26 13.090 N 081 53.449 W
It feels so good to use that tag "At Sea" again. It has been 6 months since the last time. I'm happy. Tarwathie is happy. Libby is delighted!
That's quite a turnaround. Only a few days ago our jib was out of service, our mainsail was out of service, and our chart plotter didn't work. It felt like we would never sail again. Since then:
- I overhauled the jib furler. It works well for now.
- I rigged an alternate place to attach the mainsheet after out traveler failed. It works well.
- Libby located a "GPS module" in our spare parts bin to replace the failed module. I had completely forgotten that we had a spare. The chartplotter works well again. (But I'm still shopping for a more modern replacement.)
Our plan for today was to wait for weather. The forecast was for 5-10 SE until Sunday. We could just sit on the boat and do nothing for 48 hours waiting in Fort Meyers Beach or at Marco Island. We decided to motor to Marco today. Guess what we found when we got out there. THE WEATHER FORECAST WAS WRONG. That neve happened before (I say with deep sarcasm). Winds were E 15, perfect.
We are now sailing under jib, staysail and main. That's full sail. We are doing 5.7 knots. The Monitor self steering is in control. We'll be in Marathon Saturday morning.
Sure we aren't 100 miles out at sea, but it feels great anyhow. Actually. The Hawk Channel and Florida Bay are two of the finest and safest places in the whole world to sail. They are protected from Atlantic swells. The waters are shallow enough that we can drop anchor anytime if needed, and the winds are usually fair.
To whoever wished us "fair winds", thank you. Fair winds are what we got.
P.s The Stockholm Archipelago and the Finland Archipelago in mid June are another two of the finest places in the world to sail. I saw somewhere a magazine article The 7 Best Sailing Places in the World. It mentioned The Hawk Channel and Lake Champlain. We aren't world sailors, but that topic sounds like a great one for a future blog post.