Key West to Ft. Myers Beach Log, 6–7 January, 2015

Bradford Rogers. Motoring.

For sailors or the idly curious…here’s how the trip North from Key West to Ft. Myers Beach went. I originally intended to sail further North towards Boca Grande and jog South a couple of miles to Cabbage Key; but I ended up jumping into Ft. Myers Beach at Moss Marina to wait out a northerly gale and regroup from the 24 hour bash into the wind and waves. Lots of noise, lots of diesel fumes. You can imagine. Just FYI, the word “awesome” herein may be sarcasm. For truly enjoyable things in this section of the log, I generally use other words.

I have removed the reference to my solid elimination schedule. I have retained the notes on fluid intake and outtake for scientific purposes.

IMG_79361130  Cast off Galleon Marina after shower, coffee and breakfast burrito. Prepped 4 more w rice, beans, cheese, steak, onion egg and red pepper.

IMG_79451200  Fueled at Conch Harbor fuel dock. Got stuff out of dink (except fuel) and added 2nd painter. Slightly wet shorts and shoes/socks. A jerky process. Partly to mostly cloudy. Zero  cal mineral water.

@1315  Hailed Key West Express and informed of my route. Lost hat while trying to get sails up and stuff squared away at KWE passing. Attempted recovery motorsailing. Missed first pass. Booney hat lost. Tried to pay CC due today via web. Frustration. Pwd? Got msg from Pops re doctor, traded msgs w Tanya and social. Lost Spot, rebooted. Seems working.

IMG_79551400  N. Of NW Channel, KW: 1-2.5′ seas wind est. 10-12 NNE. Motorsailing 2000RPM. All 3 up.  Chips n a beer. 6.4kt SOG. Sunny. Aqua water. 2000 RPM

1451-1505  Sails down. Wind on the nose. Almost lost “Captain” cap. 5.1kts SOG. Awesome.

1528  Shrimper on horizon crossing me W to E. Drinking a Water.

1537  Shrimper 1 appears to be passing safely to stbd (E), Shrimper 2 spotted 1mi east of that, course TBD

1540  12mi. line. Water has been bluer last few mi. Still blue green.

1546  Peed of stbd. Bright yellow, maybe from multivitamin.

1600  Wind 005M course 350T SOG 5.0-5.2. Shrimpers abeam to E @ 2-3mi. Waves 1-2.5′ w occasional 3’+ swell underneath.  1020mb

1611  Sea turtle abeam stbd 50′. Another shrimper abeam port @5mi.

1625  Dry shorts, 86 shoes and socks. Wind dead ahead @350T. SOG 4.8.

1633  @14.5mi NNW (350T) of KW NW Channel marker, crossed a 75yd stretch of different water. Reflection looked lighter. No capillary action? Noticed a few spots of small bubbles, could have been marine life. No change in wind or SOG during or after AFAIK

1642  shrimper astern 155M. Northbound?

1645  2200RPM. We’ll see how she does. Drank another water.

16:59:30  Same Pan Pan about missing diver S of KW.

IMG_79741700  Heading 003. COG 350T (actually this has been the case) @5.9kt. 2200RPM. Wind still @005T. Speed about same. 1021mb steady. Shrimper(s) passing towards NW, astern @5-7mi+.

1800  Heading 002 COG 350T 5.7-5.9kt.  wind/waves same. Altostratus NW cumulus and haze E. Clear above. 1021 mb steady. Key West Express passed 5mi E at 1745. Had 4-5 table crackers w cheese, and beer. Heated burrito. Lights on. Radio off.

1818  Most. Amazing. Burrito. Ever. Managed to get grill lit, turned down Med-Low…as low as I thought would stay lit. put foil pkg on. No idea how long. Let cool. One corner of bottom near center of grill (shifted from center due to motion) was barely charred. Overall: magnificent.

