Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Punta Gorda to Key West

We left Punta Gorda on January 24th and arrived in Key West February 2nd.
Suffice it to say we took our time doing our first 200 or so mile sail.  A distance that could have been driven in a little over 5 hours or sailed in a full day by someone that isn't afraid to sail after dark.  We're not there yet.

We experienced rain, fog, thunder, and lightening.  Large waves and heavy wind that were scary, I won't lie.  We were forced to move a couple of times from anchorages that became exposed to wind and waves (see #3).  We've gotten really good at handling the anchor and we're still married.

We learned a lot on the way:
1. This is hard
2. This isn't easy
3. You can't trust any of the weather forecasts
4. The paper charts and even the electronic ones aren't trustworthy either
5. There's a lot of random stuff randomly floating about (or just under the surface)
6. Florida waters, at least on the West coast, are SHALLOW
7. Wings is very forgiving and we're so glad she only drafts 3.5 feet...

We are now safely docked in Stock Island Marina, taking a break, and enjoying our time in Key West.  We'll be doing boat maintenance, provisioning, and deciding where to go next.

Please enjoy some photos from the cruise!

Angie at the helm with first mate KP

We love our candy cane sail!

Our dinghy is not up to the task...

If I'd known about all the math I might not have done this.  The other fun math is estimating our diesel fuel consumption with our goofy fuel gauge.  We're getting pretty good at using the hour gauge like an odometer but it's not a perfect science.

Kipper napping underway.
He actually likes to sail and prefers it over running the engine.

We had some great days!

But some grey ones too.

We hunkered down in the Everglades for a couple of days waiting out some bad weather.

But a little rain doesn't keep us out of the dinghy!

It really doesn't matter if it rains because our dinghy is always a wet ride...

Anchored at Shark River.  Our first sunset, at anchor, without any land in the way.
Too cloudy for a green flash but we'll have plenty more chances.

We must have passed a thousand of these crab trap buoys, no joke, there was a mine field of these things almost everywhere we went.  We got pretty good at adjusting our course to avoid them...

But we didn't miss them all!
This one got wrapped up in our prop and we had another one get caught in the rudder when we were under sail.
Good times

Anchored at Turkey Key.  This was a good one.  Well protected with a beach nearby for KP.

The underpass at 7 Mile Bridge.  We made it!

More to come...

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