I’m beginning to wonder if Aeolus (Greek God of Winds) has it in for us! Once again, the place I want to go to is DIRECTLY up wind from where I am!! I’m not going to get frustrated. I’m not going to get frustrated. I’m not going to….
No worries! We have two good engines and a good attitude, so off we go for Everglades City. The distance is just over 100 miles and will require an overnight, so we timed our departure (12:15 pm) so we would arrive just after sun up on the 9th. Finally at 7:00 PM, the wind had shifted North and freshened just enough so that we could raise our sails and get a little sailing in without the engines. By 10:00 PM the winds were light enough that we decided to run a single engine just enough to keep our average speed up to around 5.5 Knots.
Note for Landlubber friends: When Michelle and I are cruising alone and we have to make a passage that requires an overnight sail, we like to sail in 2 hour shifts during the hours after dark (roughly 9:00 PM until 7:00 AM). During the daylight hours, we just trade off as we want to. There are many opinions on the best watch schedule, but this seems to work well for us and allows for us to get plenty of sleep through out the day. Michelle says this works well for her for about 4 nights, after that, she’s ready to be done!
Just inside Indian Key, we found a quite little spot to anchor, have breakfast, take a short nap, and clean up before venturing into the “city.”
Everglades City is about 3 miles up a windy channel from Indian Key. The channel passes right through Everglades National Park and is quite scenic, with mangrove thickets, birds, and fish. We kept looking for an alligator or manatee, but didn’t see either as we motored along.
I’m not sure what we expected to find in EC, but I think we both expected to find more than there was. Everglade City is a town that enjoys some tourism, but I get the since that the residents could care less about tourists. There were literally no facilities for cruising boats. There were a couple of marinas, but they were shut down (out of business?).
There was, however, a gem to be found here. The Rod & Gun club was first opened in 1864 and has become well known across South Florida, as a great place to stay and/or eat. We pulled up to their dock to get some local information and decided to stay for lunch (best fried lobster I’ve ever eaten!), then decided to stay for the night. We hooked up our shore power and cranked up the Air Conditioners, did some laundry, and thoroughly enjoyed the facilities. Though I can’t say too much for the city, I can definitely recommend the Rod & Gun Club for a stop over (if you’re traveling by boat) or a road trip for dinner or lunch (if you’re shore bound).
Tomorrow we’re heading Marco Island…