Where we at

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Don Pedro to Naples, er, Marco Island (anchor)

This was a crazy day. When we woke the plan was to do what we always do -- go across the state through Lake Okeechobee. After yesterday's successes our confidence in the boat had increased. Additionally, it was looking like another lovely day, which meant another ton of boats. We'd have to go through "the miserable mile", and we'd do it right around the busiest time of the day.

Well... what if we don't? The weather for the next couple of day looked rather nice, after all. Many time we came this way with the intention of going around the point of Florida, and every time something changed our minds. Seriously, there is only so much you can do in Clewiston.

So, we zigged instead of zagged, and headed to Marco Island.

The dot on the water is a bunch of mylar
balloons. We practiced our MOB techniqes
And rescued it. Look at that water!
We still had issued with our alternator charging the house batteries. While Russ puttered with that I noticed something peculiar. We were making fuel. I filed a complaint with the manager. I know a little about boating and one thing is as you travel you're fuel tanks shouldn't be getting filled.

Russ fiddled with the data and viola! We had less than 1/3 a tank of fuel. Which isn't bad, but full tanks would be better, especially given we wanted to make sure those gauges were correct. We all know what gauges look like with a full tank.

As the day went on the water got better.
We changed plans and headed to Naples. Russ read the diesel prices were decent. After confirming that with a phone call (and they had mooring balls) we zigged again. At the time I was a bit disappointed. Marco Island was someplace new. We'd been to Naples before. But it was a longish day so stopping, taking a dingy ride, going into town for dinner, was all sounding wonderful.

If you've never boated to Naples once you get into the channel it is crazytown! It has the fastest speed limit we've ever seen; 30 MPH. We're only an 8 knot (about 12 MPH) boat. Needless to say, the experience was like the "miserable mile" on steroids. After being waked by huge fishing charters dashing customers back and forth we arrived at the City Dock.

We asked for 400 gallons. They only had 100. "We had a rush." They explained. We asked for a mooring ball. "What's your length overall?" "45." "The max is 43 foot on the moors." Needless to say, we were miffed. They didn't mention fuel supplies might be limited (or we would have called before coming), nor did they mention a size limitation when we asked about the mooring balls.

Disgruntled, we took the 100 gallons, then beat our way back to the gulf, through the waking fishing tours and tons of tour boats, then back on the gulf.

The gulf today was absolutely fabulous, both to and from Naples. Once outside the only fret was the occasional prop trap (aka, crab pots).

We picked Smokehouse Bay to anchor in. Reviews said it was closer to the haps in town. However, it was packed, filled with sailboats. No review mentioned that. We have had this happen to us a couple of times, where sailboats stuff an anchorage. These look like residents, maybe misplace by the hurricane? Or priced out of their marinas? Sadly, not a good trend.

Marco Island, and Smokehouse Bay
Just beyond was the 2nd anchorage that reviewers said was great but small, only able to fit one boat. We went there just to peek in. And we can confirm: it will only fit one boat. And that boat is us.

It's a toot to get back to our anchorage...

No comments:

Post a Comment