Windy Downwind sail
29 November 2011 | Marco Island, Florida
Left Ft. Myers Beach at 8:25 this morning with 35 miles to sail to get to Marco Island. Put the mainsail out on the way out of the harbor, then put out the whole jib once out. Wind off the starboard quarter. We had somewhat protected water the first five miles, seas weren't bad and the wind had us moving just over 5 kts. Charlie went below to fix breakfast. The wind picked up once we cleared the shallows and wind break of Sanibel Island. We shortened the jib about half and still made 6 to 7 kts. Once we hit 8.5 kts and several times got up to 8.1 kts. The seas also increased in size. Weather on the radio said they were 6 to 8 feet. A bit rolly, but not an awful ride. We did loose a few things onto the floor of the cabin that we had neglected to secure. We made it to the anchorage at Marco Island about 2:30. Nice and calm in here, but we can still feel the wind that blows over the mangroves. We measured the wind speed as we came in and it read steady 18 to 20 kts., with gusts almost to 30 kts. Glad we were going with the wind, it didn't seem that bad out in the Gulf. Charlie readjusted a pully on the roller furling line so the line would wind up on the drum better. The microwave wouldn't work to warm his lunch today, so he tested the power to it. Turned out the microwave is bad. Just installed it a month or so ago, but it was a used one. We'll just buy a new one in Marathon. Its little and shouldn't cost but about $40.00. The front head is still leaking where we put the new O ring yesterday. Charlie will try to tighten it down again to see if it will seal. Otherwise, a quiet, leisurely afternoon. Reading and playing games on the computer.
The anchorage is really a wide spot in the intercoastal between Naples and Marco Island. We came up the inside about a mile. Mangroves and shallow water all around us. A few small fishing boats came by before dark, but we are all alone out here. We can see the highrises of Marco Island. Lots of birds, pelicans, ospreys, buzzards, commarants (salt water ducks), and sea gulls. Weather a bit chilly, about 70 degrees, but with the brisk wind it feels cooler. Clear and sunny though. We have the boat closed up this evening because it is suppose to get down to 50 degrees tonight. Long sail tomorrow to the Little Shark River.