Strange problem. I have a Glendenning wired remote that enables me to control the boat from just about anywhere on the main and upper deck. The remote plugs into one of three ports. It consists of a control panel and 30 feet of cable with a plug. The plug has a protective cover over the contacts, which I rarely use. This morning the protective cover refused to come-off and that resulted in a seven minute delay in departing. Not that I am all that concerned with departing on time, but I did not expect such a trivial thing as a cover to gum up the works. Ultimately we used vice grips and a pliers to remove the cover. The cover will NEVER be used again.
Explanatory Note: Before moving the 63 I go through several checklists to verify that the boat's system are operating properly. The cover for the remote is not on the checklist.
Thus the journey began at seven minutes past seven. Darrel captured the departure.
|We're moving as Carol brings in the stern line|
|Clearing the slip. That's me on the boat deck controlling the boat with the remote|
|Leaving our winter home|
This was a good thing because the first challenge is Sarasota Big Pass which we hit at 7:29 AM. Sarasota Big Pass is not properly named. "Big" implies easy with deep water, which is not the case. Active Captain identifies this as a pass requiring "local knowledge," which means, in this case, it is not easy due to hard to see very small private buoys, and shallow water due to an extensive sandbar of the northwest side of the channel. The tracks made the passage easy as we crossed over the same waters as we did in November. Note: I also visited the pass several times with the tender to verify that nothing had changed.
We cleared Big Pass at 7:43 AM and spent the next four hours heading southeast along the Gulf coast within two miles of shore. The winds were out of the northwest at 8 knots and the seas were around one foot. Water temperature was 82 degrees and the air temperature rose to 87. Unfortunately our SE course cancelled out the breeze so that it was a bit warm of the flybridge. Oh well.
We reached Red Fish Pass at the north end of Captiva Island at 1:15 PM and here again benefited from the tracks laid down last fall. The photo below is of South Seas Resort on Captiva, which had initially been our first day destination. Change of plan. Phil and Carol arranged dockage at the Saint Charles Yacht Club in Fort Myers and this yielded two benefits; free first night dockage under the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs reciprocity rules and an additional 15 NM of distance traveled. More about St Charles later.
|South Seas Resort|
|Unusual sight. A water sports shop along the miserable mile|
Mike, the dockmaster. was also very accommodating. He put us on a T-dock and helped us secure the boat.
The St Charles Yacht Club is located in a very protected cove with expensive homes. The home astern of Guided Discovery was UNBELIEVABLY large with 13,326 square feet and 400 feet of water front. Zillow showed a value of $1.6 million (which seemed extremely low).
|Large home behind Guided Discovery|
|Jerry and Cathy at the St.Charles Yacht Club.|
Jerry is my oldest friend dating back to 1968 when I was working as the manager of the Liberty Loan Company office in Westerly, RI. I spent a year their before being promoted to manager of the Providence office. Jerry, at the time, owned a women's clothing shop downtown and Jerry's Summerwear and Souvenirs on Misquamicut Beach. We had a great time chasing women (I was 25 and single with a Corvette). Today he is the owner of EVAS. a firm that provides computer aids for the visually impaired and handicapped (www.evas.com).
I have connected with Jerry and Cathy every time I've passed Captiva, which now is three times. The first was in 2011 on the Great Loop, then last November and yesterday. I suspect we will make this a bi-annual tradition.
Life is good thanks to Phil and Carol being on board.
All and all a very easy and fun day.
- Distance Today: 69.9 Nautical miles
- Fuel Used: 68.0 gallons of diesel
- Time Enroute: 3 hours and 28 minutes
Written by Les.