Some of the day we had completely to ourselves. The crossing through Sarasota Bay, above Sarasota, was almost devoid of boaters. But all the canals were nearly clogged. There was so many wakes at times our autopilot struggled to maintain course. We bobbed a fair bit.
Right around Siesta Key, Russ had just gone into the boat for something (water, food, I don't recall) and I was alone on the bridge. Suddenly, a shrieking squeal filled the radio. I looked at all my gauges, thinking it was some kind of alarm telling me our engine was on fire -- it was that intense. It lasted a few seconds, causing our dogs much distress (Lizzie is not a fan of beeps, we've learned). Russ came up asking what that was, as if I did something to make that noise. He even restarted out VHF system thinking it got pooched somehow. Over the next half hour or so the Coast Guard hailed everyone on channel 16 asking for information about a boat in distress. A number of captains responded, saying they may have accidentally triggered their distress signals, but the CG were looking for a specific vessel. Apparently, they knew who they were looking for (the boat was called the Beagle, and they recited registration numbers to get that boats attention), just not where. It was also apparent that most boaters (like us) were shocked by the alarm and thought that they had done something to trigger it. In the end the Coast Guard gave an all clear, saying it had been an accident (I'm thinking curious kid pressing the big red button).
|Everybody is boating|
Otherwise, it couldn't have been a better day. Calm winds, smooth waters (baring jet-boats), warm sun.
Oh, and docking in Palmetto was almost trivial compared to some of the places we'd been. And I used to think it was tricky!
We spent a great couple of days in Ft. Myers. Here are some highlights.
|Cheesy pirate ship|
|Real pirate ship|