FINALLY, the day came for Randy and I to bring our new sailboat home. We’d been staying at Randy’s dad’s home in Punta Gorda for the last few days to move some items aboard and get her ready for the trip home.
We got to the dock that morning and removed all the covers from the boat. The night before, we discussed how we were going to get the sailboat turned around in the canal. Ralph and his wife had a rather complex way using pulleys and line connected to a dock but we were somehow lucky enough to have the perfect conditions – a light east wind and very little current. Randy essentially just untied the bow line and let the nose of the boat swing left until it was facing out of the canal. Took quite a few minutes – thankfully no one was coming down the canal – but it worked and we were on our way!
We motored out and toward Charlotte Harbour heading to Pelican Bay (Cayo Costa), where we would spend the night. With our iPad on the fritz and not knowing how to operate the Faruno chart plotter, Randy basically navigated us by memory and Google maps. We made it to Pelican Bay in the early afternoon and set the anchor. Our stay there was pleasant but short.
The next morning, we headed for Fort Myers Beach. It was a beautiful morning and the cruise home was perfect. The few bridges we passed under made us a bit nervous since we aren’t used to being this tall. We finally got to Salty Sams Marina and found our new slip. Since we draft an extra foot (5 feet) and gained 4′, we had to move further out to a large slip that could accommodate us. Randy was very nervous bringing her into her slip without a bow and stern thrusters (we were spoiled on our trawler) so he radioed for help. We had 2 dock hands help us in and Randy did great. After almost 2.5 months of being in limbo, we were finally home!