30 November 2011 | Little Shark River, Everglades, Florida
We weighed anchor and left Marco Island at 6:30 this morning. And the wind was..... WHAT....from the east at about 5 kts.....who predicted that? In fact, the winds died during the night, making for a restful nights sleep, but won't help much sailing to the Little Shark which is southeast. Saw a beautiful sunrise over Marco Island's high rises. I don't see the sunrise unless we are on the boat. Never up that early. We motorsailed the whole 55 miles. Emphasize the motoring. The mainsail was up all day, the jib in and out as the wind teased us into thinking we might have enough wind in the right direction to fill it. We were able to maintain over 5 kts. of speed and arrived at 4:30 in the afternoon.
A sailboat followed us out of the Big Marco Pass. We thought we had heard them call another boat, Hooligan, earlier and recognized the name of their boat, Kokomo. Its not a common name, but we have run across a couple. After about an hour, they hailed us on the VHF. Turns out they are Roland and Leta which we met at Long Island in the Bahamas about 5 or 6 years ago. Leta actually gave me a lesson on how to weave a basket out of palm fronds when we last saw them. They are also headed to the Bahamas. We will sail together to Marathon tomorrow.
The Little Shark River isn't so little. We could actually take our boat a mile or so up river if we wanted. It is probably about 100 yards across and plenty deep. Normally everyone anchors just inside the mouth of the river where there is a good wide spot to get out of the main channel. There are 4 boats here tonight, us, Kokomo, a catamaran and a power boat of some kind. No solid ground to get off the boat on, the river runs through a Mangrove forest which grows in shallow salt water. Some of the Mangroves are 40-50 feet tall, though the last few hurricanes have taken their toll. Lots of the trees closest to open water are bare trunks. The high winds also pruned the higher trees. The Little Shark is an interesting place if you have time to stay and explore. This time we will just be staying the night.
Our predicted, but elusive northwest winds have come up within the last hour. Nice to be in a protected anchorage for the night and hopes are high they will continue tomorrow. The cool weather and the wind must be keeping the mosquitos at home. Normally they will ravage any bare skin available once sunset arrives. We haven't seen or heard a one.