|Ft. Myers mooring field|
Here we sit at Ft. Myers Beach on a mooring ball. What's next? Our goal is to get to Marathon in the Florida Keys before Thanksgiving so we can play there for the winter months and then jump to the Bahamas. If we get there much later, we might not get a mooring ball. While anchoring out is fun, it is nice to have some amenities available like showers and laundry. So for us to get to Marathon from here, we have about 150 miles to travel. Remember, we can only hustle along at about five knots (roughly equal to mph) so that's 30 hours. It can be done and we did do 170 miles across the Gulf. Don't really want to do that again.
One possibility is to break the trip down into smaller chunks. Ft. Myers to Marco Island. Then Marco Island to an anchorage in Little Shark River (Everglades). And then a final jump from Little Shark to Marathon. That means we need a good three day window. Right now we don't have that window as we watch and feel a cold front approaching. The winds are gusting in the mid 20’s with higher gusts expected. We could have jumped to Marco Island yesterday and then waited there for the next weather window to move on. But we spent a week there last year with Jim and Joni and we have already explored that area. We would be at anchor there with no shoreside amenities readily available other than a nice dinghy dock right next to a Publix grocery store. We haven't spent much time in Ft. Myers and we would like to explore a bit.
If we stay here, our chances of getting a mooring ball in Marathon get slimmer and slimmer. But we have always said we will travel when the weather is right. If the weather is "doable" it is just as likely to be lousy. Our plan has always been to travel safely and conservatively weatherwise. So we will sit in the Ft. Myers Beach mooring field until probably Wednesday. It will be tough, but somebody's got to do it. After all, there is a fantastic beach within walking distance, nightly musical entertainment, a fun beach town waiting to be explored and hot water showers available.