It was the night before we were set to move the boat to our new marina at Snook Bight in Fort Myers Beach, Fl. We were restless and anxious because we were finally going to live aboard the boat that had consumed our lives for the last 5 months. Furthermore, we were giving up suburban life to live the coastal life on an island that we had more than once verbally expressed our distaste for in the past.
Our conversations had questions like, what if the space isn’t enough? What if the cats don’t adjust? What if we don’t like living on a boat?! Is this marina too fancy for us young kids and our old boat? I guess none of that mattered now because it was a bit too late.
We had 3 different mechanics out to work on the engines and give them the final touches before the maiden voyage. A few thousand dollars later, we were ready to go! We had noted that our starboard engine has a knocking sound, and is in need of replacing in the future, and that our temperature gauges didn’t work. So we decided that we needed to at least get her to the new marina before we worried about fixing all of that. Even if getting her there meant SeaTow towing us in.
But the plan was to take it slow. We had approximately 33 nautical miles to go, and we figured we would go about 8-9 knots and get there in 3-4 hours, which makes for a very pleasant day on the water. I had the route mapped in our chart plotter, and I even accounted for taking the long scenic route out from Matanzas Pass and coming into Big Carlos Pass so that we could enjoy a little bit of cruising on the Gulf of Mexico. Well, that was Plan A.
Plan B, was to shut off the starboard side engine for the duration of the trip, and cut it back on to help us get in the slip. Plan C… (because you can never have too many back-up plans when boating) was to just get the boat out of the marina, and let SeaTow do the rest. We were prepared for it all, or so we thought.
We had pulled together and brushed up on our seamanship, amidst the packing and pure chaos taking place in our lives that week. Now, it was time to get some sleep because tomorrow was our big day!