|Brenda bundled up and happy.|
Although we had reserved our mooring ball at Ft. Myer's Beach through Thursday we liked the weather forecast too much to stay. Early Tuesday morning we left the mooring ball in our wake and headed out onto the Gulf of Mexico. We were rewarded with great sailing conditions which seem to be such a rarity in cruising. As soon as we had the sails up Wrinkles found the wind and plowed ahead. The winds were 11-15 knots just aft of our beam. The waves were 1-2 ft coming from the same direction as the wind.
|Leaving Ft. Myer's Beach|
After a couple of hours the wind started getting pretty gusty which required a single reef in the main sail. Perfect, we were still clipping along at 6-6.7 knots which is really cruising for Wrinkles. (Yes Phil we hear you laughing, but 7 mph can be fun!) We bundled up in the brisk Florida weather and truly enjoyed a nice long sail on one tack. Around 1:30 pm the wind dropped down to almost nothing. Oh well, back to motoring for an hour and a half to our anchorage for the night.
We hoped to anchor in Smokehouse Bay in Marco Island. We had spent several days with Jim and Joni in a condo overlooking this peaceful anchorage last winter and had looked forward to dropping our own anchor there. The charts make the longish channel route look shallow and poorly marked. Instead we found plenty of water on the rising tide and were happy to find a well marked channel as well.
Once our anchor was firmly set we dropped The Ernie T and dinghied over to the Winn-Dixie dock to get a few fresh groceries. As we walked the aisles in the store our noses were attracted to the hot rotisserie chicken which found its way into our cart for supper. Brenda cooked some potatoes up to go with the chicken and we dined in the cockpit as the sun set on a fulfilling day.