Day 4 (April 25th 2020):
Today was supposed to be the first day of really good sailing. As soon as we woke up we got ready to set sail, packed our lunches, and loaded up our gear. The plan for the day was to head out to an island in Everglade National Park where there are mud baths to play in.
We motored out of the slip and set the sails near the intercoastal waterway. The trip north was a good pace, we followed another sailboat out till they turned back part way. The entire time powerboats passed us appearing to head the same way we were.
The approach to the island is from the west, which was not what the winds were going to do. While it was possible to tac ourselves into the anchorage, the island was the far north of the area where we were allowed to take the boat. We started the motor and motored to the anchorage, or at least the the edge of it. The area was packed with power boats, many of them dragging anchor in the wind that was picking up more and more.
We anchored next to another boat from the resort and jumped in after making sure our anchor was holding. The neighboring boat was a couple from Miami that belongs the the resorts club, they come out a few times a month for a sail. We talked about Utah as they were headed there on vacation soon. Then they took off, sailing off their anchorage. It was pretty impressive really.
On shore we walked inland to find the mud baths, which were not far in at all. The mud stank pretty bad, but Nikki still laid down in the mud. We didn't stay long, as we were worried about the wind, and the powerboaters that can't anchor. I, unlike the other boat, started the motor and pulled us off the anchorage.
It wasn't long before we raised the sails. The original plan was to head to the bird island to go around it, but the wind had picked up far too much for that. The wind was blowing at nearly 17 knots and we needed to get back.
Nikki was terrified to say the least.
We reefed before to long to keep us from rounding up, which we did twice in strong gusts. After that the sailing was a bit easier but still stressful. We made it back super quick and moored up with no problem. Nikki was a bit shaken, but I came away with far more confidence in my ability than ever before.
We got cleaned up and headed to a dockside restaurant called Sharky's. The food here was some of the best that we had the entire time. This and fish market cafe were closely tied for first. The drinks were reasonably priced and we both needed them after that day of sailing. We also brought along a hitchhiker.
Then we ended the night just like always by the resort tiki hut watching the sunset with other guests.