Summertime, Sailing & Lovin’ Life

Panacea taking a break on the hook
Panacea taking a break on the hook.

You can click on the following photos to enlarge them.

Yep. That’s right, I be bloggin’… It’s something that takes me a bit to get started, but once I put the fingers to the keys, It just pours out and I get my butt in a sling for saying stuff that I shouldn’t or maybe I’ll just leave it alone this time and keep the emails under control. Yea right.

Pat in her amazing office.
Pat in her amazing office.

So what’s going on you ask? I’m glad you asked that question. I’m sitting here about 3 minutes from the marina where Panacea sits quietly in her slip waiting to go sailing tomorrow. The air is not working here, so it’s just over 80 degrees inside and climbing. I think someone will be out in a bit, but it is SW Florida. I forgot to ask which Wednesday evening they would come by. The fans are doing great and the sun is a couple of hours from setting, so all is well.

I stole a Red Stripe from someone that put ’em in the fridge and a little rum too was knocked down and I’m settling in for a good evening.

By the way, we did take a personal trip to Key West on Panacea a couple of weeks ago. We had a ball and sometimes I look at the weather too closely. I looked for a few days before we left for the perfect weather window and I found it. We were going to leave on Sunday, but the best travel day was on Monday the 5th. It was a good window for

Dante's Tiki Bar & Pool
Dante’s Tiki Bar & Pool

the 24 hour sail down. Clear skies a half moon, 10 to 15 mph of wind from the east and 2 to 4 foot seas. Nice. Nothing on the nose.

My only concern was, as I was looking at the “future” cast, I didn’t see a good window to head east from Key west to Bahia Honda or Marathon. I looked and looked at different sites just trying to find one I liked. Nope. I didn’t see one. But everyone wanted to go and get into some clean water and good sailing, so I reluctantly said, “Let’s just go and we’ll figure it out later.” Not my best move.

It was a GREAT sail down. Pulled into the Galleon Marina on Tuesday around 2:00 p.m. and took a quick nap and off to town. We were settling in for the next 3 days to do what we do in Key West. Then it came time to pull out and head east, on the Atlantic side in Hawk Channel. Nope. 25+ knots of wind and 5 to 7 foot seas on our nose. So

Phil Fixing Stuff - Alternator
Phil Fixing Stuff – Alternator

off to the dock master to grab another day in the marina. This pattern happened for the next 5 days.

We knew we were going to have to get jobs or move to the anchorage that was rocking the boats 45 degrees to 45 degrees, 24/7. I found a window to head north instead. 32 hours of 9 to 12 knots of wind with 1.6 to 2 food seas. Yea right.

Now I have to say we were traveling with another boat named Satori which had Nick and Megan aboard. This was they’re madden voyage. 3 footers in the channel not so bad. 15 miles north, we settled into 3 to 5’s and 4 to 6’s from the east as well as a SE breeze of 15ish knots. All was well for our waypoint at the SC marker just outside of Matanzas Pass in Fort Myers Beach.

Left to Right: Pat, John & Phil - The Crew!
Left to Right: Pat, John & Phil – The Crew!

Then around 12:30 we were in 7 to 10’s and being battered. Time to change the waypoint to Marco Island just a mere 20 miles to our east. After being tossed around for 3 to 4 hours, we pulled into a semi dark channel with 3 storms coming in from different directions. Southwest, east and north west.

We pulled into the Compass Rose Marina a bit after 4:00 a.m. and I went to bed as the rest of the crew had a beer and decompressed.

We got up 5 hours later and headed north and arrived at Salty Sam’s Marina in Fort Myers Beach around 6:00 p.m. It was a beautiful day of sailing from Marco Island except for the squall 4 miles out. It was a good fresh water wash and all was well.

Nick and Megan are now sailors. They did great and Satori took very good care of them too. She’s a 44 foot Morgan/Catalina. A fast well appointed vessel. I’m glad to have them a friends/family. I love ’em both.

Smallest Bar in the World - Key West
Smallest Bar in the World – Key West

That’s the crib notes on the Key West trip. As always there is so much more to tell, but I’m not going to share everything. It’s Key West you know and we always come away with magic and secrets. As those Pirates say, “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies…”

That’s right, Panacea is in GREAT shape. She can take more than I can and she proved it again. I believe in her and I don’t think I need to go through those tests anymore. She’s the safest boat I’ve ever sailed. She’s 17 tons of boat. Cuts through the best seas and I just have this feeling that the tests will continue to be tossed at us now and then. It’s the way of the sea and of boats.

It was a good vacation. We loved, learned and enjoyed. We all will never forget the power of the sea and we will always appreciate Panacea as she lives up to her name. “The Elixir that fixes

Poor Megan. It's Irish Kevin's
Poor Megan. It’s Irish Kevin’s

everything. The cure for all ills.”

So we are still sailing in Fort Myers Beach. You can book a charter aboard Panacea and see for yourself just what a comfortable vessel she is. Sailing on the Gulf of Mexico is always a treat. Don’t pass up coming aboard and sharing a sail with your friends and/or family.

Next time you visit here, I’ll be talking about the care and feeding of the vessel Panacea and those that keep her in the amazing shape she’s in. Join me here in the near future. Check back often and REMEMBER, this is an interactive blog. Make comments. Ask questions. I’m here for you.

Sail on sailors, sail on…

See you on the dock…

Capt. Paul
s/v Panacea
888-582-9046 Info. and Reservations

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