January 25, 2016 – Monday – Roses Marina, Marco Island to Shark River Anchorage – 68.7 statute miles traveled

Sea to See pulled away from the dock at 0645 and slowly made our way out of the harbor and to the Gulf of Mexico again. Once in open water we found that not only were the waves higher than predicted but they were, once again, directly on our beam.

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Sunrise looking West toward the full moon on it’s way down.  Leaving Marco Island and heading out into the Gulf of Mexico

We plowed along and the wind waves continued to build so that after about two hours we were rolling uncomfortably. After dealing with this a little longer we started contemplating alternatives, one of which would be to turn east and into the waves that would take us into Everglade City. This was not what we wanted to do but it became more and more desirable as we slogged along. We finally gave this a try knowing it would mess up the ongoing travel plans regarding weather windows and Marathon moorage.

After about 15 minutes on this heading we decided to slowly turn south and see if we could make headway toward our original goal while keeping the ride comfortable. Our hope was that if we approached the shore, even though the water depths were less than 10 feet, we might find the waves smaller and more comfortable. I kept edging to more and more a southerly heading until we were back on track. It seems that after the waves were at their worse and we had altered course the wind had begun to lessen. Soon we were able to head directly to the Shark River entry and the ride kept getting better and better. The last six hours of the cruise were very enjoyable other than the fact we had to continually watch and avoid crab traps.

When we made our way up the Shark River we found we were the last of seven boats anchoring there for the night. There is plenty of room there so we all had a comfortable place to anchor. We discovered that this “river” is actually the main entrance and exit for tidal water to flow into a large area of lake and everglade swampland. The tidal current flows along near 2 mph at maximum flood and ebb. With a very good holding bottom we were locked in place even as we made the full 180 degree change with the tide.

There was a full moon and the wind was calm so the anchorage was almost magical in the middle of the night as I did my normal 360° check.

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Sunset looking out of Shark River into the Gulf of Mexico.  Namaste is anchored behind us.

 

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