Caprice Cruise

08 May 2021 | MYAKKA RIVER
08 March 2020 | Tippecanoe Bay Myakka River
15 May 2019
12 May 2019 | CAYO COSTA
10 May 2019


Kris Hinterberg | Warm with Gentle Breezes
We have a favorite singer songwriter that performs at the Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West. We’ve enjoyed many lazy hours, spending an afternoon listening to Michael McCloud’s easy style of singing. He accompanies himself on the guitar with his cigarette stuck in the top fret until he finishes the song. They are never very long so that he can grab a drag before it burns out. Just his shtick.
One of our favorites is “Chasin’ the Wind”. It speaks to us about why we really came on this trip in these hazy days of late spring in Florida. The chorus goes…..“I’d rather be sailing nowhere, than do anything else on the land. Don’t ask me to stay with you Darlin’, there’s things that you don’t understand….. I’d rather be chasing the wind.”
We awoke to a light steady southerly breeze. Continuing our trip southward would only give us a day of pounding through the waves, listening to the drone of the diesel with our sails neatly tucked in their sail bags. It was an easy decision to plan a northerly route and take advantage of those lovely breezes.
Since we were now in no hurry, we treated ourselves to a light breakfast before hauling the anchor. We caught a breeze right away, and hoisted our crisp new main sail. The jib quickly followed and we were making 5 knots down the Intracoastal Waterway, heading back the way we came. We were following the intracoastal to stay out of shallow water and soon were able to throw up the mizzen sail, the little one on the back deck. It didn’t give us much of a boost but proudly filled with a breeze and an “I think I can attitude”.
We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon chasing the wind up the intracoastal. We sneered at huge powerboats roaring by throwing up a wake, rocking our boat, which just adds to the fun. They were burning up hundred dollar bills in fuel, and we were getting a free ride—sort of. We also pitied the sailboats heading the other way who were doing what we avoided, trying to motor into a headwind. We’ll repent of these sins later, but for this day we feel fine.
Anchored at Pelican bay which had even fewer boats than a few days ago. I’m wondering if the gas situation is making folks stay at home. Practically speaking, gas in the boat can be put in the car if you need it in an emergency. Back to repenting later, I’ll be Scarlet O’Hara and worry about that tomorrow.
We need to take a short break from this idyllic trip and are heading back to our dock in El Jobean tomorrow to take care of a few matters.
Before we left Pelican Bay we were once again entertained by the thousands of bait fish splattering around our boat in the shade cast from the rising sun. Another lucky fisherman eased up close and scored a cast net full of the little guys. He should enjoy a day of fishing with plentiful bait. I guess it’s local lore among the fisherman as to where and when the bait hangs out. We took one more dinghy ride to shore to stretch our legs on the beach before our 5 hour trip home. This is a difficult place to leave, but we were one of only about 5 boats in the bay. Eerie. Normally it a popular hangout in season and off. Late in the afternoon, thunderclouds loom on the horizon, so I won’t be sad to sleep at home tonight. It’s a pretty nice place to come home to. We hope to be off soon on another adventure.


Kris Hinterberg | Warm with Gentle Breezes
This morning we arose with the sun and enjoyed our coffee on deck in the quiet harbor at Pelican Bay. It's unusual for us to be in this place surrounded by so few boats. Our school of fish is still with us but the pelicans and bait fishermen must have stayed in bed. Jack asked me if I wanted to name them. I started with Huey, Duey, Louie, Screwy and lost interest. The other 5000 will have to go unnamed.
As we live on the water we get lazier and lazier. Kicking ourselves in the pants we knew we needed some exercise, so we skipped the big fattening breakfast and took the dinghy to shore. Being a Tuesday morning, the sandbar was deserted so we dragged our little boat up on shore and walked the beach. The chance of finding treasures was pretty remote, so we didn't need to spend much time digging through the seagrass. We just enjoyed the lovely morning. At this time of year, the snowbirds and seasonal residents have abandoned us hard line Floridians. It's becoming hot and humid on shore, but on the water there is always a breeze. If not we create one. The Caprice has a roomy sunshaded sitting area, so we don't burn up and can enjoy the cool gulf air while motoring down the waterways.
After our walk we visited the Manatee hole, but apparently they also take Tuesdays off. Unlike the last few trips, we didn't spot any. Back on Caprice, we decided to move yet southward. We hoisted anchor and headed in that direction following the ICW with light winds directly on the nose. The intracoastal waterway is well marked and avoids the shoals, leading south through a lot of wilderness surrounding Pine Island Sound to Sanibel and out under the bridge to the Gulf of Mexico.
We had a leisurely motor sail but stopped short of the Sanibel causeway bridge. The necessities of life intervened and we realized that after 4 days on the boat, we were in need of ice. We have a tiny fridge and freezer the size of a breadbox, so ice for drinks is at a premium. An icy cocktail is one of the simple joys of life at the end of a long sail. Ice is readily available at one of several colorful marinas in St James City at the tip of Pine Island. The bay off of St James City is sheltered and quiet for the night. Four other sailboats had the same idea and are enjoying the smooth sheltered waters.
The trip up the inland canal to a marina is fascinating if you are looking for waterfront property. Million dollar houses mix in with old trailers, and multi-thousand dollar boats on lifts intermingle with ratty old sail and power boats barely afloat. It must be an interesting place to sell real estate. We putt-putted up the canal in our dinghy powered by a 5 horse outboard. After obtaining the precious ice at a local marina we stopped for an early dinner at the Ragged Ass Saloon. A favorite spot of ours, it's an old Florida Bar with OK food and a collection of local barflies sitting outside enjoying an afternoon beer. The service was friendly and quick and we enjoyed the land break and a slightly greasy meal.
We still haven't decided what tomorrow will bring. Were just enjoying bobbing on the deck, watching the sun set and enjoying a cool breeze before we may have to duck inside to avoid a few mosquitos.


