Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Passage to Carrabelle... Day Four

Day Four is actually Day Seven... but I had to layover in Labelle, FL for three days to wait for Tropical storm Colin to make his way through. I'm calling today,"Day Four," because it is the Fourth day of actual travel on my 480 mile passage to Carrabelle, FL.

Day Four was a 30 mile day. I initially wanted to go further but the availability of marinas and the prohibitive cost of some of the marinas in this area forced a short trip.

I left LaBelle, FL at 6:36 AM. It was a calm beautiful morning 50 miles inland. Annie ran like a top and made 5.2 to 5.5 MPH at 1700 RPM. As the morning progressed and as I drew closer to the coast, the wind started to pick up a little, causing small ripples of waves on the Caloosahatchee River. The wind came from the Southwest, making it a headwind, which slowed Annie to 4.8 MPH. That was fine; I could only go so far anyway, due to reasons already mentioned. I passed through the Franklin Lock and Annie tasted saltwater again for the first time in a week.

As I got within a few miles of my destination, the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin, the wind really kicked up and the sky clouded over - leftovers of Tropical Storm Colin. The waves became bigger, two to three feet. Annie had no issues with such small water but her captain was a little concerned. Not about Annie and her strength, but about my ability to dock in 20-25 MPH winds. Anyway, I was almost there and I thought, "This is how you learn." For some reason that thought comforted me as my sweaty palms white-knuckled the tiller.

About a mile out, I called the marina on my portable VHF and got instructions as to slip location and procedures. Dockhands were there to help with the lines and in short time, the day was done. Annie was safe and sound and I breathed a sigh of relief. (Truthfully, we did have a moment where Annie didn't want to back up for re-orientation at dockside... she's a big bottom girl and doesn't like to back up).

Day Four is over... safe and sound.

Day Five - will consist of a long run (55 miles), to Cape Haze, FL.

Day Six - Cape Haze to Sarasota.

Day Seven - Sarasota to Clearwater.

Day Eight & Nine - Clearwater to Carrabelle (Open Gulf).

Here's some pics...

The Spanish Moss tattled on the wind

I-75 and Annie was starting to heel a little


Our passage so far...

Fair seas and God bless.

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