Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Adventure Has Begun

We have spent the past two weeks in the marina getting ready to go. We turned in the rent car on October 19th and thought that was it, but an opportunity to help a friend and use their car for a few days presented itself, so we jumped at it and did some last minute additions to the boat.

David and Janice moved their boat, "SloMotion" down to Marathon in the Keys. To make that happen, David sailed single handed down to Marco Island. We took Janice down to Marco to get on the boat and sail with David down to Marathon. We had Janice's car for 4 days while they made the three stop trip. We then drove the 5+ hours down to Marathon and picked them up, so that David could get his truck, and Janice could continue with a number of things including her job in Tampa. Thanks for the use of the car, David and Janice. We are so happy to help you with the car shuttle.

During the 4 days we had the car we added about $300 to our provisions, which brought the total to right at $1000. We also added a new to us sail. The former owners of the boat had decided they did not want the Spinnaker that was on the boat when they bought it. It had been at a sail consignment shop in Sarasota for the past year and a half. When we went sailing with Don he offered to give me the sail. I have always wanted to learn how to fly a spinnaker, so I said YES! The sail will need a dousing sock, but other than that, it looks beautiful. I can't wait to fly it. This sail will be used in light wind when going downwind. 

After doing our last provisioning run, we found we had more storage space available. We decided to restock our fresh veggies and and added to our supply of non perishable food.  We also hit the laundromat one more time. We then took the time to do a touch up on the varnish job on the boat. It came out looking pretty good. We just did a light sanding and then added three coats of Spar Urethane. It looks like a touch up every six months on the sun exposed teak and a complete job every two years will be the way to go. 

We enjoyed our time at Snead Island Boat Works. We met some great folks and it was tough to say good bye. It always is, but it will be great when we see them again. Hopefully, this time out on the water.

Jeff and Julia on Oo La La, a cool Westsail 32. Our port side neighbor.
I have been watching the weather closely and watching the cold front that has brought very cold weather to the rest of the country. We have seen the reports of snow in Denver and Kansas City. We have still be in the high 80's in central Florida. The front finally made it to our area on November 1. That is also the day that we were planning to leave the marina.

We awoke to noticeably cooler temps, albeit still shorts and t-shirt weather at about 70 degrees. The big difference was the lack of humidity. It felt great. The wind was blowing about 15 knots out of the north. The anchorage we had chosen for our first day was not going to have great protection from the north, so we opted to go to an anchorage all of 1.4 NM from the marina. Yep, that was our first day, 1.4 miles.

We spent the afternoon, watching the dolphin and other fish and birds around the boat. The wind was nice and kept the boat cool and comfortable. We dropped the dingy and took a trip to Emerson Point Preserve.  We have been intending to visit from land, but never got around to it. I am sure we did more miles in the dingy than the big boat on this first day. Here are a few shots of our views around the boat:

A shot of SHIFT at anchor. You may notice she is a bit down in rear. She is fully provisioned for our 4 to 5 month cruise.

Not a great shot, but I finally got a dolphin picture.
This boat broke loose of the anchor and washed up on shore during the last big storm a few weeks ago.

Our neighbor for a few hours in a beautiful Catamaran. 
Looking across the river at Desoto Point. 
I am not sure how long Caroline has been here, but it looks like it has been a while. She is lying about 100 yards northwest of us. 
Large homes on the Bradenton side of the river
We have to get in shot of the nice sunset and sunrise of our first night of this trip.

We enjoyed the nice cool evening in the cockpit.
Beautiful Morning

Our neighbor leaving early
We took a second dingy ride this morning over to Emerson Point Preserve and took advantage of their facilities and talked to the volenteer in the visitors center. Bob is an interesting guy and told us all about the ancient Indian Mounds on the site. We took a short walk to check out the mounds.

Lots of Spanish Moss
Looking up at one of the mounds. This one is the temple mound.

When we returned to the dingy, the tide had fallen and we were high and dry. 
It was an uneventful first couple of days. We do have another front coming in tonight, so we will sit tight and see how that impacts our comfort level. For now, other than a few boat wakes we are very comfortable. In my next entry, I will write about actually going somewhere, come back to see how that works out.


  1. We were wondering how much exploring you would get to do from the boat but with the dingy you can go practically anywhere! Love the catamaran. The Carolina sure looks like a fixer upper!

    1. How much we can explore with the dingy is a big unknown. It does take some effort to drop it and install the outboard, but not too bad.

  2. I love how you have shifted gears. I do not have the experience or the ability to do what you folks are doing so I will just watch as you sail along. Thanks for sharing your new adventure.

  3. Thanks Lorne for stopping by the blog. The adventure just keeps getting better.