good way to pick up a couple of extra bucks while working.
Well off this morning to Charlotte Harbor and Cabbage Key. The trip is winding down, but then I have to go to work sailing… I love my life.
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Well it was a wonderful stay here in St. Petersburg. We had a lot of fun kicking around downtown and playing with everyone here at the Municipal Marina. We'll come back.
The weather is getting warm, or should I say hot, so the thunderstorms are starting to roll in late in the afternoon, so it's time to head back home. We don't want to get stuck up here waiting for a weather window.
We are going to leave here at 6:00 a.m. and should pull into Venice at around 4:00 p.m. The storms are supposed to kick in around 6:00 p.m. so we want to be tucked in before or even if the storms come in.
Here's a little video clip of Maggie and I tooling around the bay here. Good memories were made. Wish we could have caught up with Casey, but I'll see them in Fort Myers. Time just slipped away.
There is a lot of good sailing going on down here, so call me and let's get your date set. Charters start up again on May 17th and I've got some slots open for half day and sunset sails in Fort Myers Beach
Thanks again to all of you that have written and kept us in your thoughts while we have been playing out here on the Gulf. It's always fun, but even better when we know that there are people that are wishing us well.
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Ok, Star Trek ROCKS… Put it on your must see list. We saw it this afternoon in an iMax theater and I'll never be the same. It is really a good movie and well written. I'd see it again and I'll have a copy of my own when it comes out. Enough said.
Tonight Bob and Kathy came over to the boat and we had a nice happy hour and dinner. It's good to see friends that we don't get to see enough of. But we caught up and enjoyed each others company as the moon rose over Tampa Bay. What a moon. It's full. Or full enough for me.
Oh did I tell you, Maggie and I took a nice dinghy ride around the marina and then out the breakwater to blow out the carbon. Once Puff III got up on a plane, we flew like the wind. That 5 horse Yamaha can put that 8 foot Merc on a plane and show off pretty good. Maggie was fine until we hit some boat wakes and jumped out of the water a couple of times and then she dove between my legs and laid between my legs until I dropped the rpm's and headed in.
Tomorrow, is the farmers market and another dinghy ride and a sail out into the bay to see what we can see. The weather is still in great shape. 90 / 70 for the temps and rain is out of the question until Tuesday. Then it's just 20%…
Charters are starting back up on the 17th, so get those calls in and we'll sail together…
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We love St. Petersburg. That's about all we can say. It is such a cool town with great food, water and people.
Last night we pulled in and enjoyed an evening on the boat in the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina. Now that's hard to say three times when you are calling them on the VHF. The dock master is great and they got us in without a problem. Thanks Bill.
Then just as I was putting on my last spring line, I noticed a 31 foot Hunter, that had just pulled into the marina looking disabled. It was drifting toward the jetty and didn't have any power. The captain was in a dinghy and was trying to start his outboard. It didn't look good.
So I jumped into my dinghy and headed out. Once I got to his boat, he handed me a line to hook up and was talking me through pushing him to the dock… My engine died.
Now we have a 31 food sailboat with an engine out, and 2 dinghys with their engines out. Along comes another dinghy. He hooks up and pushes the boat to it's slip. I hook up my oars and row back. So much for being the hero.
I had an extra bulb for the gas line and today I replaced it and all is well with the world of dinghy's.
Here's a clip of the entrance of Tampa Bay, sailing under the Skyway Bridge.
It was spectacular. I'm looking forward to sailing back through as the week progresses. We are basing here in St. Pete and taking jaunts around the area. We'll have a ball.
Tomorrow is another day. Today was a day to replenish the stores and check out the town. All is well and we'll be in touch as the week progresses.
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Well Pat, Maggie and I have had a couple of days here in Venice. We enjoyed the sun, people and the beach. It's a great place to pop into and we'll be back someday. This photo is what the Venice Channel looks like right after a successful docking…
We are at the Crow's Nest Marina. A good tavern and well the food was just ok, but after the hours on the sea, it was wonderful.
We are heading out tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. and heading up the coast to St. Petersburg, FL. If you haven't been in that town, you are missing life. We love it there
and are looking forward to spending a night, two or three there. Besides that, I get to sail under the Skyway Bridge. How cool.
Then to Clearwater to visit Bob, Kathy, Jerry and Bud. Some great friends that I've known for over 35 years… How time flies. It will be a
good visit and I'm looking forward to meeting Casey a new friend from the area.
As for the charter business, I'm cleaning as I go and making plans for upgrades. That's what happens when you are out there and slipping into "island time."
I'll be back in Fort Myers Beach on or about the 17th of May and at that point, I have charters scheduled and ready to go. You should be here and enjoy some time on the water.
I love what I do. Let's go sailing.
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Just a quick note this morning to let you know that we are off to Venice Florida. Leaving Burnt Store Marina at 0700 and we should be up there at around 1600. Weather is great today and the window is open for the next 6 days at least.
We are planning to spend a couple of days up in the Venice area and then head farther north. All is well and I have to thank Capt. Ray and Capt. Cynde for letting us hold up in their slip in Burnt Store for a couple of days. It's been a nice healing time for us.
Well time to clean the engine strainer, check the oil and running lights and off we go…
To be continued…