Monday, November 12, 2012

Cruising Course Day 3 - Marco Island to Cabbage Key

As has become the routine, we awoke to the morning coffee making ritual followed by raising the anchor and continuing our journey.  Our winds from the prior day continued so after motoring out of the nice protected anchorage, we were able to again raise the sails.

Anchorage near Cabbage Key

As seems to be the case when you are actually going somewhere in a sailboat (instead of just puttering around a reservoir), we set and trim the sails and head on without having to do much adjustment or re-trimming.  The hardest part of sailing these past couple legs have been avoiding the crab pots. The captain must be getting more comfortable with his student's skills too as he disappeared into his cabin for a little while during this trip.

A little while after we were underway, we see a powerboat heading straight for us from about our 2 o'clock.  As they get closer you can tell the boat has that gray "government issued" look to it and indeed it was the coast guard.  They swing around behind us and come up along side.  We've been intercepted.  As it turns out, they were looking for another sailboat that had radioed a mayday and then contact was lost.  They asked if we had seen them and when we said we had not they asked us to let them know if we see this boat.  I hope those folks are OK.  It is nice to know that the fine men and women of the Coast Guard are out there, and it is also a stark reminder that everything worth doing has some risks.

We sail up the coast past Naples, Fort Myers Beach and pass by Sanibel Island to enter Pine Island Sound as we head toward our planned anchorage across from Cabbage Key.  I'm once again at the helm and bring the boat into the anchorage and drop the anchor.  We set out the proper 7:1 scope for an overnight anchor and I take a range-like sighting off a couple trees (one behind the other) on an island off our right to watch for dragging.  We don't appear to be moving and so we set the chart plotter's anchor alarm and call it a day.

Several folks go for a swim off the back of the boat.  Two of our group head a bit closer to the nice homes at our anchorage.  A "nice" lady apparently comes out of her house and asks them if they are aware there are crocodiles around.  Yeah, we get it, you don't want us peasants swimming near your fancy abode...well sorry, but the waters are public here.

Cabbage Key
After the swim we break out the dinghy and head over to Cabbage Key for dinner at their restaurant and to watch the sunset from their water tower.  After a few minutes at the water tower, the mosquitoes change our mind and we take refuge back at the restaurant for dinner.  After dinner, we hop back in our little rubber floating "car" and head back to our floating "house".  Another nice day in the books.

And trying something new...a rough map of this leg of the trip:
View Marco Island to Cabbage Key in a larger map

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