On the Road (Blue Highway) Again

We left Key West with thoughts of only travelling a half day west, and then anchoring after testing our new auto pilot.  With the wind being what it was, we would have had to motor with the wind on our nose, so we bared off, hoisted the sails, and sailed across Florida Bay to Little Shark River, a long haul for us.  It was a beautiful day, getting hot here now, the wind was wonderful, Otto worked great, but it took us longer than we hoped, and we arrived well after dark.  There were already two boats in the small anchorage, with no room between them, so we inched our way to the side, and touched ground.  It was low low tide when we arrived, and well after dark, so we decided to move early in the morning, when the water will be five feet higher.  All night I was thinking about having to kedge off, and swinging into shallower water when the tide did start coming up, so I didn’t get a comfortable night’s sleep, although I should have.  It was a quiet, peaceful night, and at first light in the morning, we were in 9 feet of water as the tide tables had predicted, and we left easily.

We sailed to Indian Pass, again the Gulf is just like I remember it the first time, coming down, 10 – 15 knot winds from the south, two foot waves, aqua water, and dolphins playing beside the boat.  Even MB was impressed!  We decided to go a few miles past the main anchorage, and picked a spot in West Pass.  We were all alone, not a boat, or a light in sight.  It was incredible!  We haven’t been alone like this since Canada, and it was fabulous.

Our third day was planned to be an easy one, but the heat was rising so fast, that we decided to stay on the water where it would stay a little cooler than onshore, so we went all the way to Fort Myers.  Since we arrived earlier than expected, and we were close to St. Petersburg, we rented a car, and drove to visit Ralph & Peg (MB’s father) for the weekend, and had the special treat that her uncle Lionel was down for a visit.  What a great weekend that was!
We are now back on the boat in Fort Myers, provisioned today, and are ready to leave tomorrow.  It feels good to be underway and moving, and heading oh so closer to home.

Pictures of the skipper trying to focus my spyglass, I can focus it now, but it is hard to find and stay on a subject on the water.  There is a photo of the skipper taking the dingy to shore, sunset on the Gulf while we are still hours from shore,  skipper under full sail, enjoying the sun, and of a replica of a Pirate Ship, called “Pieces of Eight” in Fort Myers Beach.  They head out daily; all dressed as Pirates, shoot off their cannons while re-entering port, and sing and have a lot of fun.

Coming into Fort Myers Beach is a lot like coming into Victoria by the Sea on PEI, there is a sand bar you can almost reach out and touch.  I try to stay away from where “Birds are walking” when I can.

One more quick story, while sailing from Little Shark River to West Pass, a bird kind of adopted us, and stood on our bow rail, then flew circles around the boat, then landed on deck, then flew around the boat and almost touched us several times.  It hung around for about an hour, then left.  It was really cool.  Hope that means good luck.

While in St. Pete, I went yard sailing with Ralph and Lionel, and bought MB a breadmaker!  I thought it would be great for her to make fresh bread on the boat, no more shopping for buns.  MB says I’m not allowed to go shopping alone anymore.

We hope the snow is leaving your part of the country, and we will see everyone soon.  Have a great spring everyone.

Joe & Mary Beth Amelia
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”

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