Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 113/II Indian Key, Everglades to Naples

Bill took one look at this and asked me to check the weather  radar on the Iphone.

We decided it would be best to go back in to the Indian Key anchorage and wait it out. 

Bill wanted to stay out long enough to see the sunrise so we just drifted along to enjoy this  Excellent sunrise

While passing time at the Indian Key anchorage Bill snapped this pic of the hungry Cormorrant
Naples, just looking for Gordon Pass. 
The docks at the bottom are the Naples Yacht Club, we were moored  on one of 6 mooring balls just above and tucked into the left. the The docks center are Naples City Marina.
Safely through Gordon Pass now if we can just survive all the 50-80' yachts zooming along the channel to Naples. .

Whoops I missed the turn but at least I stopped before running aground!

They are knocking down the small ones.

To build the big ones. 

The 3000+ square foot guest house is on the left, Roco and Gator did the Electrical  for this one!

Wand'rin Star in the calm protected waters of Naples

The Naples city fuel dock..gotta check in here. 

The Naples Yacht Club is a stones throw from the small mooring field. 

They have Garages

This couple amazingly share the same story as the Admiral and I, their daughter just got pregnant and they are ending their cruise of just 6 months, but they are selling their 38' Island Packet and moving to Cape Town, South Africa. To hard to take it with them. 

I am sure in Naples!

I think bill wanted to take this back to St. Pete

I love those Pacific Seacraft's, this one is at the Marina where Roco and Gator lived for 11 years. 

We found good beer and food here

Day 113/II Indian Key, Everglades to Naples

Depart 3/20/13 0500hrs, Due to developing Storm Returned to Indian Key Anchorage  Arrive 0930hrs, 12.9 Nm avg speed 3.4 Kts
Depart 3/20/13 1200hrs, Arrive 1830hrs, Underway 6 hrs.35min., 44.8 NM, Avg. Speed 6.8 Kts. Cloudy 0-8 kt. SW winds 78 degrees. Seas 1 to 2’, 70-78 degrees, overcast

We woke very early to depart the Indian Key anchorage in the Dark so we could arrive early before a forecasted front bringing winds and rain ahead of the front. It was totally dark and we had to use all our wits motoring out of the anchorage at 2 kts. Or less to avoid the shoals. It was very confusing since the chartplotter updates position based on speed of the vessel. The Chartplotter was useless to stay on course since the position update was after we had already been there. The lighted red navigation aid was our best friend as we slowly made our way out toward the gulf entrance. Since we travel mostly in high visibility times I have been relying primarily on the chartplotter and the visual sightings of the numbered navigation aids along the way with occasional observation of paper charts. Relying on high tech navigation aids for so long our training to use lower tech aids sort of dissolves.  When you are offshore as on our trip to Marathon you do not have to worry about running aground or smacking into a mangrove island. The radar was on but again since you rarely use it becomes a learning curve every time you need it the most. By the time we made it to the outlet we realized that we should have been paying closer attention to the compass. These lessons proved very valuable later in our trip. We had the heading data for our course so of course the old compass was more reliable than the chart plotter under these conditions.
We made our way offshore 3 miles to avoid the shoals around Marco Island. First light was just appearing and you could make out a cloud bank far to our North. We still had cell service so Bill asked me to check the weather radar on the Iphone. Darn, the weather ahead of the forecasted front had moved in early and was already hitting the Naples coast. We drifted while we discussed our options. No matter how much we wanted to find a way to continue on we both knew the prudent thing to do was to go back in to Indian Key and find a more protected spot to anchor and prepare for what ever weather was coming this far South. Bill asked to stay out and watch the Sunrise so we just drifted and enjoyed a spectacular Gulf Sunrise then motored back in to get anchored for another night.
After we got anchored we just relaxed away the morning. Bill took a nap and I decided to stay up and monitor the weather developing ahead of us. I called the Admiral and asked her to check a few weather sights. I had to hang out at the very aft end of the boat as I could not get cell service if I moved even a couple of feet forward. After talking with her I realized that if we could not get to Naples on this day then we could be here for two or more days as the Gulf would be kicking up as the front passed through. I checked Passage Weather then saw on weather radar the rain storms that had moved in well ahead of the front had moved onshore and dissipated, it was 1130 hours so I went below and told Bill we still had time to make Naples and to take the Helm, I was raising the anchor. I knew we had time to get in before dark and before the winds really started to kick up. We motored sailed in 5-10 and tried to keep our speed up around 7 knots to get in and get on a Mooring ball at the Naples City Marina before any weather. The sail up was uneventful and running into Naples was pretty straight forward till I came to a large intersection with a lot of vessels coming and going and got confused. I quickly realized I missed my turn and reversed just in time before running into 3’ depths in the channel. After getting turned around we soon found our mooring ball and were safely tucked in. the Mooring was just yards away from the Naples Yacht club and directly in front of two high rise condo buildings completely protected from any foul weather. We got in to late to check in at the marina office so we would take care of that in the morning. I can’t remember what we did for dinner that night but we definitely had happy hour and we crashed early.
The next morning we had to go over to the fuel docks since they have to visually see you pump out the holding tanks and they give you some little red zip ties that are to be displayed on the Y-valves while you are there. We took advantage of the dock and while I was pumping out the tanks and filling the water tanks Bill hosed off all the salt from the deck. After returning to the mooring ball we knew we would be here for another night while the Gulf calmed down from the passing front so we got the dingy down and began to explore the area. Some other sailors had mentioned 5th Avenue so we walked several blocks to check it out. We were of course interested in finding a nice pub with some good bar food but what we had in mind did not exist in the Super high end district of the Naples 5th Ave. In Naples they are knocking down $5 million dollar homes on a regular basis to build $15-20 million dollar Homesteads. Cadillac’s were not allowed on 5th Avenue. Needless to say we did not feel the love so we went back to the Marina area and found a spot where a couple of sailors could find a beer and a fine meal. I also toured the hotel and Marina where Roco and Gator lived aboard his Morgan sailboat, it was just across a small channel from the City Marina. Roco was a electrician who did repair and new construction on a lot of the homes built in the Naples area over the last 12 years. 

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