Just had to post this picture of northern beauty. Eileen lives in a resort on White River in Indianapolis. This photo is from her visit. A view from the back porch. It even looks warm!
On Monday, February 5th it was time to leave the fabulous cruising grounds of Charlotte Harbor after spending two and half months there. TARDIS splashed on November 20, 2017.
Since the launching TARDIS covered 627 miles in 147 hours. The motor ran 121 hours including hours heating water. It takes about an hour to get hot water when the solar heat exchange is not up when we've not moved the boat any given day. Cold showers are NO FUN. TARDIS motor sails to maintain 4.5 knots average speed allot. Interesting to learn how we actually use our boat. We lived on TARDIS 77 days as of the day we left on February 5th before heading south...ALL AT ANCHOR! TARDIS has not touched dock since we left and our scheduled haul out is on March 12th and don't want to (scary docking!).
We try interesting anchorages when weather permits. You never know if you'll ever get another opportunity. The trip to Marathon, FL did not disappoint us. And we were off the grid (no cell, radio, internet, etc.) which gave our families a little concern. You know you're in a remote place when you turn on the FM radio and search for a channel and there are NONE and look at your phone and it says 'no service'. Three glorious days!
First Stop - Cape Romano
On the way out of Ft. Myers we decided to anchor off shore at the end of Cape Romano. This is south of Marco and the city lights were very cool. And 45 miles away. We got a late start due to fog in the morning but we made it after sunset. We had rollers all night in little wind. Ever lay on your back with arms and legs out to keep from rolling from side to side and sleep?
After a somewhat restful (not) night we blew the kayak up and explored the site of the Historic Dome Homes.
Very Jetson - ee.
We also hiked the beach and Eileen picked up shells.
Hard to explain the beauty of the place. Photos do well but it's not the same as being there.
We left about noon for a short sail - 4 hours motoring.
Second Stop - Indian Key
We were in this area for NYE but this time we anchored at the entrance on the north shore of Indian Key.
On the way, we learned GEORGE was in the area. Now GEORGE for those that might not know is a rarely seen 1,000 pound GREAT WHITE SHARK that was seen that day outside of Everglades City...that's where we anchored the night he was tracked by satellite right there. Saw some big spashes, heard more in the night...but didn't see GEORGE and we didn't go swimming!
Third Stop - Little Shark River
Thankfully we left early for Little Shark River as it was another long motor sail. Full main and full jib and the motor. Good thing for the motor, it was a 37 mile trip beating into the current (tide). Times we could only manage 3.5knots. But we made it. A few crab pots along the way is all. And GEORGE WATCH too.
Funny we stayed in LITTLE SHARK RIVER while a BIG SHARK was supposedly around. It was buggy in Little Shark so we stayed inside and kept the light low. No rollers = good night sleep.
Fourth Stop - Cape Sable
This was a shorter jaunt - 12 miles. Again, motor sail, not much wind and what there was it was on the nose. That happens allot. Now we're starting to see crab pots. We got there early to anchor off the coast. We didn't go as far as we wanted since the wind was SE not the NE going to E that was forecast. Anchoring half mile off the coast with nothing anywhere except the beach. Again the kayak was blown up and we went for a 2 mile hike to the very point of Middle Point on Cape Romano.
All this time we're exploring ground zero where CAT 4 or 5 Irma came to shore in September.
We wonder what it looked like before. It's beautiful now however. We did see a Sharpie (small 20' sailboat with two masts) and camping just past the point. We're relaxing at the point here.
Such an awesome place and we just kept saying. "I can't believe we're here). A good dinner and another rolling sleep.
We got up early for 33 mile motor sail to Marathon, FL. The wind was howling and blowing 25 with gusts to 30 on the beam. The jib was out maybe 50%, no main and the motor running in gear at low RPM and we're doing 6.5 to 7 knots all the way. Now we're talking CRAB POTS. It's a mine field! And it SUCKS big time. Eileen just can't pick them out (time for her first eye appointment ever!) so Charlie did most of the driving.
Standing at the wheel, taking waves over the bow and weaving between the pots. Hands cramped as we approached the seven mile bridge heeled over under jib alone.
Time to furl the sail so the mast doesn't hit the bridge seemed like a good idea.
It was awesome going under a road we've only ever traveled over. The SEVEN MILE BRIDGE.
We did it, we made it to the keys.
Now it was only a few more miles, directly into the current and wind on the nose to our anchorage a few miles away. Slow grind at 3 knots and under with full power. I remember cousin Don telling me of their experience. You think it's over but it's not. There are crab pots here too and they are hard to see in four foot waves looking directly into the sun.
WE'VE ARRIVED - BOOT KEY in FLORIDA KEYS
It's day two in our anchorage at Boot Harbor and we stayed on the boat. No reason to go to shore, it's just beautiful here. We'll stay a couple days, kayak to shore and maybe visit our first marina to fuel up, pump the head and take on water (@ $.05/gallon) before heading east. We're not huge Key West fans so why go. More to see and do that we like going east. Stay tuned as the adventure through the keys and up the east coast begins.