South From Shoal Point


Starting Mileage (This Trip): 353.3 NM


Slept in today. Flipped off the anchor light after dawn to conserve battery (still need to replace alternator), and laid around on the settee bed.


Just damn. I thought I felt something give way last night when I lay down, but I thought (hoped) it was just this support settling into the groove on the underside of the settee extension.

Nope. Add another job to the punch list. And it’s not even 8:00 yet. ?

I already repaired where the hinge meets the bulkhead there. Now the other edge has come undone. Sheesh.


Breakfast and a little light reading. I feel like I should probably trace the main electrical system and diagram it before I start messing around with it.

But should I do it here? Or somewhere less bouncy?


Decision made. Just booked Marathon Marina starting Thursday. Need to get out of here, closest harbor out of this east wind is 10-12 hours away.


Sent Tanya the basic gist of today’s plan. (The first half, anyway…) South to Card Sound and out Angelfish Creek. Then WSW toward Matecumbe Harbor.


Up anchor and underway.


Oops. Called Caroline back. Need slip starting tomorrow night. Duh.


Breezy. On our ear.


Almost sunset. Did some Facebookin’ and Instagramin’. Red wine in the plastic tumbler I had coffee in this morning. Considering anchoring at Rodriguez Key.

I could be on the hook at dusk. But I’m not sure either anchorage there is ideal today. It’s good for north wind, south, or west. But not east.


Bypassing Rodriguez Key for Matecumbe Harbor. Should be flatter water to sleep in, and I’ll be closer to Marathon for tomorrow.

ETA: 22:30…ish.


The moon is up bright on our port quarter. Almost startled me when I turned around.


By this time, we were screaming down a broad reach at 7+ kts in maybe 18kts on the port quarter. Due to crab pots, I cut the engine and hand steered (to save power vs autohelm when the engine’s not charging the batteries)…but then put the engine back on in neutral.

Waves were maybe 3 feet, but some would slew us around and made me nervous about slinging the main around and popping it back full.

I furled the jib as we prepared to head up Channel Five, but even with the main eased out and the traveler all the way to port, we were flying up the channel:


Inside the bridge, the wind was blocked a little and our speed decreased by a knot or more. Before long, I put ‘er into the wind and got the main down.

It was flogging, but went into the lazy jacks pretty well since it was being blown straight back, and the flogging tended to clear it from the lazy jacks.

Of course, inside the bridge there were also…more crab pots! So, after passing a few very close aboard, I ended up having to put the jib out to get safely over to where I wanted to anchor.


Finally! At anchor in Matecumbe Harbor. I’m seeing 4+ foot waves on the outside, so I think this was a good call.

Many adjustments needed to be made to prevent clanging and thumping. But now…Zzzzzz

Ending Mileage (This Trip): 421.9 NM

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Bradford Rogers
Producer. Performer. Sailor. Multimedia Ninja. Author of How Not To Sail, host of the How Not To Sail podcast and YouTube channel.


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