After days and days of north winds, finally the weather seemed to be moderating a bit. With winds promising to lighten and go south (eventually), we launched Thyme Hyssop & Wry on Wednesday morning, spent overnight tied to the dock, slipped our lines Thursday morning and motored 5 miles to anchor within the freshwater canal that connects our boatyard to Charlotte Harbor.
There is a small lock we need to maneuver at our entrance to Charlotte Harbor, lowering us to sea level (about a foot), and that always proves to be a bit nerve-wracking since the boater operates the lock themselves. There was also lots of talk about the strong northerlies we experienced over the last week having blown water out of Charlotte Harbor and the importance of departing the canal during high tide. In the end, Ron was so antsy about getting out and getting to an anchorage for Friday night that we departed the lock on the rising tide, 2+ hours before high tide. We never touched bottom. Ron was a happy camper. And once out of the lock, we were in saltwater again. Just to remind us of that fact, a dolphin met us in the narrow channel that takes the boater into Charlotte Harbor. Fun!
Wind on Charlotte Harbor was east, around 5 knots–too little wind for this boat. And so we motored all day, across Charlotte Harbor and entered the ICW heading north. We stopped for the night, anchoring off Don Pedro Island where we had our first Towboat U.S. experience last year. We learned our lesson. This year we anchored just off the ICW.
Last night was a beautiful evening, warm and calm. Because much of the island is a state park and we’re not in a rush, we decided to stay put today and enjoy some “down” time. Today was sunny, warm, and very breezy–with the gusty SW winds, it would have been a good time to let out our jib and sail part of the ICW. Oh well. Another time. I enjoyed walking the beach and seeing the wildlife at Don Pedro. And tonight, as we listen to the football play-off games on the radio, we are on anchor watch as thunderstorms move through this area. The wind keeps shifting with the cells coming through. We are looking forward to the front getting through here and the NW winds settling in so we can get some sleep tonight. We plan to head to a different anchorage just a few miles north of here for tomorrow, then hope to get up to Sarasota on Monday as long as the weather cooperates.