Day Eighteen - Marco Island to Useppa Island, Charlotte Harbor
02 May 2021 | Charlotte Harbor, Useppa Island
Warren Renninger | Clear
Weighed anchor in Smokehouse Bay and motored past the million dollar homes out to the Gulf. In the Gulf, the waves were low, the winds light, and wind direction was from the northwest Our course was north so it was 2,000 rpm on the "iron wind" and north we drove at 5.2 knots for most of the day.
Not much activity in the Gulf just a few folks headed along the coast under power. We past the rows of condos lining the beaches of Naples, North Naples, Bonita Beach and came to land at San Carlos Bay between Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. Motored under the Sanibel Causeway bridge and into the Intercoastal Waterway heading up Pine Island Sound.
Traffic on the waterway was heavy with boats mostly heading south to Fort Myers and Cape Coral. This year the boats are bigger and have more engines. Could not count both the fishing and go-fast boats with three and four large outboards. Zoom, zoom and they went flying by at 40 to 50 miles per hour down the middle of a crowded channel.
Winds finally turned westerly and we ran out the jib and motorsailed at over six knots. That got us to Useppa Island about 5:30 where we dropped anchor just east of the channel. 51 miles for the day. After cleaning up a bit we took the dinghy in to Cabbage Key made famous by Jimmy Buffet's "Cheesburger in Paradise." The place is decorated by dollar bills taped to the rafters and walls. We added to their till at the bar before going back to Breeze where I cooked up steak and potatoes for our last dinner of the trip.