My son and I just finished up the second-ever trip on our Island Packet PY cruiser. The first trip I did solo from the National Liquidator dock in Fort Lauderdale to Indiantown Marina, but my eldest son (a HS senior) joined me on this second trip from Indiantown Marina to Sneed Island Boatworks.
The first day we made it from Indiantown Marina to FFs dock right before the Ortona lock. We left Indiantown at first light, and the lock that I was worried about at the entrance to the lake was open, so we cruised right through to a flat calm Lake Okeechobee. Easy trip. 55nm. Here's is the route shown on Garmin Bluechart.
The next morning we left early and made it through the Ortona lock at 7:30am-- we were the only boat in the lock. There was some turbulence on this first-ever lock for us, but it wasn't bad. It was a very interesting experience figuring out the lines, but Larry (Healhustler) had shown me the ropes (pun intended) earlier, so I sort of knew what to do. The cruise from the Ortona lock to Tarpon Point Marina was very picturesque, with lots of open land and a few mostly modest houses. Very relaxing. We pulled into Tarpon Point Marina around 3:30 (new docks, $108 for the night 😳
, and backed into a very narrow slip without hitting anything, showered and went to Pincher's restaurant on the Harbour to eat and watch Michigan State get blown out by Duke. Here's the route-- 46.3nm
The third leg of the trip was less relaxing. We left Tarpon Point Marina at first light and I got confused by the channel markers and bumped the bottom. There was a fishing boat coming down the channel as I was flailing around, and they politely told me that I was not in the channel.I felt the keel dragging so I gave my giant 110hp Yanmar 😁 some throttle and was able to get back in the channel. Felt pretty stupid but I guess it had to happen eventually. This area from Cape Coral to Sarasota was the busiest waterway I've ever been on. It was the Saterday before Easter so maybe that was at it was so crowded, but I lost count of the number of times I was waked by huge cruisers going the perfect "huge wake speed", and they were not shy about coming very close and then cutting in front of me. I was only radioed twice to let me know they were passing by a couple of sport fishers and they slowed down-- everyone else just came on past me. This was my first experience of being waked all day long so it was a little stressful. This was our longest leg of the trip at almost 70 miles, and it took us a full 10 hours because of all the boat traffic, bridges, dodging huge wakes, no wake zone's etc. We pulled into Marina jacks at 5:30 on Easter Subday, and that place was really rocking with a blues band out on the patio. Talk about a swanky place! We docked next to a giant yacht named "Determination"
We hit the very nice showers at the marina, and ate at a great little place name The Cottage in the area called the Village. That area was also rocking with partiers and maybe Spring Breakers. Nice scenery. Here's the route. 68.5nm.
The next morning we had a short hop over to Sneed Island Boat Works. They are going to look at a blister issue that might be covered under the Island Packet 10 year hull warranty, and also try to find out where my black water leak is coming from. I will gladly pay someone to do that. The route:
We had a great trip, but it was definitely more of a delivery IMO. We didn't have much time to do anything else. 10 hours was a long day for me. When my wife joins me I need to make sure we slow down and enjoy it more.