Highlights from 2008 Coastal Cruise in South West Florida


I started in Punta Gorda at Laishley Park Marina where I launched the boat and started my trek South. The ramp is OK at high tide for small sailboats. Launching was OK but pulling the boat back out even with an extension on the hitch required backing into the water quite a ways. The end of the ramp is clearly marked and I still had a few feet to go even with the back wheels a foot or two into the water.  The staff here is very friendly and helpful, the facilities are new and very clean. US 41 bridge can be seen in the background. Once clear of the two bridges Charlotte Harbor is to the West then South. My first destination was Bull Bay,  where Tom, Sue and Chris stopped by and fished for awhile.  

Chris caught a few small hardtails while rafted up in Bull Bay.  This was a slow sailing day and had to motor the last half of the trip down the harbor.  The next day the winds really started to pick up.  I stayed put and moved closer to shore and set out a second anchor in preparation for the cold front.  The second night I had wind gust of 34 knots.  The next day I saw very few people fishing in the bay with winds in the upper 20 knot range.  The following day was more reasonable and I was finally able to move down to Regal Island.
Sailed down the ICW in Pine Island <br soft>sound toward Regal Island. &nbsp;It was a beautiful day after the cold front passed through. It was very dry and no clouds.  After anchoring, I fished and caught and <br soft>released a few small sea trout.
at anchor
Sailed out Redfish Pass early one morning and put sails up and headed South. I wanted to avoid the miserable mile and all the headaches associated with the ICW. Instead I was too far offshore and once out of the lee of Sanibel Island had to contend with some fairly rough seas.  As I got closer to Naples things calmed down and I had no trouble going in to Gordon's pass.  Anchored in a residential area.  This pIcture is looking North East from the anchorage.  The next two photos were south of the anchorage.
tall ship
sea wall
Okbayou tied up on the seawall in front of the historic Rod and Gun Resort.
rod and gun resort
formerly The Rod and Gun Club

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Page two - more pics

looking upstream on the Baron River