We are three for three: three times we’ve anchored at Don Pedro Island, and three times our anchor has dragged. Seriously? We woke the other morning to the north windshift and sure enough, we were dragging. We had considered staying put that day as the forecast was calling for rain, heavy wind, and dropping temperatures. But as Ron said, we needed to reanchor anyway and it was getting harder to trust our anchor in this anchorage, so we decided to take off and head into Pine Island Sound in search of an anchorage protected from the north–NOT Cayo Costa Island (lesson learned last year).
We arrived at our final bridge just a few minutes past 0900 and circled for nearly a half hour for their 0930 opening, and then we were on our way into and across Charlotte Harbor. I knit myself a wool hat a few days earlier–insurance against the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing and certain that this alone would bring more seasonable Florida weather. Let’s just say, I was so happy to have something warm to wear on my head. My “Florida wurm” did much to help my comfort level. Once again, we were reminded of our summer in Lake Superior–this is getting old!
The wind from the NE continued to increase, and with the building waves (and maybe some tidal current from the inlet thrown into the mix), our Charlotte Harbor crossing was a rollicking ride and not entirely pleasant. And it was so cold. However, as soon as we hit the entrance to Pine Island Sound, the waves dropped to just a couple of feet and we evened out a bit. It was only 1100, but we’d already had enough and pulled in behind Useppa Island with two other sailboats, right across from Cabbage Key, and were pleased to find protection from the winds and waves. We put down one anchor, then a second anchor for extra protection should the wind turn more north. And then the rain came.
There is a small restaurant on Cabbage Key, accessible only by boat, and we’ve heard great things about their burgers. It was just a short dinghy ride across the channel. We talked of dinghying over once there was a break in the rain. But that break never came. It rained and rained and rained. And the wind blew and blew and blew. For 3 days! We kept checking the forecast, checking radar, and still the rain just kept coming down.
Yesterday morning we woke again to hard rain but much lighter wind. We had planned to move, but everything was already so damp from the boat being closed up with buckets of rain falling down, we didn’t want to add wet bodies and clothes to the mix. However, late yesterday morning we had a break in the rain. The sky seemed to be brightening. Radar showed more rain, but it would not reach us for hours. We forgot the burger at Cabbage Key this time, raised both anchors, and quickly got on our way.
We hit the “Miserable Mile” just after high tide and had a relatively easy time transiting the mile-long channel. We arrived at Fort Myers Beach late yesterday afternoon, just as a bit more rain came through. However, the rain showers did not prevent us from going to shore and enjoying a much-needed hot shower. Amazing how a hot shower can raise your spirits!