Sailing to Marco Island, FL – Photo Essay

As the sun peeks above the mangroves surrounding Glover’s Bight, close to Ft Myers, Florida, we’re underway for a daysail to Marco Island, 41 miles down the coast.  I always have to laugh when I think about 41 miles taking all day when in my car it takes about 40 minutes… but it’s the JOURNEY, not the destination in a sailboat.  As it turns out, this particular journey is spectacular.  Both David & I commented that if all sails were like this one, we’d have gone through the Panama Canal and be floating somewhere in the South Pacific … maybe Fiji, by now.  But alas, not all sails are this great, which just makes us appreciate it all the more!  The first real hop on our way to the Keys and then hopefully the Bahamas.  We’ve been waiting for a week at Cayo Costa, the barrier island just north of Captiva and Sanibel Islands, Florida, waiting for the winds to calm down in the Keys – neither of us like sailing in 20+ mile an hour winds, so call us fair weather sailors, don’t care, been there, done the other stuff!

Sunrise over Ft Myers, the Ochechobee (sp?) Waterway - our mast is too high for the waterway, the fixed bridge is 48' and we're 55', so no go.

Sunrise over Ft Myers, the Ochechobee (sp?) Waterway - our mast is too high for the waterway, the fixed bridge is 48' and we're 55', so no go.

The weather in the Keys is finally moderating, but only for a couple of days and then the winds are forecast to pick back up again mid-week.  We’ve never spent any time in Marco and David is curious to explore – rather than run directly to Marathon, Boot Key Harbor where we spent a long time waiting for weather when we sailed to the Western Caribbean.  It’s a long day sail from here to Marathon – like 70+ miles – we can’t do that in daylight, but we’ll figure out something.  Chris Parker says the weather should moderate Friday and recommends that boats wanting to cross to the Exumas watch for a window beginning Saturday, March 24 ….   If that’s the case, we hope to sail from Marco to Marathon Friday, then hop to Rodriguez Key up by Key Largo on Saturday and be staged ready to go Sunday if the forecast holds .. not that we expect it to, so we’ll play it by ear… gotta be flexible to be a fair weather cruiser!   🙂

So here’s the photo essay from our sail to Marco Island … before the rosy glow of the sunrise, getting the boat ready we had dolphins playing and feeding around the boat.  Definitely a good luck charm!

Approaching San Carlos Pass, the Sanibel Bridge Coming Up

Approaching San Carlos Pass, the Sanibel Bridge Coming Up

The Sanibel Causeway Bridge Looms Closer ... Why is it they always look like our mast will hit, when I KNOW it will clear!

The Sanibel Causeway Bridge Looms Closer ... Why is it they always look like our mast will hit, when I KNOW it will clear!

Cool!

Cool!

Whew, We Made It .. Sailing, No Less!

Whew, We Made It .. Sailing, No Less!

A Grim Reminder of the Power of Mother Ocean just as we cleared the bridge.

A Grim Reminder of the Power of Mother Ocean just as we cleared the bridge.

Sailing through all the daysail charter boats from Ft Myers Beach, watching all the longing faces - I remember wistfully watching and wishing I was on the sailboat that was sailing away...

Sailing through all the daysail charter boats from Ft Myers Beach, I remember being on vacation, wistfully watching and wishing I was on the sailboat that was sailing away... We are SO lucky!

Beautiful sail - the further south we get, the bluer the water ... and only a few of those ticking timebomb crab pots to dodge

Beautiful sail - the further south we get, the bluer the water ... and only a few of those ticking timebomb crab pots to dodge

Typically, the great morning breeze 10-12 dropped about noon, so we had to motorsail - here you can see the Marco skyline in the distance as you see it from where we were!

Typically, the great morning breeze 10-12 dropped about noon, so we had to motorsail - here you can see the Marco skyline in the distance as you see it from where we were!

And then BOOM, the seabreeze filled in from the NW at 12-14 for a great rest of the sail - you can still see the Marco skyline, unfortunately only about 3 miles out now, but the jib's on the other side catching the seabreeze!

And then BOOM, the seabreeze filled in from the NW at 12-14 for a great rest of the sail - you can still see the Marco skyline, unfortunately only about 3 miles out now, but the jib's on the other side catching the seabreeze!

Sails Down, Motoring into Capri Pass into the Marco River.  We made a left turn and are currently anchored in Factory Bay in front of the Marco River Marina.  Dinner at the Snook Inn is on the agenda tomorrow!

Sails Down, Motoring into Capri Pass into the Marco River. We made a left turn and are currently anchored in Factory Bay in front of the Marco River Marina. Dinner at the Snook Inn is on the agenda tomorrow!

Until next time, fair winds & following seas!  I hope to meet you in an anchorage somewhere down the road!  If you see Winterlude anchored, come on by and say HI!   🙂   Cheers!  Jan

 

Comments

  1. FYI, the railroad bridge at Indian Creek Marina where it’s only 49/50 feet clearance, well, there is a gentleman there named Dave I believe, that will for a price, put water jugs on one side and heel it over and squeeze you under. He can only get you under at low tide and only if you’re a couple of feet too high..Otherwise, the lake can be fine water level wise, then a strong breeze blow thru and watch the water level drop too low to travel, oh yea. I say have fun and go around the outside. Okay for trawlers, but I tried and tried one year, and I don’t think I’ll ever even try again. Keys are way too much fun to miss.
    s/v Renasci

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