Thursday, June 22, 2017

Secure in Fishermen's Village Marina

Mike, Brenda, Don and Gail

Wrinkles and Island Tyme arrived safely in Punta Gorda after a fantastic and rewarding journey together. The exclusive "My Little Pig Yacht Club" members posed for the above photo to commemorate the end of the trip. Island Tyme is now tied up in her slip behind her owner's condo while Wrinkles is tucked away in a slip at Fishermen's Village Marina.

Wrinkles

Don and Gail will be checking on Wrinkles as Mike and Brenda travel to Wisconsin for their youngest son's wedding. It makes it much easier to leave Wrinkles knowing she will be lovingly looked after.

We will be posting our thoughts on the cruise including; highlights, favorite stops, provisioning, boat equipment, budgeting, phone service and more in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Coming Full Circle

Wrinkles in her slip

On our last night in Pelican Bay we were greeted with the sight of "Scout" motoring in and dropping their anchor next door to us. We met Beth and Stan in Boot Key Harbor last winter. We truly enjoyed their company and were excited to have run into them again. After securing their catamaran they dinghied over for sundowners and getting caught up on each other's travels. You meet the nicest people out there cruising.

"Scout"

 

Leaving Pelican Bay

Mike blew the conch and Don played Amazing Grace as the sun set on our last night of this trip. It was touching as always, but a bit (no, a lot) sad. We have been sailing side by side with Don and Gail now for 3 months and it has made our trip so much more pleasurable. They have become some of our dearest friends since we met them in February of 2016. We can't picture our Bahamas trip without them and their great senses of humor. Thank you two for helping us create so many fantastic memories.

As we awoke, a nice 7 knot breeze was blowing in our rigging. Oh boy, we get to sail today. The weather had finally cleared with blue skies and puffy white clouds. Sweet! Mike popped his head outside and the companionway to see the real live sunshine. But wait he thought, the wind is from the northeast. Guess what direction we needed to sail today. That's right, directly into the w

ind again. Mike and Don found this new wind direction funny enough that they started working on some new lyrics for a sailing song. They are going to call it "Yanmar Winds". Stay tuned, we'll post the silly ditty when we finish it up.

We saw this a lot on this trip

We motored across Charlotte Harbor toward our slip in Fishermen's Village. Eventually Island Tyme veered east toward their slip behind their condo. It was difficult to see that boat going in a different direction than Wrinkles. Every trip has to come to a close sooner or later. Even if we never sail with Don and Gail again we will always be keeping in contact with them. Yes Tina, mom was crying.

We approached Fishermen's Village knowing the boat traffic was going to be a zoo. Saturday is National Marina Day which means free slips for about 30 boats for the weekend. We saw a line of 5 boats heading into the channel leading to the marina. The captain's were all hailing the dockmaster for their slip numbers and asking for help catching their lines. The dockmaster tried his best to keep the boats organized, but two more boats came flying in and butted into the line and really messed things up. All of the captains were trying to talk on their radios at the same time which just added to the confusion.We waited for a break in the conversations and hailed the dockmaster to tell him that were would just hang out away from the madness and that he could call us when he was ready for us.

Eventually everyone got into their slips and then we were told to motor in. We slowly made our way in and executed a perfect docking without any drama. Hard to believe it went so smoothly with so many people watching from their boats and on the docks. Wrinkles had come full circle on her trip. We left Fishermen's Village nearly nine months ago sailing the Florida Keys, Bahamas and then back through the Keys before returning up the west coast of Florida to Punta Gorda. Well done Wrinkles. You performed amazingly well and kept us safe and comfortable throughout our travels.

 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sanibel to Charlotte Harbor

Near Captiva Pass

When we awoke at our Ding Darling anchorage the weather looked ominous. Dark ugly skies just as forecasted. The wind was relatively light and the radar images showed most of the ugly stuff north and south of our course, so we decided to move to Pelican Bay in Charlotte Harbor. As Mike was raising the anchor the Coast Guard issued a small craft warning for nearly the entire western coast of Florida. Brenda wanted to immediately cancel our move today, but after checking the radar one more time she hesitantly agreed to go.

Oh boy!

We watched the radar closely and kept tabs on where we could safely anchor along the way should a storm cell come directly toward us. We motorsailed the 18 miles in 3.5 hours never getting more than some light rain. Those big ugly black clouds tracked almost parallel to our course the entire way. We entered Pelican Bay (one of our favorite anchorages) and set the anchor in 7 feet of water. Half an hour later the skies opened up and dumped water on us. Good timing!

Pelican Bay

Brenda was relieved to be safely anchored and a bit proud of herself for "putting on her big girl panties" today. Mike was pretty proud of her as well. We used our judgement and felt the sail would be safe and result in a more secure anchorage to wait out what looked to be a three day thunderstorm roaring across the Gulf Of Mexico.

As soon as the weather breaks we will finish the last leg of this trip. We have four hours of sailing to get Wrinkles into her slip at Fishermen's Village in Punta Gorda. It was time to get a good book out and listen to the storm's pass over us.