December was crazy and hectic with multiple family birthdays, a Jimmy Buffet Concert and a family trip to the Smokey Mountains for the Christmas holiday. With all of that behind us, Randy and I desperately needed some down time, so we decided to get off the dock and anchor out locally for New Years.
We wanted to stay close to Fort Myers Beach since we were planning on watching the fireworks, so we ended up anchoring at Bunche Beach. We’d anchored here in the past and it can be a bit rolly at times but we decided we needed to get our sea legs back. It actually wasn’t that bad and the sailboat handles waves and swell quite well. It was nice to be away from the dock and at anchor with no one else around.
NYE day was spent doing a few boat projects. Randy pulled out the main sail a couple times to tweak a few things while I was below reorganizing some cabinets. Our original plan was to dinghy into shore and watch the NYE fireworks from the beach. After learning that several family members and friends had all come down with COVID, we decided to stay at anchor and watch the fireworks from the boat. Thankfully, we had a pretty good view of the pier where they fire them off and I was able to stay awake until midnight to watch them.
The next day (New Years Day), we had 10-15 knot winds so we decided to go sailing! It was a gorgeous day and we had enough wind to get to 5.7 knots. We sailed most the day and spotted our neighbor’s boat, Trinity XII, out sailing as well. Our other neighbor, Adam, was aboard as well and snapped a few shots of us under sail. I was so excited to see what we looked like under sail (thanks Adam!)! We even tried our hand at downwind sailing with the jib and sailed right back to our anchorage. Randy showed me on the GPS where we started and where we returned and anchored under sail (see photo at end of post).
Finally on Sunday, we planned to return back to the marina before a cold front arrived. We decided to sail a bit before heading for home. The wind wasn’t as good as the previous day even though the seas were a bit bumpier. One thing we’ve noticed with the sailboat is that it handles rougher seas better than the trawler. We’d been out on the Gulf in similar seas in the trawler and we were rocked harder. The sailboat seems so heavy and with the deep keel, she glides through the waves.
Even with lower winds, we sailed anyway going a couple of knots and practiced tacking and some other things before lowering the stay sail and main sail, leaving only the jib for sailing downwind to Matanzas Pass before heading home.