Evening Breeze in Paradise

The adventures of the Evening Breeze, a 1996 Catalina 28 and Capt. Warren Renninger as they wander around the Gulf Coast

02 May 2021 | Home Again
02 May 2021 | Charlotte Harbor, Useppa Island
30 April 2021 | Smokehouse Bay, Marco Island
30 April 2021 | Little Shark River
28 April 2021 | Boot Key Harbor, Marathon
27 April 2021 | Boot Key Harbor, Marathon
27 April 2021 | Boot Key Harbor, Marathon
27 April 2021 | Key West
27 April 2021 | Key West
23 April 2021 | Key West Bight Marina
22 April 2021 | Key West
20 April 2021 | Saddlebunch Harbor
19 April 2021 | Boot Key Harbor, Marathon
18 April 2021 | Little Shark River
18 April 2021 | Pavillion Key
15 April 2021 | Naples City Mooring Field
14 April 2021 | Cayo Costa
27 March 2021 | Punta Gorda

Home at Punta Gorda

02 May 2021 | Home Again
Warren Renninger | Clear
Beautiful morning at Useppa. We slept in and got ready to weigh anchor. We ran up the Intercoastal to Cayo Costa and turned to show Art where I normally weekend.

Out of there and headed home. The wind was from the south and we managed to sail up Charlotte Harbor at 5.3 knots. We sailed up to Alligator Creek and motored home.

Karen came out to the dock as we got there. A total of 531 miles from start to finish. Of nineteen days on the water, only four days were spent under sail for the majority of the day. If you have to get from A to B and can't or don't want to wait for the right winds, it is motoring to do it.

Having Art along for half the trip was a ball. When two guys like and respect each other, have similar talents, and have absolute trust in each other, just sailing together is wonderful. When two old guys sit down and tell stories about their lives, their loves, and their families, it makes for a fantastic time.

Thank you Karen and Peggy for letting two kids from East Norwich get together again.

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.

Day Seventeen - Little Shark River to Marco Island

30 April 2021 | Smokehouse Bay, Marco Island
Warren Renninger | Clear
Up early, checked the engine and upped anchor. I dressed out in long pajamas, socks, hat, shoes, and bug spray. Out under the tent to the bow to pull up the anchor. The no-see-ums were terrible but my outfit helped a lot. We motored out into the gulf and let the tent dry out from the evening dew. When I took the tent down an hour later, we were swarmed by the little buggers and swatted them all day until about 2 pm.

The weather was clear but the winds were light and variable so it was motor the whole way. About 3:30 the winds finally picked up just as we arrived at Marco. You can see the photo of my first mate as I lowered the sailed and turned up the Marco channel. 48 miles.

We motored into Collier Bay and them along the condos and homes to Smokehouse Bay. Nice spot, well protected, but you are anchoring in someone’s backyard. Go under a little bridge and there is a Winn-Dixie store with a dinghy dock to tie up to for an hour. We restocked my wine cellar and went off to dinner at Cocomos. Great food and drinks.
Vessel Name: Evening Breeze
Vessel Make/Model: 1996 Catalina 28 MK II
Hailing Port: Punta Gorda, Florida
Crew: Warren & Karen Renninger
About: Warren - 26 years Air Force, 13 insurance, 11 West Marine Karen - 30 years Mary Kay, artist, quilter
Boating since 1956 with small outboard boats until1994 when switched to sailing. First a 22 foot swing-keel Paceship with an outboard. Then a 1980 Hunter 27 I took to the Keys and Abacos, Bahamas. Next a 1986 Catalina 30 I sailed the Keys, Abacos, and to New Orleans. Then a trawler, a Mainship [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/EveningBreeze
Evening Breeze's Photos - Getting Evening Breeze ready for cruising
Photos 1 to 9 of 9 | Puff in Paradise (Main)
Kellet for anchor rode: A lead weight on about 20 feet of line. It is hooked on your anchor line and slides down the rode.  It puts a vertical load on the rode to.help the anchor stay dug in and acts as a shock absorber on the rode.  Also helps a little to minimize the boat sailing at anchor.  Best part is that it is pulled in before weighing anchor so it’s weight is not part of hauling up the anchor
Homemade wind scoop from materials on hand
New spare anchor, Fortress FX-11,  with 150 feet of rode
52 quart powered cooler: Cooler/freezer by Aspenora.  Has a compressor that cools or freezes 40 to 20 degrees.  Only draws 4 amps when working.  Costs half the price of similar Dometic or Waco coolers.  I’ll report more after a month of use.
Interior of cooler: Large side is temperature controlled 50 to 20 degrees.  Small side is about 15 to 20 degrees warmer.  Plan on running it a 33 degrees to keep meat cold and hopefully not freeze the liquids.
PLB attached to inflatable life vest: ACR Personal Locator Beacon on my waist belt life vest.  I tend to wear the belt in good weather, an automatic life jacket if rougher or a big orange Type 1 vest if bad weather.
Mosquito Tent: Made the tent with no-see-um fabric to keep out the bugs in southern Florida.  It hangs under the boom and Bimini.  Zippers on forward port side and behind helm.   It is attached with snaps around the companionway and at each aft corner.  The bottom where it sits on the deck or floor is weighted with rope to keep it sealed to the deck.  Similar to one I made for Serenity but there I had a full Bimini and just snapped on side walls.
Mosquito tent bagged: It stows in a mesh bag
Just about ready: Just need to load clothes and perishables and she is ready to go cruising.
An adventure dedicated to those who no longer have the option of taking a trip in a small boat or are now looking down at this sailor from above. Please guide me safely and join me when you can.