Cold front came through - north wind whistling through the rigging. Big pot of gumbo simmering on the stove = warm cozy cabin. Yum!
37 degree wind-chill this morning - we hibernated inside with our hot coffee until the "sunroom" - i.e. cockpit surrounded by isenglass - heated up enough to enjoy the sun. Then shopping for fishing equipment to allow us hopefully to catch Florida fish ... then groceries ... followed by an afternoon of wet-sanding teak & sanding & filling holes with Marine-Tex.
Who knew David knew anything about Marine-Tex? :) He sanded & filled holes until he was done -- and then I enlisted his help in finishing the wet-sanding teak! But it's all done! Hopefully before the weekend is out, we'll have a new coat of varnish & I have no idea what will happen with all the filled holes.
A cold front rolled through southwest Florida today, but this morning was gorgeous -- 80 degrees and sunny at 11:38 AM; 60 degrees, overcast and blowing 22 gusting to 35 by 5 PM! YIKES! Time to get the varnish blue taped and ready for wet-sanding... hopefully tomorrow, if I don't freeze to death! Morning forecast is 46 degrees! I know that's not really cold, but it sure feels like it! :)
A nice morning beach walk, until the red tide forced us back to the boat -- this stuff is nasty, makes your eyes water, your throat tickle and your respiratory system complain! Time to do something else!
Next we took the dinghy to Manatee Lagoon, puttered slowly upwind then turned off the outboard and drifted through the lagoon several times. Lots of manatees, but none wanted to be photogenic this morning. It's about time that the tide is up enough we can get out and sail back to the marina, so off we go!
Perfect sail back... winds 11-15 over the starboard stern quarter ... wow! Flying at times with a knot of current pushing us! Now we'll just hope all of "fix it" packages from our shakedown cruise have arrived at the marina.
See this guy? He's known as a "fish hawk" aka osprey, and generally pretty good at catching fish. He didn't get any either. So we were feeling a bit better about only getting one nibble yesterday in two hours with our spinning rod & live shrimp bait...
So as any self-respecting cruisers would do, we took the dinghy to a deserted beach ... with shells ... and wandered. Out of nowhere a surf fisherman appeared, but he informed us that it wasn't us, that there just aren't any fish right now because of RED TIDE!
WHAT!!??? SO we've been thinking we're never going to recover from whatever the respitory crap that caught us up north might be ... thinging we're having a setback etc., and now we find out it's RED TIDE! That stuff is wicked, making our respiratory tracts feel ill even if we're not. So much for the extra vitamins!
And I think I'm glad we didn't catch a fish ... fish are dying everywhere around here, apparently from this red tide stuff. I wonder if we would have died if we'd have caught a fish yesterday that had the red tide illness that makes the other fish die.... wow.... not a good enough internet connection to find out, but we won't be fishing anymore this week!
Even the ducks, cormorants and especially the ospreys (aka fish hawks) are laughing at us. Aboard Winterlude for 2013, we decided we love to eat fish. We're not in the W Carib anymore where David can spearfish to his heart's content, so we need to learn to CATCH fish. Yeah right. Our first attempt was live shrimp on a weighted hook, drifting in the dinghy trying to catch either redfish or sheepshead. Guess what! We did NOT have fish for dinner tonight. According to the book, we did everything right. But the redfish & sheepshead apparently didn't think so. I HATE being laughed by birds! Try again tomorrow!
This was the "plan", get back to the marina, fix the autopilots, fill up with gas, make sure the Honda 2000 and other "essentials" are working and anchor out in paradise for a few days.
Too bad the CDC didn't guess better with this year's flu vaccines. Jus' sayin' .....
Finally back in the water! We had a fabulous sunset sail back to the marina. Enjoyed every minute. :)
Now to fix everything that broke on that 2 hour sail! More soon!