For all it's beauty it's not what I expected. I was thinking of lots of grasses not the islands of trees. I think we have to go more inland to see that. Later today we're going to take the dinghies into Everglades City and explore by bicycle. We're planning to stay here all week.
Well my plan to leave yesterday and head out through the channel at lack tide didn't exactly work out. The tide was coming in and there was a strong current - but at least it wasn't against the waves. It was still a bit of a washing machine but nothing at all compared to the night before. In fact the whole day yesterday was pretty amazing. The wind had settled down a bit to 10 knots with gusts of 15 and it was dead on the stern. The waves had settled down with 2 footers and an occasional 3 footer. It was like a totally different world!
The autopilot held the course nicely. I managed to make a cup of tea while underway and I even got to read! Coleen came outside and helped steer for a time. She also learned how to use the chartplotter to see our speed, distance and time remaining until the next marker and the entire trip. She was quite proud of that new skill.
It's really just a short distance from Marco Island to Everglades City but it's very shoal near Cape Romano so we had to go out quite far before making a turn to come in. It was a truly a beautiful day and a wonderful sail. We neared the entrance to Indian Key around 3 p.m. Now this is the kind of entrance I like. Nothing to it - plenty of room, no big waves. Why can't they all be like this!
We motored for about an hour slowly sounding our way through the little mangrove islands searching for the perfect spot to anchor. The charted depths for this area were pretty much useless. Spots where the chart said 19 ft had 7ft and spots where the chart showed 8 had 20!
The only bad part about yesterday was that after all that travel I didn't have a coldie! We don't even have a piece of ice. So instead I had another up of hot tea and mixed up a batch of homemade guacomole to tide us over until dinner DJ made a key lime pie and I made swiss steak, mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. It was a yummy feast for some weary sailors.
We laid around and read the rest of the evening. The only sound was the turning of pages and the little creatures nibbling on the bottom of the boat. Very, very quiet place and the very black sky filled with a million stars. This is truly a magical place and I feel very blessed that we've come this far.