Sailing West #51

Friday-Saturday, June 7-8

We left Twin Dolphin Marina at 9 a.m. We headed back down the Manatee River past familiar sights and back to the Gulf of Mexico.

We passed the many nice houses.

We passed Hernando DeSoto's first anchorage.

We put up the sails.

Ralph and Arlene were at the helm.

Soon we were back in the ICW.

We passed the lighthouse and the first of many entrance buoys.

 

Stephen began fishing. He has a Florida license now.

He has lots of nice fishing toys now.

Here's Franci documenting as usual.

By 11:30 we had turned right and turned off the engines. We were sailing.

At noon we were on a close reach going 5 knots. By 1 o'clock the screecher was up and we were making 7 knots. This pace would continue for the rest of the afternoon.

 

The same watch schedule began again. Ralph until 3 p.m. Arlene 3 – 6 p.m.. Stephen and Franci 6 – 9 p.m. and so forth. The plan was to go to Destin, Fl.

Folks pretty much made their own sandwich for lunch at their own pace. However, dinner was prepared by Arlene and served in a formal manner. We had noodles with four cheese sauce, mushrooms, shrimp and broccoli with parmesan cheese to taste. Yum!

Sunset was gorgeous. Stephen and Franci were on watch and documented every moment.

The wind slowed down in the evening and by 9 p.m. we began running the engines. We were motor sailing once again, but we had had a good long day of sailing. The watches went on through the night. It was a clear night with some of the best stars we've seen on the entire journey.

In the morning the fish began to bite. Around 7:30 a.m. Ralph woke Stephen up with the words “Fish on!” And so began a big morning of fishing. Stephen caught four Little Tunnys on his trolling rod. Ralph caught three on his hand line. Ralph threw his back but Stephen kept and cleaned three of his. The last big one he threw back as well. There would definitely be fresh caught fish for dinner. Most of this action was caught on video.

One flying fish flew right into the trampolines.

The winds were light on Saturday so we motor sailed a lot of the day. However, the winds look good for Sunday. We changed our course to Pensacola because we would have arrived in Destin in the middle of the night. This also put us on a more westerly course…..good for sailing whenever the winds did pick up. We could get fuel, water and ice in Pensacola and head back out for a big day of sailing. After that we could go to Venice, Louisiana in pursuit of the oyster and a good route besides the ICW. That was the plan. More later.

At 1:30 p.m. we changed the plan again. We headed even further west and put out the screecher so we could sail. We would not make landfall until Monday morning. Saturday afternoon we sailed at about 4 knots but we looked forward to better winds on Sunday. Our destination – Baptiste Collette Bayou in the Mississippi Delta. And on to Venice. That was the plan.

By 5:00 we were back to motor sailing. Weather didn't sound as favorable for the next day (5 – 10 knots, probable rain) but we shall see what happens.

Fish dinner Saturday night.

Life is good.

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen

 

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