After a good night's sleep anchored near Sandy Key, we were awoken by Captain Tracey making coffee in the galley before the sun was up (he has a nice metal thermal coffee press, seems particularly good for a boat). As would be a familiar theme on this trip, in addition to the lessons, we were also on a schedule to get the boat up to Bradenton by the 25th so we would once again get an early start. We raised the anchor and continued our journey as the sun rose over Florida Bay.
Raising the main on a 41 foot Catamaran is quite a chore by hand. Fortunately the boat had an electric self tailing winch, so after we made sure the sail's battens weren't getting hung up in the lazy jack system, push the button and up the main went. If it weren't for all the main halyard on the deck to deal with, it couldn't have been easier. We also unrolled the 150% genoa and the result was 6~8 knots on a broad reach with no drone of the engines. Much better.
Sailing on the ocean actually seems easier than all the sailing on reservoirs that have made up much of our prior experience. On our reservoirs near the mountains the winds would often be inconsistent, blowing from different directions at different times. This left us constantly tweaking sails to get the right trim for decent power. Ocean breezes, as one might expect, tend to be more consistent in direction if not in speed. Of course, the chop of the waves was not something we generally had to deal with...but in a 41' catamaran, they weren't much of an issue either.
While underway my wife went down into one of the hulls and it made her a bit queasy. She took some Bonine and pretty much went to sleep at the saloon table for a little while. The other couple didn't seem too interested in a lot of learning either , so we just had a nice relaxing sail up the coast. I was at the helm a fair amount of the time, dodging the occasional string of crab pots along the way.
We ended our sailing day anchoring off the northwest shore of Marco Island. Unlike the previous night, we anchored in the light this time...in front of some expensive homes.
It was a nice relaxing day...something I can definitely get used to.