We awoke early, left the Dry Tortugas at 7:30 am and headed north. The weather was good with 2-3’ seas in almost following seas. The ride was really not too bad. The day was uneventful and long (both good things in itself). John Henry had difficulty with Nobeltec all day – and had to reboot many times. We came into the San Carlos Bay about 10:00 pm though all the hordes of Fishing Boats which had to be maneuvered. Tom and Gale were about 2 miles behind us.
As we headed toward our destination, Nobeltec decided to crash again. With the congestion of the bay, the darkness because of the late hour, and a tired crew, we decided to turn back and called Tom to lead us in with his Navigation System. Just after we entered the channel behind Tom, both John Henry and Gale Force were pulled over by 2 US Coast Guard Boats.
The Coast Guard were suspicious of our activities come in so late (11:45 pm) from the Gulf. They wanted to board us and we requested they wait until we anchored as the winds had picked up to near 30 knots. They agreed and led us to Fort Myers Beach area just off Sanibel Island and insisted that we anchor there. Once anchored, they were having so much trouble boarding us due to wind and the GH swing dance, they just questioned us from their boat. They agreed that our actions were not that suspicious since we were having navigation problems, it explained why we turned around and meet another boat from the Gulf.
What an ending to a long day. Wink and I both believe that doing anything illegal would really show our stupidity in a get-a-way boat that does only 10mph. We stayed at that anchorage in a high winds, in the middle of the bay all night. Saturday afternoon we moved to a very protected anchorage just a mile or so away on the NE corner of the Sanibel bridge with depths of 6-8'. Things do work out for the best…. As our builder, Ken Fickett says, “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes yout stronger”. We feel pretty strong today…..