1900  lighted fog signal almost abeam to port @ 1/2mi. Vessel @55 degrees off starboard bow. Direction and distance unknown. Conditions same. Slightly more splash near marker. Have changed into jacket hoodie warmups and Docksiders. Making 5.4kt. 🙁

1911  Took 2 Tums for acid. “Vessel” disappeared. Going away? Moon not up yet. Many stars visible. 1021mb.

1937  Full moon appears over low cloud bank far East. Amazing.

2000  Thought we were getting into some smoother water for a sec where we could make better time. But no. Occasional large bow splash but thankfully no major cockpit spray. So far. Heading 354T. COG 351T @ 5.2kt. Speed varied greatly last little while. Down as low as 3.9 with sets of waves. Just took largest one yet. Time to put up iDevices etc. soon. (“Large” still = less than 4 ft, I think.)

(Probably less than 3 ft. Does moonlight make waves look bigger or smaller? I believe they look bigger looking toward them than looking abeam as they pass. What looked like an impressive wave becomes… Meh.)

2020  Returned iPad, cheese, crackers, cheese knife and board, 2 beer bottles inside. Got water and Zoom.

2035  Looks like rain. Wardrobe change. Heading into low cumulus. Moon obscured often but still providing some light.

IMG_79822100  We must be in a more confused sea about now. Down to 2.4 for a sec during wave set!!! Heard a tinkling sound, worried me a sec. It was water running aft off the side decks!! Wind may actually be a bit lighter but still same direction. 1021mb. Finished another water.

2200  Same Old Shit. Let the naps begin.

0000  left fog light to port peed twice more this hour.

0034  peed again

0100  Motion kinder? Smoother swells. But only 4 kts, per iPhone?

0102  a little more pounding of course

0200  1020mb. Peed again.

0239  Vessel WNW. Will pass. 4.7-4.8kt per plotter.

0302  Vessel still abeam. Appears to be bearing slowly astern.

0339  Vessel bearing stern quarter. @3mi?

0414  Vessel OOS. Peed again.

0437  Vessel astern, port quarter.

0500  Almost due W of Marco

0600  All is well.

0621  Dawn coming w moon still up. Peed again.

0700  All is well. Plunging a bit more again perhaps. Chilly abovedecks. Peed again. 1021mb

0800  25mi WSW of Naples. Peed. Put on burrito (oven) and water for coffee. Also drank 1/2 water.

Took lock off Y valve, opened seacock, ran macerator to (hopefully) empty holding tank. Returned valves. Made coffee. Cockpit definitely getting plenty of spray. Concerned holding tank may be loose. Will check when I can clear v berth.

0900  Burrito. May pass on the coffee. Diverting to San Carlos Bay and ICW (vs. Boca Grande). Gotta be better than this. Slightly less pitching, much more rolling and yawing. Maybe a hair more speed. 4.5 kts SOG 039T. Wind may have veered. On the nose, but waves on port bow. They have definitely been 3’+ max for a couple of hours. Moderate whitecaps, some small crests breaking. Sky clear, a few cirrus.

1000  Quick to neutral: passed over goddamn crab pot. Realized we had been on locked heading. Corrected back to Track and up to 2300 RPM.

1022  12mi. line. Just replaced Spot batteries after sending manual “Ok” msg and seeing red power led. Have we been transmitting track? Been happily blinking green all night. Getting 5+ kts. for a minute.

1034  Fishing boat port beam @ 2mi

IMG_80041038  Coastline highrises spotted 45 of stbd bow.

1100  9mi. line. Limited cell reception. Sanibel high rises seen to port bow as well. Still more crab pots.

1200  Approaching San Carlos Bay. 2300 RPM

1300  Entering San Carlos Bay, depth reading strangely shallow…consitently 5-6′ in what should be deeper water. Following shrimper in. They alternate between going my speed and slowing down for operations. Ugh.

@1330  While getting ready to pass shrimper, vessel under sail whistled at me. Discovered anchor hanging off bow! No doubt the cause for the false depth readings (hanging in front of transpoder). Re-lashed and continued into Matanzas Pass.

1430  Tied up at Moss Marina, Slip C-15. Wooooooooooot!IMG_8019


Leave a Reply