Friday, November 4, 2016

Day 31, Fort Myers to Naples, FL - Homeward Bound

November 4th.
Only a short 4 to 5 hour trip for our float plan today.

Sooooo, once again I’ll say that THIS will likely be the last day of our voyage, we can now say confidently, as at daybreak the weather is good and the forecast for the day in Southwest Florida is fair.

At 0845, we motor down the Caloosahatchee River out of Fort Myers, now and again having to idle down for manatee zones.  While we only saw manatee’sa few times, this whole trip has been filled with amazing wildlife between the birds, the sea animals and even land animals. 

Once again today, a dolphin was playing with our vessel’s wake while we were running at about 8 knots, this guy was shooting up the back side of the wave, jumping out and twirling onto his back as he splashed back into the surf, all the while with a smile on his face!

Today’s voyage down the coast was so much fun since this coast is one that we know pretty well from having been coming to this area for several decades now. We emerged from the Caloosahatchee River and into San Carlos Bay, through the Mantanzaz Pass into the Gulf of Mexico.  At that point we were several miles off the coast of Estero.  We then moved from several miles offshore to less than a mile, and ran along the beach past Pelican Bay, the Gulfshore area (where friends came out to the beach to welcome wave us from shore!) and Olde Naples before turning into Gordon Pass.  Then two miles north up to Naples City Dock, our final destination. Just as the sendoff in Maine, we were welcome here by family members!

Well, what a trip. It is certainly good to be back "home" on terra firma.  But first, and foremost, we need to pay our respects to the Lady A.  Our ship performed beautifully. There were very few issues with the systems and mechanics.  The Lady A is a small vessel, but she’s as seaworthy as any, and reliable all the day (and night) long. Life aboard was comfortable and sleeping was great.  We are so grateful for our vessel and of her, we are most proud.  

While I can’t yet say that I would rush out to do this trip again tomorrow, and I know Amanda wouldn't, we both have a great sense of having accomplished a significant voyage.  From Southern Maine to Southwest Florida, we sailed 1,772.2 nautical miles in 32 days (with a couple of weeks off in between due to weather).

The blog has been fun as well.  But bays, harbors, coves, rivers, sounds, gulfs and creeks as well as marinas, begin to run together and get hazy after a month at sea so it's nice to have the trip digitally memorialized. 

Thank you all who cared to take this voyage with us! nice to have you along.

Bon voyage to you.
We made it!

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