Hey sorry I'm not getting blog updates up as fast as I usually do. It seems like I jump up to the Facebook Fan Site for FantaSea Sailing and put up short updates on the run. It's quick, easy and the way my schedule is, that's where my time is at.
But here I can take my time. Just like going for a sail. I can sit back sip a coldie and just lay my thoughts out one at a time. Then add a photo or two and get connected with the readers of this thing.
There seems to be a process when I buy anything that seems to most people to be a machine, like a boat, car, bike ect., that it takes some time for our energies to mix. Sure it sounds a bit crazy, but consider the source.
I'm sure when you've bought something from someone else, you have to fix this and that and then new things go wrong and you fix them too and then there comes that day when it all falls into place. Well that's what's going on with me and Panacea. She misses John. I'm sure she misses her old life and the carefree style she has had bouncing around the world. Can't blame her. Sounds good to me too.
Now that we have connected, things have changed and she is fighting back a bit, but in the last week or so I've noticed that she has a smile on her face… Well a smirk more than anything. I think she is liking the attention and the new stuff that is making her look and feel better than she has in years. She's being touched in all those special places and cleaned and painted, oiled and varnished. Her electrical has been updated and her plumbing is being attended to. Her rigging has been updated and changed. Her engine is being rubbed and scrubbed inside and out and everything is being looked at and fixed, replaced and or eliminated. In fact we took, it seemed like thousands of pounds off her from every nook and cranny, and she gained 2 to 3 inches of waterline.
She has a new 48.5 CQR anchor and all of her chain and roads have been cleaned, reattached, mounted and marked. She's been buffed, waxed and upgraded. Yep, she's getting used to the attention and as her running rigging is being replaced, a piece at a time, she's starting to smile. Sure the smirk is still there, but she's a vessel that has a bit of an attitude and I like that in a woman.
The first two charters were great. We all had a great adventure and I'm looking forward to sailing with you too. Sailing in Fort Myers Beach is wonderful. Out there on the Gulf of Mexico or trip up the Intracoastal Waterway is a kick no matter what time of year it is.
The first charter was a nice three day adventure. We started a bit late since it was a wedding couple and they took their time showing up to the boat. But once there, we headed out and set 3 sails and sailed out of
Matanzas Pass toward Sanibel Island Lighthouse. Then over through the Causeway Bridge. Once through the bridge, we headed up to marker #13 and dropped the hook just outside the channel for the night. Had sunset and then faded off for the night.
The next day, we motor sailed north to Usepa Island, just across from Cabbage Key. Once there we dropped the dinghy and put the new motor on and warmed it up. As it warmed up, the knot came of the boat and she started floating away from Panacea.
The wind was from the west so off she went. Alex my first mate just stood there for about 7 seconds. The wheels were turning, but no options. He dove in and swam as hard as he could to catch up. No luck. It was just "that far" ahead of him all the time. It was heading to the mangroves 150 yards away. He switched to a back stroke and then when he was hitting the "I'm Shot" point decided to tread water, when he brought his feet down, he was in chest deep water. Good thing. He walked the rest of the way and brought her home. Then the wedding party wanted to dinghy in to Cabbage Key. In the dingy they went. Hit a sand bar and Alex walked them off and got them there for a great time on the island. I love Cabbage Key. It's a great place to explore.
The motor went down and Alex got a tow back to Panacea and then went back for the wedding party. Once everyone was onboard, we had a great happy hour and dinner. Just another great day on the water with stories to tell.
The next morning we were up early and headed north again to the Boca Grande Pass. We jumped outside and then headed south for the 8 hour run to Fort Myers Beach.
It was a great trip with wonderful people from MN.
Once we were back in port we cleaned, restocked and got ready for the next couple from Texas that were showing up at 7:30 a.m. in the morning.
The second charter started out with rain. I was up at 5:00 a.m. checking the radar and it was heading our way from the west and so I waited until 6:30 and called the charter and offered to put them back a day if they wanted. They didn't have the flexibility, so off we went in light rain.
It broke about 3 hours into the trip up the coast, in the Gulf of Mexico.
The breeze started to freshen up and we put up some laundry and started motor sailing. When the wind sustained over 7 knots, we cut the engine and the clouds broke. The wind picked up to 12 and away we went and sailed up to marker #6 in the Boca Grande Pass.
Once we made the turn east we sailed into the mouth of Charlotte Harbor and then sailed south down the Intracoastal Waterway and dropped the hook off of Usepa Island once again.
We played for the rest of the daylight hours with wine and beer for the clients and we really enjoyed our time together. As dinner time came up, I put together a Fish Varacruz and we enjoyed the evening.
The next morning was a lazy time of coffee, eggs bagels and fresh fruit. I love mornings on Panacea. About 10:00 a.m. we hoisted anchor and headed south. The wind was light from our stern and so we took the 5 hour motorboat ride down the Intracoastal Waterway.
Once through the Sanibel Causeway, we set sail as the wind had moved up to a nice 15 to 20 knots. We put up the main and 60% of the genoa and we sailed for the next 2 to 3 hours before we positioned ourselves to the mouth of Matanzas Pass. We dropped sails and motored into our slip at Salty Sam's Marina.
Evan is getting a boat. I'm looking forward to him sending me a picture and we'll be able sail with them in Texas on our next pass through. At least that's the story that I'm putting out and I wish him best of luck on his purchase. Call me if you need any help Evan…
So we are up and running again. The Boat & Breakfast Experience is getting some interest and I think it's going to be one of our most popular packages. A day sail, a night on the boat, at the marina, dinner out and breakfast in the morning. All for a great price that can't be beat.
We are introducing this package to you now for an introductory price of $300.00 for 2 people. WOW! Did I just say that? Yep. I did. $300.00 double occupancy.
So CALL NOW for information and reservations. This is the way to experience sailing and sleeping on a boat. 888-582-9046. OR drop me a a direct email.
Sailing in Fort Myers Beach Florida… It's got a nice ring to it. Come share some time with us on the water and sail the Gulf of Mexico.
I would also like to personally thank everyone out there that has made this transition from Star of Orion to Panacea a success. Without your time, labor, words of encouragement, insights, shoulders to cry on, extra strength when there was no more left, shots of Rum when we just needed to step back and get re-focused, comfort, understanding, and most of all the Love for the project.
I also need to thank my wonderful wife Pat as she stood by and watched an 'ol sailor continue to fulfill a dream of sharing the sea with everyone he meets. Pat, you are and will continue to be my rock and for that I'm eternally grateful and thankful every moment of every day.
So let's all celebrate life with the people we know and when you come to go sailing in Fort Myers Beach Florida, call or email me. I'm right at the end of the phone and will answer all your questions about the sailing possibilities here. This is the season to get out of the cold and spend some time on the water.
I'll see you on the dock…
"Sailing the Sun Coast of Florida to the Keys"
623-203-2698 Nationwide Direct
888-582-9046 Toll Free
Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
N.A.C.O. National Association of Charterboat Operators