Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sail to Pelican Bay, A Special Day That Almost Ended Poorly

I am making this entry on November 10. We are still anchored at Pelican Bay. Much has happened since we have been here. Some of what has happened has been amazing and good and some not so good. I will tell you all about it in this entry and the ones that follow. I have not written for 5 days  because we are working through some battery issues, which has prevented me from using my laptop. I think I now have a better understanding of our charging systems and have a plan that should allow me to post as often as I would like. For now, let me tell you about November 6th and 7th.

We did leave Blackburn Bay on November 6. We awoke early and were greeted with a beautiful sunrise.

We had a very pleasant day sailing down the coast. Just as we pulled out, another one of the sailboats in the anchorage left right behind us. We ended up sailing together most of the day without ever making contact.

Here is a shot of Fancy Free. She was our buddy boat for the day. Her dingy was named "Footloose"
We took an inside passage into Boca Grande Pass that saved us from going out and around and then motoring into the pass into a stiff current. To do this, you have to be very close to the beach and the pilings in the picture below.  We never saw less than 11 feet, so all was good.

Coming in close to the beach to stay in the channel. Kim on bow watch.

Local Brown Pelicans looking at us passing buy. 
We got the hook down and settled in to this beautiful place. We came to this anchorage back in August with our friends, David and Janice. This is where we ran aground. This time we did just fine.

This was an interesting boat. When they dropped the dingy, I saw Kimberling City, Missouri was their hailing port. It was amazing that we came all this way and a Missouri boat was parked right next to us. We did meet them and had a nice conversation. They are on their way back from Key West.
November 7th, was a very special day. It was Kim's Birthday. I am so lucky to have a wife that will do all of these crazy adventures with me, so I wanted to make it special. It was also the one week mark for our cruising life. We started the day by dropping the dingy. I had waved at another Island Packet that had come into the anchorage just after us and noticed the name "Lena Bea" on the transom. That name sounded familiar. I did some looking and I was correct. It was a boat that was sailed in a book, "A Once Reluctant Sailor" from Minnesota to Punta Gorda, FL. It was sailed by Wayne and Michele Sharp. Wayne was a customer of mine for many years in my working life. I had no idea if they still owned her, but we stopped by and were delighted when Michele came out on deck to greet us. We then spent the next hour on their boat catching up. What are the chances that the one person that I know, that is a sailor, would be in the same anchorage with us? Simply Amazing and Awesome! We really hope to see them again in the coming years when we are passing through this area.

After that, we went to the beach and I got the now standard "Kim on a beach" photo.

Kim on a beach with shells in hand.
After the beach, we took the dingy to Cabbage Key for dinner. This is a famous old Inn, Marina and Restaurant. They are famous for everyone attaching a dollar bill to the ceiling. Sadly the dinner was a bit of a disappointment, but it was still a nice time.

Kim in front of the Cabbage Key back porch.
We decided to cruise over by Useppa Island and then back to Pelican Bay via the ICW. Just as we turned to return, the motor on the dingy started running very poorly. Then it would only idle. We did have a fisherman come by to check on us, but we ended up taking two hours to run at idle speed all the way back. The good news is we made it. I guess this was another lesson for me to test my patience. I now knew what my project would be for the next day.

As it turned out, that was not the only project I had to do over the coming days. A northern came in and brought cooler weather and strong winds. I will tell you how we did in my next entry.


  1. Happy Birthday to Kim! What an unexpected meeting with your old customer, what a small world.

    1. She says, Thank You! It was one of the most amazing "small world" moments of my life.

  2. First thing is....I love the new header on the blog! Second thing is.....I'm wishing we were a few years younger and able to start another adventure like the one you're on. But we will live ours through you & Kim. Can relate to the trouble with the motor as you know we seem to always have "something" that adds to our adventurous days. LOVE the photos and keeping up with you and Kim. As you know we love the sunset photos and you also know I'm enjoying the sunrise photos because it's been a long time since we saw one. LOL
    Everyday is a new adventure, keep living on the edge and stay safe too. Dick & Cathy

    1. Thanks! We always seem to have something unexpected add to our adventures. The cool part is that we always meet some awesome people that way.

  3. SloMotion checking in.... More boats pulling into the mooring field every day, but there are many still available. Glad to see that you used the short cut into Boca Grand Pass, it still has pucker power though, being so close to shore in the Gulf of Mexico.... I think I may be heading back to Palmetto on Friday, let me know if you need anything while along the west coast.