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May 25, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.


So much for the weatherman. He said the bad weather would last another week. One of the first weather programs I ever used bases its forecasts on the US computer model. There is also a European version. I fine US model is pretty good, especially in the first 4 days. Our weatherman had things being bad all week. I saw the systems moving north and allowing a weather window. Who knew how big it was.

Wednesday was still squally. But we were ready. The weather guy said there may be a break on Thursday. He also said that the systems may not go north. We woke to partly cloudy skies with squalls to the north and moving northeast. We were off.

The first step is to the northwest channel. Yes one goes northwest to pass through it. Then you turn west for 15 miles and then west southwest for about 50 miles across the Bahamian Banks. We had planned to stop after the first 15 miles and anchor for the night. The weather guy said not to stop and just go. Good call. We got to South Riding Rock where the Bahamas end and the Florida Straights begin. That is where the Gulf Stream does its thing. It was midnight when we passed into the Straights. For those of you familiar with that part of Florida, we came into the Keys at Anglefish Cut. Then we headed south to Rodriquez Island. We got there around 4 PM Friday, had cocktails, dinner and crashed. Saturday it was up bright and early and motor down to Marathon for more rest, some shopping and laundry. We also borrowed a phone and checked in to the US.

I mentioned motoring. This weather window lasted from Thursday through today with little or no wind and flat seas. The answer to the Mates prayers. We have a couple more days of open ocean sailing before we can get into the ICW if need be. I think the Mate thinks there is a need.

Let see what died on this part of the trip. The fresh water pump that was on its last legs and gave it up. I had a spare. The next is the pop off valve for the hot water heater decided to leak, Not through its discharge hole, but through its valve testing handle. I do not have a spare Pop off valve. I do have a plug that fit. It happened while crossing the Gulf Stream. Emptied the water tank. No water for showers, cooking, cleaning or drinking. After driving for two days, most of those items can be done without. We cranked up the leaky water maker and it produced enough water for coffee, showers and a glass of water. We got to Marathon around 7 pm. Took showers, had a glass of water and had 5 gallons when we went into the marina to buy water. Life was almost good. While the Mate did laundry, I made it to a liquor store to replenish the wine celler, the liquor cabinet and beer locker. Life was really getting better. Wine is not a problem in the islands. In fact, it is cheaper and lots of great wines. Liquor is a hit and miss situation. The local beer usually sucks.

Today is Monday and time to be on the move. Marathon is like a floating trailer park. Not one of our favorite places. Our weatherman says the end of good weather is upon us. Today we moved up to Little Shark River. Tomorrow we want to make Marco Island before the weather closes in. As for the name of the river, I can not say anything about the sharks. The river is to muddy to see anything. But, its claim to fame are the bugs. About a half mile out the giant horse flies come to great you. They are huge. One could drag you over the side. The closer you get to land, the types and numbers of bugs grows. Set the anchor, shut down the engine and instruments, open the hatch, jump below and lock yourself in and turn on the air conditioner.

We will spend a couple days in Marco Island doing pome shopping, catching up on Wifi stuff. Then moving on to Tampa with a good half dozen stops on the way.




1. Bernie and Jane - May 25, 2016

You are really “truckin” now! Horse flies that can carry you over the sides, getting below to hunker down and escape, make shift repairs and both limited water and good liquor….shades of “African Queen” if you ever saw the classic movie. Humphrey Bogart and Kathryn Hepburn.

sailingnightwatch - June 6, 2016

Remember I am almost as old as you are. I remember the original. On TV that is.

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