And into the Gulf we go (Gulf of Mexico)

April 12

After our fuel filter interuption yesterday we did not make it to our planned anchorage so we chose a spot about 30 miles north or our original bogey. We were anchor up and underway by 7:10 (AM!) this morning. We were running past Naples when Dave and Sue got a call from his sister. Dave’s 96 year old mother had taken a turn for the worse so we pulled into Hamilton Marina in Naples and they jumped off the boat and grabbed a direct flight to Detroit at 4:30. Arrived in Toledo, Ohio 50 miles away for dinner. Thoughts and prayers with the Heilman family.

Images below give you an idea of the winds we were experiencing. This sailboat is really leaning into the wind.

We see this really pretty sailboat (The Glass Slipper) in the distance, a 54 foot sailing yacht. Pcture doesn’t do it justice.

After dropping Dave and Sue off the wind begins to pick up just south of Marco Island and we’re getting slapped around with 3 footers. These seas were a cakewalk compared to the beating Dave and I took when we brought the boat from Steinhatchee to Tarpon Springs. Debbie however, had never been in rough water before. We were not comfortable but never felt at risk. We ran 11 1/2 hours to get to our anchorage tonight at Little Shark River. Only a 40 mile run to Marathon tomorrow. Be there for lunch. Brief video of our run in big water and 25 mph winds. Looks like we are flying but this is what 9 mph sounds like with wind off the bow.

Now this nifty item was a gift from our Burnt Store friends Pete and Kristi Phelps from Manistee, Michigan. Solid teak beverage carrier great for haulin’ around a couple of adult beverages.

Kristi is such a pretty girl with a great smile… Pete, not so much, HA!

So we get to this beautiful achorage, the scenery is breathtaking. But the noseeums and mosquitos are overwhelming. We got this boat closed up for the night, Deb is in bed and apparently a mosquito just found a tasty little snack. YELP! It’s just past Looper midnite (that would be 9PM for you non boaters) and the sandman is beating me to death. Night!

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