Saturday, May 16, 2015

What an Experience!

16 May 2015

We are back at Regatta Pointe Marina after our trial cruise which expanded from 3 weeks to 6.  The mixture of experiences, adventures, frustrations, and successes are swirling around in our heads.  It would be safe to say that we are no longer cruising virgins, but it would be equally safe to say we are not yet experienced cruisers. At least we are no longer doing everything for the first time.  And that is a relief.  

Here are a few sights from our Marathon to Palmetto sail:

A visiting egret, Ft. Myers

He took off
But came back again

The canal leading into Smokehouse Bay, Marco Island

Sails are actually up!

 Gulf of Mexico - our 360 degree view!

Sunset on the Gulf
A few accomplishments are tucked under our belts, and a tiny bit of confidence has crept into our psyche.  Much of sailing "plays" to Jim's strengths.  He likes to dig in and solve problems and he has had  opportunities to do that with most of the major systems:  the roller furling, the generator, the engine (alternator), the 200 amp fuses that kept blowing (operator error which took a long time to figure out) .... Not sure sailing is for someone who doesn't enjoy being "Mr. Fixit".  We also gained confidence in what most people would consider the basics.  But if you have never done them before they don't seem quite so basic the first time around!

Using the VHF radio with confidence
Calling to have bridges opened
Picking up mooring balls
Starting the outboard motor on the dinghy (not always so easy)
Using our dinghy
Venturing into unknown territory assisted only by GPS and charts
Getting used to the constant motion of the boat
Rough seas and flat seas, with and without wind
Sailing overnight (turns out I rather liked it)
Learning how to ferret out entertaining activities in new places
Meeting interesting people along the way and learning from them

Staying an extra 2 weeks at Marathon to have the electric stove and the electric cold plate refrigerator and freezer replaced were absolutely worth it!!  Every time I light the stove and make a cup of coffee or reach into the refrigerator and pull out something cold, or get ice from the freezer I thank Alex at SeaTek.  And that is all possible now without relying on the noisy generator!! 

We arrived back at the marina after an overnight sail from Marathon to Ft. Myers, a day sail to Marco Island and another overnight sail to Palmetto.  We were met at our slip by friends who helped us dock and tie up.  So nice to see familiar faces and get a helping hand!!  

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are back to your home port safely. Starting to worry when we see named storms "kind of near" where you were sailing.