Long Boat Key to Pelican Bay

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Tuesday 8/12: Long Boat Key to Pelican Bay

We awoke just before eight. After a quick check of the weather, we decided to weigh anchor and head out into the gulf to make our way to Pelican Bay. In my admittedly small number of coastal passages, I have found passageweather.com to be a wonderful aid in planning trips. According to Passage Weather, we could expect 5-10 knot breezes out of the southwest, and 1-2 foot waves from the west. With this information in hand, we decided to venture out into the gulf instead of staying inside the ICW. The gulf makes for a much more relaxing day underway for me, as I don’t have to constantly be paying attention to the chart plotter, day markers, and depth meter. Those things make for a level of stress which is missing when out in the gulf. Once in the gulf, we set our course and turn on the autopilot for the most part.

Sails  caressed by the wind.

Sails caressed by the wind.

We decided to exit the ICW through Longboat Key pass. We had never entered or exited through this channel before, so we were somewhat apprehensive. The bridge is a bascule bridge which has only 45 feet of horizontal clearance. Our 25 foot beam made this passage a little more challenging. We would also meet with another challenge just before we hit the deep 25-30 foot water of the gulf. I could see a sand bar in front of us which was not marked on the chart. What to do? It was low tide, but I decided to proceed ahead with caution anyway. Beatitude gently kissed the sandy bottom a few times as the waves lifted us up and let us down while the depth meter read 3 1/2 feet. But seconds, later we were successfully past the bar and into the gulf.

Crew on the gulf, with lifejackets, at the insistence of the admiral. :)

Crew on the gulf, with lifejackets, at the insistence of the admiral. 🙂

The Captain at the Helm

The Captain at the Helm

Cindy relaxing by the mast.

Cindy relaxing by the mast.

Nine hours after weighing anchor we dropped anchor again in Pelican Bay off Cayo Costa State Park. Our ship’s log totaled 59.48 nautical miles (68.4 statute miles). We averaged around seven knots motor sailing through the gulf. The winds remained light, reaching no higher than about 11-12 knots and most of the time in the 7-8 knot range. The wind and waves came from the direction of our starboard bow the entire day. Passageweather was reliable once again. I handled the gulf passage well, but Cindy felt a little nauseated throughout the morning. Finally, around 2:20 in the afternoon she “lost her cookies” over the starboard aft quarter. After a quick nap, she was ready to go again.

Multi-hued sky.

Multi-hued sky.

The close of the day on Pelican Bay.

The close of the day on Pelican Bay.

Our entry into Pelican bay was uneventful. We dropped anchor in 5.5 ft of water around 5:30 p.m.. We put a few things away and Cindy began preparing a delicious cheesy chicken pot pie for dinner. Shortly thereafter the bugs came out en masse and we retreated into the cozy confines of our salon to watch “Bucket List” while we live out ours.

Our anchorage at Pelican Bay

Our anchorage at Pelican Bay

Dinner is ready.

Dinner is ready.

We never tire of sunsets.

We never tire of sunsets.

12 thoughts on “Long Boat Key to Pelican Bay

    • Hmmm. I guess I’d have to make the list formal to say. 🙂 One of the items on my list is to visit all the major art museums of the western world. Quite a few down, but quite a few to go.

  1. Captain, are you also taking some video clips along with these still shots? Let me know if you’ll need any help stitching them together at some point (another bucket list entry) 😀

    • You know, I had about twenty-something video clips I was going to try to piece together. And me, being the excellent videographer I am, erased them all when I tried to download. 🙁

  2. Glad you made it through Longboat Key pass without issue and glad the Admiral insisted on safety vests. Safety first! 🙂 Love You!

  3. I am so proud of you, and thank you for updating us ( and making us feel as if we are indeed aboard with you, sailing 🙂 Lots of love and as they say n Spain :” Viento en popa!!!”

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