Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Good-bye Boot Key Harbor

May 03, 2016

We left Boot Key Harbor after a great five week visit.  Our solar panel project was completed and the season was too far gone to travel to the Bahamas.  So, time to head home. It had been a comfortable and fun place to be for awhile. The garden which someone had started was just beginning to produce.  I managed to get a couple of green beans! 

The lovely, healthy and productive vege garden

Final strapping on of jugs

Our last trip of the season was to make our way up to Safe Cove Boat Storage in Charlotte Harbor.  Given that we had enough time, we opted to do it in day trips rather than the two overnight sails that we had done on the way down.   We left on April 26 with at least two days of good winds predicted.  And, indeed that is what we got!

Both sail out and filled!

Proof that we actually sailed!

Our first day we sailed, I repeat, SAILED to Shark River where we anchored mosquito free.  This is in the 10,000 island area and a part of the Everglades.  We were really pleased to have been able to actually sail altho the wind was from the south east and the boat motion was side to side.  Still I expect the sails were happy to see the light of day!! And we were happy to see the sails!

Shark River

Sunrise at Shark River
Day two we were also able to sail and after a long day found Russell Key, a totally private bay just east of Indian Key.  Only a few tour boats and fishing boats passed nearby but as evening approached we were totally alone.  It reminded me of the privacy and isolation of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area of Northern Minnesota except the green was from mangroves and not evergreens.
A little stowaway who visited us for awhile

Russell Key, Everglades National Park

 Day three we headed to Marco Island and with the dying winds it became a motor sail.  The anchorage in Factory Bay could not have been more of a change.  We were surrounded by boats, housing and/or hotel complexes, loud music blaring from all corners.  However, in the morning we were treated to the moon setting in the west while the sun rose in the east.

Moon setting in early am at Factory Bay

Sun rising in early am at Factory Bay
Day four was a repeat of the motor sailing and after a long day we opted to spend the night on a mooring ball at Ft. Myers.  Even treated ourselves to a lovely restaurant meal by the water.

Let me just interject here:  Dolphins are a tease!!  They play around the boat and swim alongside...until you reach for a camera.  Then they become shy.  One of these days I will get a good picture.
See the dolphin?  

Day five was a full-on bashing into the wind, and with 2400 rpm we were only making about 3 knots.  We tried a little tacking to gain some help from the sails with a bit of success.  It was another long day but we were able to anchor in daylight at Pelican Bay just at the entrance to Charlotte Harbor.  We appreciated the quiet, relaxing environment.

It was with some sadness that we knew that Day six was our last day of traveling on the boat.  No wind, so we motored across Charlotte Harbor and timed our arrival at the hand operated lock at high tide, late afternoon.  The process of leaving Charlotte Harbor and getting to Safe Cove is worthy of its own post.  It involves shallow canals, a hand operated lock.   To be continued....

1 comment:

  1. You do sail. I was beginning to wonder. Sad you have to put "Well Why Not" onto the hard.