Kris Hinterberg | Warm and Breezy
In the 15 years we have been coming to Pelican Bay, we have seen a myriad of wildlife. Dolphins, manatees, thousands of fish and many different birds. This is the first time I remember really noticing the pelican activity. We have sat on the beaches at Boca Grande and Englewood and admired the sheer power and flying ability of these magnificent birds as they dive from amazing heights to grab a fish they have spotted from above.
Today, as we were enjoying our morning coffee at about 7:15 am we observed a school of bait fish gathering under our boat. I guess the locals know this too. Several well equipped fishing boats were cruising the bay looking to net bait fish either to sell or use in their daily endeavors.
The pelicans were also lurking close to our boat acting cool, like they were just hangin' out. We gave the fishermen an OK to come close to our boat and one netted a baitwell full of thread fin herring and white sardines. Good for him. I don't' need them.
We spent a leisurely day relaxing on deck avoiding any repairs or maintenance that needed to be done. In the early afternoon we took the dinghy to the sandbar to enjoy some beach time. While we were relaxing enjoying an adult beverage, we noticed other beachcombers staring off into the water at a dark blur just under the surface. One intrepid tourist ventured into the ankle deep water and shouted, "Sting Rays!! How exciting for him! Jack identified a small school of cow nose rays calmly cruising the shoreline. Once again, we have seen these rays in the harbor, but never here.
That was about all the excitement we could take and we motored back to Caprice to finish out the day. I made potato salad from scratch, that means real potatoes, and thawed some chicken to grill. Jack read and took a nap which is so unlike him. I think he is finally beginning to chill down from weeks of preparation.
We enjoyed dinner on the deck, again watching the bait fish school in our shadow and the pelicans dive to grab a tasty morsel. The bay is sparsely occupied tonight. 9 sailboats and 5 power boats. In recent visits to Pelican bay there were so many boats we couldn't count them and power boats or trawlers outnumbered the sailboats 3-1. Maybe the warm May temperatures bring out the sailboats and keep the power boats at home. Just an observation!


Kris Hinterberg | Warm and Breezy
We weren't far from home when we decided to set sail this morning. Stealing a line from Winne the Pooh, it was a Blustery day. The winds piped up to 17 knots steady with gusts to 22. The temperature was in the high 60's, unusual for May in Florida, but we enjoyed the cool breeze.
We skipped breakfast and hoisted the anchor at 8am anxious to really begin our journey. The harbor had as much chop as we have ever seen. (We don't go out during hurricanes). Sailing south into a strong headwind, the first three hours weren't that much fun. We motored into the wind and choppy waves, but it's a good time to regain your sea legs. When we made the turn to the southwest we were able to hoist a sail and get some help from the wind. There wasn't much boating action, but we knew as we approached Cayo Costa that the boat traffic would pick up. Being late in the season, the sandbar at Pelican Bay wasn't quite as crowded as we've seen in recent weeks. There were a bunch of power boats pulled up enjoying the beautiful Mother's Day weekend with beachcombing, volleyball, swimming and some adult beverages. It has been our experience that when everyone leaves, the beach is clean as a whistle. These boaters appreciate the experience and leave no trash behind.
We anchored at about 1:30 in Pelican Bay behind Cayo Costa, and spent the rest of the day recovering from the last few hectic days of planning and preparing. It was time to organize our belongings and tidy up the boat, and goof off. We got lazy and didn't even drop the dinghy. Tomorrow we'll regain some ambition and plan to do some exploring.
Since it was Mother's day I wanted to make a lovely dinner for two. My kids are far away and our mothers are a sweet memory so it's just us.
The galley was pushing 80 degrees so I decided not to light the oven. I still have internet service and looked up a recipe for skillet Enchiladas. There is a recipe for everything you can imagine on line. I was successful, and my final creation was yummy. I renamed it "What's in the fridge Enchiladas". With limited fridge and cooler space, we aren't able to store fresh veggies very long in this heat. I garnished my skillet dinner with fresh tomatoes, black olives and green onions left over from other meals which I tossed in the cooler at the last minute. We finished off a bottle of wine and enjoyed dinner on deck, cooled by a fresh breeze.
Happy Mother's Day to all. I know that even if you haven't given birth, you have given your love to a child or a furry creature who loves and appreciates you. I'm in my happy place tonight and I hope you can find peace as well.


