Friday turned into a much longer day than expected. If our knotmeter were working, I’d tell you how many nautical miles we traveled. Alas, it is not. It is likely (again) encrusted with hard little creatures after our month’s stay at Fort Myers Beach.
We departed our mooring at Fort Myers Beach just prior to 0900. We said goodbye to the Gulf for another season and made our way through Punta Rassa Pass, past the turning mark for the Miserable Mile, and continued up the Caloosahatchee River. It was Friday morning.
Current was against us, we had more wind than forecast, and oh, the boat traffic. So much boat traffic! And with the boat traffic came a lot of boat wake. I was relieved that I had stowed things well before we left the mooring.
The channel in this part of the Caloosahatchee River is narrow. The off-channel we needed to follow to Bimini Basin seemed even more narrow. Ron immediately was unhappy with the depth: under 6 feet by the time we got to the first set of day marks. (Thyme Hyssop & Wry’s draft is just under 5 feet.) And then a bit beyond the second pair of marks, we ran aground.
A note about my husband. This man has explored and charted many anchorages in the North Channel and Georgian Bay which is full of rocks. We’ve even discovered a couple of rocks with our keel. He doesn’t like hitting anything, but he doesn’t get that freaked out it. But the skinny water here in southern Florida? It doesn’t matter that there is a SeaTow boat waiting nearly around every corner (it seems) and that we buy the tow insurance each year in case we need help. Ron hates (HATES) running aground. We motored right off the edge of this shoal by turning around in the marked channel but that was it. If I want to see Bimini Basin, I’ll need to visit it by car!
We headed back towards the Miserable Mile. Now the current and wind was with us. We went through the Miserable Mile just past slack tide so there wasn’t a lot of sideways current. Whew. We had decided we’d stop at Ding Darling for the night, but once we arrived and checked the most updated forecast, the winds weren’t looking favorable for a pleasant anchorage. Good thing we decided to continue on: by mid-afternoon the wind shifted and became gusty. We continued up Pine Island Sound with winds too close to sail, gusting 15-20 mph.
We arrived in Pelican Bay at Cayo Costa Island in time to enjoy a cold drink before starting dinner. It was a very warm day–mid 80’s–and very breezy. However, by the time the sun set, the wind was dying, going dead calm by bedtime. It had been a long day. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer anchorage. –jes