Shortly after daybreak on Friday, we untied our lines at the Marco Island Marina, turned into the fairway, and headed out into the Marco River. As we idled past La Peninsula on Isles of Capri (where we have stayed the past few years), friends Jean and Jan were outdoors to wave goodbye. Jan sent us this photo of R&R passing La P.
For the first ten miles or so we had a beautiful view of Marco Island off of the stern.
Our initial Navionics routing was direct over about 100 miles of open ocean from Marco Island to Marathon, but the Marco harbormaster convinced me to reroute closer to shore to gain protection from wind and waves. Added 10 miles but made the trip easier.
We traveled about three miles offshore. The nine-foot-deep water was glassy smooth until we reached Cape Sable at the South end of the Florida peninsula. For the last 25 miles from Cape Sable to our destination, we had easy one foot waves in a light haze.
We played dodge-em with hundreds of crab pot floats all day. A dock neighbor at Marco suggested that we add line cutters to our prop shafts to deal with possible crab pot line contacts. The next time R&R is hauled, I may add Spurs for peace of mind.
Along the way Rhonda took the helm with confidence and I took a short video of our crossing.
When we were about a mile out from Marlin Bay, we called the marina by telephone to get a slip assignment and other essential information. A few moments later, a skiff approached us. When the driver called out “Marlin Bay?” and we responded in the affirmative, he motioned “Follow me” and led us through the shallows into the harbor, giving instructions by marine radio. An unprecedented welcome to a beautiful marina!
A good 110 mile, 6-7 hour day! We were blessed with excellent weather and good travel conditions, and Marlin Bay will be a comfortable February home for us.