Two If By Sea

22 April 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
20 April 2017 | Pelican Bay
13 April 2017 | Charlotte Harbor, Florida
08 April 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
05 April 2017 | Charlotte Harbor
03 April 2017 | Cape Haze
02 April 2017 | Cape Haze
01 April 2017 | Cape Haze
30 March 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
09 March 2017 | Cape Haze
07 March 2017
06 March 2017 | Cape Haze
04 March 2017
01 March 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
26 February 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
23 February 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
28 April 2016 | Pelican Bay
25 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage
24 April 2016 | Cape Haze Anchorage

ANOTHER CHANGE OF PLANS

22 April 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
For us, historically, April is the premier month for cruising in Florida. For example, last year we had every dinner in our cockpit. We had no rain and wind was always doable and, except for a couple of days in St. Pete, it did not change any of our plans.
This month has been totally different as to the wind. After leaving April 1 for the month, we returned four days later, cancelled our planned visits to Sarasota and St. Pete, and returned to the marina. There, the wind continued to blow for more than a week. With a good forecast, we headed out to Pelican Bay, Redfish Pass and the Gulf. Leaving the marina, the predicted wind failed to develop. Yesterday morning, we were facing a strong headwind for the three-hour trip to the Pass. Then the afternoon winds were to drop to five knots in the Gulf. We decided to forego that experience and planned just to head back to the marina. During the night before, the wind and rain, yes, rain, came on to us. Expecting the wind to become constant yesterday, we hoped to sail home. Once out of the anchorage, we pulled out the headsail in 15 knots of wind. Five minutes later, the wind dropped to five knots. In came the sail. For the next two hours, the wind would go back and forth from five knots to over 20. Not worth trying to sail in those conditions.
We have accepted the fact that there will be no extended cruising this year. We will just have to take advantage of the good days whenever we can.

ON THE WATER AGAIN

20 April 2017 | Pelican Bay
(Sunset At Pelican Bay)

We are back out on the water. The winds, once again, have abated and we thought we would take advantage of it. We left the slip around noon and had planned to sail down the harbor in the predicted 10-15 knot southeasterly breeze to the anchorage at Useppa Island. Well, the wind was as predicted for maybe ten minutes, or so it seemed. Actually, it was closer to 5 to 10, which isn't enough to get anywhere within a reasonable timeframe. Then the sea breeze kicked in and the direction changed to westerly. So, we motored. Instead of Useppa, we headed into Pelican Bay to anchor and avoid the chop from passing boats on the ICW. There are 12 boats in the back basin and maybe 20 out front. We will be here for the night and tomorrow morning we will go south and then pass through Redfish Pass to spend some time in the Gulf. We will work our way north and come back in at Boca Grande, eventually returning to Pelican for the night. If all goes as planned!

STILL AT BURNT STORE

13 April 2017 | Charlotte Harbor, Florida
(Two If By Sail finally under sail)

After boating since 2002, the one thing we have learned is to be flexible and not depend on a schedule. This was reinforced again this past week. We had planned to head out this past Sunday or Monday after the winds subsided. Well, the winds did finally abate last weekend, so Monday was the day. Unfortunately, one of us came down and went down, with a virus. Two days later, we were again looking at heading out to meet up with our friends at Pelican anchorage. Unfortunately, at least 40 to 50 boats were planning the same trip for Easter weekend. Our friends decided to keep on moving north to Cape Haze. Because we had just been there, we decided to stay put, do some day SAILING, and wait until next week to head back out. We will try to join our friends when they come back south. This has been a different spring.
Did I mention day sailing? We had a great afternoon sail today with winds averaging 12 to 15 knots. In a harbor over 20 miles in length, there may have been three other sailboats out there. There is a reason Charlotte Harbor is considered one of the best sailing venues in the United States.
Our ever-changing plans now include a trip to go out Redfish Pass next week, anchoring the night before at Useppa Island and then back in to Pelican. Also, Stump Pass is currently being dredged and due to reopen at the end of April. That would be another great three to four day trip.
As I have said, you must remain flexible when boating.

When Will It Ever Stop

08 April 2017 | Burnt Store Marina
That has been the common question at Burnt Store. We have been back at our slip for five days and the wind continues to blow, at times, near 20 knots, with higher gusts. It does look like the end is in sight. The forecast has the wind backing off tomorrow.

Returning has not been all that bad. Whenever we are out overnight, we monitor the power consumption of our refrigerator system. In the past, the refrigerator would draw 2.3 amps per hour, or less. Last week, it exceeded 2.6 amps per hour. This may not seem much but over 24 hours and several days, it adds up. So, when we got back, we contacted our refrigeration technician. He checked our system and reported all was in order. He concluded that the system was 18 years old and may not run as efficiently as before. This will give us a project for the summer—reinsulate the system.

Assuming the forecast is accurate, we will head out again tomorrow or Monday. We will probably head for the Pelican anchorage and hope to meet up with friends coming up from Fort Myers Beach. After that, we will probably head south, taking advantage of other anchorages. It will be good to get back on the water.

Flexibility

05 April 2017 | Charlotte Harbor
(Heading South On The ICW)

As any boater will admit, flexibility is the key to a successful outing. Once again, we put it to the test. The long-range weather forecast has been problematic. We thought we could work around two fronts by spending a few days at Cape Haze. It worked for the first front. Not so with the second front that stalled out. The result was persistent winds of 20+ mph, with gusts over 30 predicted. Early this morning, we discussed our options. First, we could stay at Cape Haze for at least four days before heading north. A second option was to plow our way north and sit on a mooring ball with high winds facing us for three days. The third option was to return to Burnt Store for a few days and then decide where to go. We elected to go back to the marina. The ride back was interesting with winds of 20 to 25 mph and 3’ to 4’ swells on our beam. The boat handled it well and averaged over 6 knots on an incoming tide. After the weather clears, we will head back out. Destination unknown.

Windy Day

03 April 2017 | Cape Haze
It's been another day in paradise. Well, almost. The wind has been blowing 20+ most of the day. The surf on the beach was impressive with the wind from the southwest. We still managed another 200 sharks' teeth. This also confirms that this anchorage is protected in ALL directions. There is only light chop in here.
Don Pedro Island is a barrier island of mostly sand. The desert nature supports various plant growth, including this flowering cactus. What an area we live near and can visit throughout the year.
We head north tomorrow morning for the seven-hour run to Sarasota. We plan to anchor at Otter Key for the night and move over to the mooring ball at Marina Jack's. The wind prediction for Thursday/Friday is gusts of 30. No time to be on anchor.
Vessel Name: Two If By Sea
Vessel Make/Model: 1998 Catalina 36 Mk II
Hailing Port: Punta Gorda, Florida
Crew: Patty and David Power
About:
Patty and David moved to Palmetto, Florida from Colorado in 2002. [...]
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Two If By Sea's Photos -

Who: Patty and David Power
Port: Punta Gorda, Florida