Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On to Naples

During the night, at anchor, the wind started to kick up a bit and when morning came it was gray and overcast. This was Dieter and Joan's last day aboard as we prepared to go to Naples. Their plan was to rent a car and drive the 3 or so hours home.
It was not a particularly long trip about 35nm and we hoped to be in by early afternoon.

After leaving Indian Key Pass the sea conditions deteriorated and we were exposed to a strong southerly wind on our port side ( 25-35kts), with building waves of 4-5' and a few 6 footers thrown in while dodging crab pots. The weather forecast was for 2' seas, oh well can't be right all the time. While the waves were not big by some standards, they were right on top of each other which in this part of the gulf are made worse by it's relative shallowness. We had to travel west-north west to get beyond the shoals south of Marco Island. Once we did, and could turn more northerly, the ride smoothed out. But for a while it was a rough ride and we were thankful the stabilizers were working as good as they were.

Going into Naples was straight forward and once inside the waterway the sea conditions were calm but still very windy. We were a bit undecided how long we were going to stay in Naples, originally thinking maybe a few days. After saying goodbye to our shipmates Dieter and Joan we looked hard at the weather. It was still very windy and we were not particularly thrilled with the notion of another rough ride further north if these conditions persisted. The forecast had the wind dying down in the evening, a good day the next day and then conditions the following day getting much worse. So late in the afternoon we decided to make a run for it the next day in what looked like a good weather window. Our next stop, Cabbage Key, home of "hamburgers in paradise".

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