Ready to go!

27 September 2009 | Fort Myers Beach
24 September 2009
28 June 2009 | Fort Myers, FL

cayman the salty dog

27 September 2009 | Fort Myers Beach
We almost stayed home today because the weather was looking a little bad. Storms out in the Gulf seemed to be moving in. We figured we'd drive out to the beach and if it seemed like a bad idea to go out, we'd just head to dog beach for a little while and at least get something out of the day.

But..... even though it was raining as we stopped to get ice and lunch at the store on the way out, we decided to just go for it. Sooooo glad we made that choice. We were dodging showers for much of the day, but thats OK because along with the storms was WIND!! Last weekend, our first day back out was miserably hot and dead calm. So today was awesome. There were lots of others out sailing, and we finally felt like real sailors today! We were heeling quite a bit, and moving along at about 4 or 5 knots, pretty good for us. It's been awhile, so luckily my brother was along and providing a great refresher course. Everything came back pretty quickly, and I don't ever want there to be a gap in sailing ever again where I actually begin to forget everything.

So overall, a great day. Lincy and her puppy Ralph came along with us and we all had a great time. Ralph, only 3 months old and still getting his sea legs, fell off the boat, which was pretty funny. And Adam lost his hat as the boom swept by and he jumped overboard to retreive it. It was then that we realized that we were actually moving at a pretty good pace :)

Cayman has been an avid motorboat dog for years now, but he's new to sailing. He doens't like the rolling at anchor, but he seems to be more comfortable on the boat now. He's getting maybe too comfortable jumping from cockpit to deck and back....

finally back on the water

24 September 2009
Our first day back out went well. No wind, but it was still a good day. The dock where we are keeping the boat is really great. Can't wait to get back out there this weekend, even though there still probaly won't be much wind. BUt thats OK. Maybe an overnight trip this weekend?

A friend told me about a trailer sailer group doing a trip in Nov up to Cayo Costa, which is one of my favorite spots, so I"ll look into that.

Sailing in the morning....finally

19 September 2009
We've been sanding, bottom-painting, waxing, buying new lines, and replacing all sorts of things on the boat for weeks now, and we're finally putting the boat back in the water in the morning. We found a dock near on Fort Myers Beach and will keep it there a few months and see how it goes. Can't wait until morning.

The first step.... 3 yrs ago

28 June 2009 | Fort Myers, FL
Out of nowhere, at 24 years old, I decided that some day I would cruise the Bahamas and maybe even the Caribbean by sailboat. I had never sailed before in my life. According to Garrett, 'she woke up one day and decided she wanted to sail.' A week later I bought my first sailboat.

I found my boat in Punta Gorda, FL. A 1973 22' Helson. I got the boat, a trailer, and a 6 hp motor for $1600. With a swing keel allowing for a 14" draft, a pop-top to keep things cool, and ready to go sails, it seemed like the perfect boat to learn to sail on.

We spend about a month remodeling the entire inside cabin before we even got her on the water. With my Dad as our instructor, we spent our first day sailing from PIne Island to Fort Myers Beach. We sailed from Pine Island accross the sound and out Redfish Pass, then along Captiva and Sanibel and into Matanzas Pass. The next day we sailed the same route back.

Since then, we've spent a good amount of time on the boat, but not as much as I had hoped for. We spent some amazing days anchored off North Captiva island swimming and picnicing and fishing and just hangin on the beach. Pulling up to a secluded beach and throwing anchor and jumping in the clear water is the absolute best thing in the world. What more could you ask for really?

Our most memorable trip would be the overnighter that we spent in a horrendous thunder storm. I was pretty much terrified the entire time, and issues such as the batteries all going dead (leaving us with no anchor lights), the motor dying on us in the middle of a channel just as the storm is over us, and the too-close-for-comfort oyster reef all added up to our first overnight trip on the boat being chaotic. But once the storm passed, and we got our lights on, and were able to anchor somewhere other the middle of channel, things started looking better. Sleeping on the boat with the waves lapping against the boat, and the view in the morning with the fog floating just above the water, and not a soul around except for us..... thats why i wanted a sailboat. We've both spent a good deal of time on the water throughout our entire lives, and i even work on the water, but the feeling that day, waking up for the first time on the water, was an experience so unlike anything we've ever done. And that morning, I knew that I would do whatever it takes to make my cruising dreams happen.

We kept the boat on Pine Island at Garrett's Grandpas house. The problem was that the canal leading out is very shallow and very narrow and not at all meant for sailboats. Passing another boat involved getting the mast and lines stuck in overhanging mangroves and ended in some sort of disaster most times. Eventually we took the boat out of the water and it's now in Sebring at my parents house, and has been there for two years now. My brother gets a lot of use of it but not me. It frustrating, but because we don't have the room to keep it on a trailer at the house, and docking it somewhere is alot of money, I'm getting enough use out of the boat.

But I have a plan, and I can't wait. Over the next couple of months, we'll pull the boat out of the water and do some major cleaning and maintence. Then around October (it will have cooled off, hurricane season will be fading fast, and there might actually be sme wind around here) we'll bring the boat down and just somehow come up with the money to keep it in a marina somewhere. My plan is to do lots of weekends, and at least one 4-5 night trip, maybe down to the 10,000 islands and back. Or maybe north to Sarasota and back. We'll see......
Vessel Make/Model: Helson 22'
Hailing Port: Fort Myers Beach, Florida
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Port: Fort Myers Beach, Florida