08 May 2021 | MYAKKA RIVER
Kris Hinterberg | WARM AND BREEZY
Our biggest accomplishment today was leaving the dock. Jack has worked through a thousand details in the past few weeks. Our last trip was a brief sojourn to Pelican Bay for a few days relaxation. It was cut short by some blustery rainy weather. I believe it's the last rain we have seen in south Florida in quite some time.
That trip revealed that we needed to repair the tachometer and replace our depth sounder. Sailing in the shallow waters of Charlotte Harbor and off of the coast of south Florida without a depth sounder is asking for trouble. Shoals pop up at the most inconvenient times and a grounding is embarrassing and can be expensive. These repairs complete, we have to stock up on fuel, water, food, beer, and other necessities of life.
Yesterday while testing the generator Jack discovered a leak and spent the afternoon repairing it. When the temperature tickles 90 degrees we hope our generator functions to provide a bit of AC below decks after a long sail.
This past week, Jack also made some adjustments so that our starboard winch handle won't hit the Bimini supports when we are cranking a sail to perfect trim.
Our best improvement has been the purchase of a new main sail. It is our first sail upgrade in the 13 years we've owned this boat. On our last trip it was a joy to behold the smooth airfoil which carried us forward with less than favorable winds. We are looking forward to repeating that experience.
Enough of the technical details. These two sailors have entered our 8th decade and maybe don't move as quickly or efficiently. We may need a few more breaks, but by golly, we left the dock and are on our way to the Florida Keys. Our next stop is about a 5 hour sail to Pelican Bay off the coast of Cayo Cost just south of the Boca Grande pass. We knew we wouldn't arrive before dark, so we decided to drop an anchor and call it a day about 4:30 p.m. As the sun sets this evening we are bobbing in the Myakka River about a mile off shore, enjoying a brisk breeze and watching the sun set over the El Jobean Bridge. Tomorrow we can set sail early and be at Cayo Costa in time to watch the Sunday Boat show off of the sandbar.


Kris Hinterberg | Gorgeous Weather
I really appreciate the comments I've received from friends who have taken the time to follow this trip. It is certainly not the most adventurous sailing trip we have taken, but it does take a surprising effort from us old farts to keep this boat on the ocean. Saying that, this boat is still on salty water, but the ocean is getting a bit farther away.
As we travel homeward, the backwaters of San Carlos Bay, Pine Island Sound, Charlotte Harbor and the connecting intracoastal waterways are still salty, mostly remote, and lined with mangroves and a few scattered settlements like the tiny town of St. James City.
Following an 8 hour motor-sail today we are peacefully anchored off the shores of St. James City on the southern tip of Pine Island, a familiar stopping off point following an incredible day. For those of you avoiding the virus, each other and cold-ish weather which still lingers, I'll share a heartwarming episode.

This morning, knowing this would be the last day on the gulf Jack and I again shared helmsman duties, alternating hourly. We were about a mile off shore, near Naples, sailing southward at about 6 knots. During my hour off, I treated myself to a brief sun bathing session on the cabin top of the boat. Don't tell my dermatologist, but I was trying capture some free vitamin D and get rid of my white tennis feet and t-shirt lines. While lounging on the cabin I peeked out and saw Jack leaning out from behind the wheel to take a picture of our newest little hitchhiker, perched on the life line. Knowing this may not be a long relationship, I immediately named him Birdie. Not wanting to scare Birdie away, I continued my basking until I felt a little tickle. Birdie had hopped into the cockpit, under the bimini shade, and perched on my arm. Not sure this was a good idea, I flinched, and Birdie hopped back off my arm into the shade of the bimini. Not only was poor Birdie tired, he needed some shade. I hoped maybe he would find the few scattered crumbs from our morning granola bars to renew his energy. He was our passenger for about a half hour, exploring the fore deck, spare lines, anchor chains and bow pulpit. Renewed, he flew off towards a passing power boat. I hope this amazing little adventurer had the energy to fly back to shore and safety or else the courage to hitch another ride.

That's it. The rest of the day was smooth (motor) sailing. At the end of the day, after sailing under the Sanibel Bridge and down the miserable mile, we relax with a light dinner while bobbing on the bay. A couple of Dolphins are playing around the boat, poofing air as they come up proving they do breathe like we do. They too are interesting amazing intelligent creatures.
Tomorrow we head up to Cayo Costa to connect with friends who are beginning the journey we are about to end. We are thankful for another beautiful day on the water.
Vessel Name: Caprice
Vessel Make/Model: Irwin 37 Ketch
Hailing Port: El Jobean Florida
Crew: Jack and Kris Hinterberg
We retired to Florida in 2005 and learned to sail the peaceful waters of Charlotte Harbor on our Compac 25. In 2007 we upgraded to our 37 Irwin Ketch and decided to prepare for a Bahamas trip. In February 2012 we departed for our first Bahamas trip. [...]
Extra: We took our second and third Bahamas Cruise in the winter of 2013 and 2014 revisiting some of the places we loved and visiting new ports. 2015 is a Florida Coastal and Keys Cruise.
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Caprice's Photos -