Thursday, June 20, 2013

Three Days from Ft. Myers to Venice

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Overall the sailing was good between Ft. Myers and Venice.  I anchored out near Redfish Pass the first night and at Cayo Cosa State Park the second, and tied up to The Crows Nest Marina in Venice.  I was going to anchor out in Venice too, but the anchorage looked very tight and shallow.  The weather is hot with afternoon thundershowers.  The wind has been light so I have had to motor or motor sail most of the way. Here are a few pictures that I took along the way.

Below is my anchorage at Redfish Pass

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My anchorage near Redfish Pass just north of Ft. Myers

Cabbage Key Inn on the GIW
I have read that Jimmy Buffet's "Cheeseburger in Paradise" song was inspired right here at Cabbage Key.

Below is the entry into Pelican Bay.  If you look just right of the sand bar running north and south you can see the narrow channel.  Notice how close it runs along the bar.

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On the trip down south, John and I anchored out from the entrance into Pelican Bay.  I just didn't have the confidence at that point to try the tricky entry into the bay.  Today, I was going to try to get in.  After almost two months negotiating the shallows of the Bahamas, I figured this would be doable.  And it was.  There is really no problem with the entry if you just line up with the sand bar on your starboard side and stay very close to it's shore.  There were 3 or 4 boats in the bay and I pulled up to the first spot not far from the sand bar.  I spent two nights here and had time to hike the Cayo Costa State Park, do a little fishing, and watch the weather roll through.  Below are some pics of the area.

A white ibis on Costa Cayo State Park beach

Cayo Costa State Park beach

Sunsets at Cayo Costa State Park

My anchorage at Cayo Costa State Park

I left out early in the morning for Venice.  The weather was nice and today I decided to take the gulf route for the Venice Inlet.  It was just a short sail away.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cruising the Okeechobee Waterway

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Mary Annie waiting patiently in Ft. Pierce

Below is the Harbortown Marina where I kept S/V Mary Annie for an month

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It's always a little nerve wracking when the boat gets moved around on the lift.

Organizing and loading the boat for the trip home.
Horses grazing along the Okeechobee Waterway

Airborne mullet

One of the "fixer uppers" parked along the Okeechobee Waterway

This fisherman had a fish on each rod.  

A beautiful sports fisher cruising the OW.

Bank fishing on the waterway

As we entered Lake Okeechobee we met some cruisers that had just crossed.  I asked how the lake was and he replied, "BORING".  This proved to be an understatement.  The lake was a play on gray, with no breeze, no color, no fun.  These white pelicans were the only life I saw during the crossing.

Another cruiser anchor out on the waterway.

A boat with character

This is the railroad bridge that causes many cruisers pain.  It is only 49 feet tall and many cruisers have the locals fill barrels of water tied to one side of their boat to heel it over enough to pass under the bridge.

It was very hot on the cruise across Florida's Okeechobee Waterway.  Amy and I did all we could to stay out of the sun.

Making the turn at Clewiston, Florida

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Sunset on our second night on the OW just west of Moore Haven, Florida.

Below is the Legacy Harbor Marina we stayed at in Ft. Myers.  It was nice.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Back to the Mary Annie

I will be headed back to Ft. Pierce Florida tomorrow with Amy to get the boat back in the water for another adventure in sailing.  We will sail around Ft. Pierce for a week and Amy will then fly home.  I will bring the boat back to Lake Pontchartrain to find a home for it for the winter.  Bringing the boat closer to home will allow me to sail and work on it through the winter.  Next February I plan to sail it back around Florida and up the east coast to Maine.  This plan will allow me to get more sailing experience in the Gulf before heading up into the tougher North Atlantic.