Not wanting to leave right at low tide, we slept a little later this morning and released our mooring lines around 9 am. Today was another gorgeous day to sail (motor). The morning sky was without a cloud and there was a light zephyr out of the east at around 6 knots. We slipped from the mooring field with only one minor complication. Our mooring lines were so tightly held by the twisted loop on the mooring ball, I had to make a quick dinghy trip out to the ball to release one of the lines. The other was then retrieved without difficulty.
We made our way back down the inside passage and exited Gordon Pass before turning southward to make the 14 nautical mile trip to Rose Marina in Marco Island. Once on the gulf, the winds picked up a little to around 10-12 knots from the east. We had minimal waves coming from the ENE which could hardly be felt aboard Beatitude. After a little over an hour in the gulf, we turned to enter Capri Pass. I called Sea Tow on the VHF radio prior to entering to request any local information about the pass. This was the first time I had done this. The reason was because my chart plotter said that their was a lot of shoaling in the area and one should obtain local knowledge prior to attempting a passage. Sea Tow was quite friendly and happy to offer help. Their advice: Stay within the markers and you’ll be fine. And they were right!
I’ve heard several say that the entry into Capri Pass is quite tricky… and it would be if one was not paying attention or had not looked at the charts before hand. The channel splits almost right away, so you have to be ready to follow the correct markers. Thankfully, we had no problems getting into Factory Bay, which is where Rose Marina is located. I certainly would have had trouble entering into Factory Bay and Rose Marina, however, if it were not for the dockmaster at the marina who instructed me to pass Snook Inn and hug the sea wall all the way to the marina. This was not at all apparent on my chart, so I was thankful for the information. Beatitude made her way in without a problem.
We pulled into our slip, a side tie slip on floating concrete docks. This is our first experience on floating docks. I’m thankful that we have them since we will soon be leaving Beatitude by herself for a couple of weeks. I’m especially thankful during hurricane season. In our old slip at Regatta Pointe, the docks were fixed and Beatitude would rise and fall on the tides in relation to the dock. Here, Beatitude rises and falls along with the dock. The dock rides up and down on concrete pilings approximately 10-12 feet high. If there is a storm surge, Beatitude and the docks will ride the surge as it comes. Enough of this talk about tropical storms and hurricanes, however!
After securing the lines and hooking up to shore power (It is so nice to have shore power again 🙂 ), we checked in at the ship store, which is the largest and most well stocked ship store I’ve ever seen at a marina. Rose Marina also has free wifi which is nice, although at this point it hasn’t been the most reliable. We did a few boat chores in the afternoon, including cleaning strainers and locating and documenting our thru hulls.
This was followed by a dinghy ride to Snook Inn, which has been a Marco Island fixture for over 40 years. Before its present name, it was called Snook Hole, because of the abundance of snook which could be found just off the dock. I enjoyed some of the best seafood of our trip this night. We arrived back at Beatitude just in time to climb atop the bimini and photograph the sunset. This was followed by two loads of laundry and an otherwise quiet relaxing evening tied to the dock… and air-conditioning running.