What's this? I took a breath? It's interesting how life pushes me along and then all of a sudden when I can't do any more and need 30 hour days and I can't get anything done… Then it happens. Almost all of the time. Spirit takes over and wham… I get a cold. I brake something or in this case, my back goes out and I'm forced to sit, stretch and feel grateful that I can move from the bed to the living room and pull my own shorts on. It's the little things in life…
So I get time now to catch up the blog and say "Thank You" to the wonderful people that fill my life. To start it off, John & Judi…
In March, I was getting ready, putting my calendar together and had a schedule in place for a sail with a couple from MN. Five days to Key West. One of my favorite trips… Then a whirl wind of a woman called me from Canada. Judi and John have sailed with me in the past, and she saw that I had some time open on the Availability Calendar and she wanted to do 8 days to the Florida Keys.
I enjoy these guys, they sail well and tell great stories. John is a kick and well Judi is Judi. A bubbly, crazy (in a good sense), lady that smiles, laughs and enjoys life.
It all worked out, but the weather window cut out Marathon and we headed back to Fort Myers Beach a day early.
On the way down from Fort Myers Beach to Key West, sometime during the night the weather radar showed a squall moving west and was crossing our path a few miles ahead. It's good to be able to see the direction and speed of storms. That's a little luxury that I think I can afford. At night all I can see with the naked eye is darkness and lightening. So to be able to see the strength, direction and speed is a wonderful tool.
All I did was take some evasive action. I turned west from our southerly heading for about 3 miles and dropped my speed to about 3 knots. Kind of holding our position and let it pass in front of us.
Once gone, back to 181 degrees and on to Key West.
Once in Key West, there is so much to see. John & Judi took a walk about as Alex and I did some boat cleaning, a walk to West Marine for some parts, a couple of repairs and all was well. We enjoyed the sunset at Mallory Square and a rowdy pub called Irish Kevin's. Great food, walks and everything Key West has to offer.
When we woke up, and headed to the bridge for our coffee, they had put up a "Happy Anniversary" sign and we celebrated the day with good friends.
Alex kept us on track and we made it to the Galleon Marina on schedule.
You can see that out there in the Gulf of Mexico, off shore, the water is that amazing blue. It's hard to capture on camera, but you can get a taste of it. Just a taste.
Did I mention the best place in town for breakfast. Blue Heaven. Where else can you get Lobster Benedict. Good Bloody Mary's and a 90 minute wait. Well worth it. Don't pass it up the next time you are there.
Once we left Key West, we headed out to the Atlantic and took a course of east. Up the keys we went and ended up at Bahia Honda State Park for the night. It's a good anchorage. Holding is good and it's an interesting place. It's between two bridges, the old train bridge and the new Hwy 1 bridge. 9 feet of water and blue, clear water. I could spend a week there, no problem.
The weather gave us a nice window the next day to head north, so north we went. We passed through the 7 mile bridge and weaved around the shoals to Bullard Rock and then headed north for the 22 hour passage to Fort Myers Beach.
It's a good sail and does the job that she was made for. The cruising strap makes it so we can use it without a pole and get some good angle with the wind.
When we dropped the sail, I got a picture of John and Judi and then John's shoulder popped out. Ouch! With luck, it went right back in and we watched him close as we headed back to Fort Myers Beach. He's an amazing guy and I'm in hopes that it doesn't happen again.
The only other casualty on the trip was Judi cut her thumb while drying dishes. But she cleaned up well and I didn't put in a stitch. Lucky for her, and me too.
When we got back the plan was to spend the night in the marina and then sail the next day, but as boats have it we had some mechanical issues that needed to be taken care of and so everyone got to meet Diesel Dan.
So one day short on a passage like this is pretty good in my book. The weather was great, the company was tremendous and what came as clients a few years ago returned as friends and left as family. All I can say is Thank You John for all your great stories, the laughs and insights and taking my blinders off and reminding me that diesels run without spark plugs and electricity. Duh! After that we made it just fine.
And Judi. You're quick wit, laughter and comments always change my life. I look at things differently after spending time with you and you help me make better decisions with your wisdom. Between the two of you, my life is enhanced.
So come sail again or if you just want to come and spend some time with us, you're always welcome. All the dolphins miss you guys already and Pat and Katie really enjoyed you company too.
I'll keep working on the ukulele and I'll have more than 3 songs next time.
I'm always ready to take your call and discuss "your" custom sail too.
** You can click on any photo to enlarge it in a new window.
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