March 18, 2013
All good things must come to an end. We're headed home. Work beckons.
Coming through Nassau Harbor that Ray that belly-flopped once again saluted as if to wave goodbye, right on cue. I'm sure I heard it say "come back soon".
The trip back across the tongue of the ocean and the banks and then the Gulf Stream was alot smoother and really fast. I saw knots I'd never seen before. 9 knots to be exact. Holy Moly! Fast for a fat slow girl.
The old man of the sea was good to me all the way as well as the Canadian boat we escorted from Nassau through to Ft Lauderdale who had the misfortune of a blown engine. His bilge full of oil. I had a special tool for him. LOL.
I'm sure I was kicking and screaming the whole way but I don't remember it all! The intent was to go south through Marathon and into the Gulf for "deep water" sailing but the weather had other plans so we opted for the ICW and the 7 million bridge openings.
We meandered our way back in reverse of how we went, this time spending a night or two in Stuart (my boat's hailing port) on a mooring ball. Thank god we grabbed a ball as winds kicked up to about 50 MPH overnight. It was freezing! We hunkered down and I made peanut butter-boat-fudge.
I was wondering if I was in Florida or Siberia. My nose ran as fast as we sailed the next few days and therefore I got a cherry nose. Hats, gloves, turtlenecks, jeans and the ever-so-smart-fashion-statement SOCKS WITH SANDALS. Two visions of lovely-ness.
The scenery was just as lovely coming as going – birds of every kind, families of Manatees and the smell of orange blossoms a good part of the way across the state. We were able to cross the lake in record time and had new friends sailing in tandem with us from Colorado.
The wind was so cooperative that we flew the Spinnaker that waited so patiently the whole trip in a sail bag. I had never flown one, nor had I seen mine inflated. It was so beautiful against the indigo sky that other boats passing took pictures. In the Franklin Locks there were 10 manatee, hardly room for a boat! I suspect they were headed to their winter retreat - the power plant.
From the downtown Ft Myers to Dock of The Bay Marina Gypsy ran 7 knots and docking with both current and wind against her nose was a snap. Maybe, just maybe I learned a little something about sailing while on my adventure. I know for sure, I owe my village. THANK YOU!
I know sailing the gulf won't be the same. I know I would leave again tomorrow if given the chance. I know I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity and a special heartfelt thanks to Bob Miller for taking the time to come with me, teach me and fix stuff. I'm happy to say I have no regrets ! Next stop CUBA !
Captain Kathy and Captain Sunny Bob