Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Naples Boat Club, Naples, FL to Calusa Island Yacht Club, Goodland, FL — December 19, 2013

Great morning for travelling today.  A little chilly to start the day but the sky was cloudless and the breeze was light.

We started out about 9:00 which was about an hour after low tide.  We cruised down the river and started into the inside route to Marco Island.  We weren’t 100′ in when we started turning up bottom.  I immediately turned to port and we turned around.  Once we were headed back to the channel we were in deeper water but I was in the marked channel so the low tide took out a lot of water.  The moon has been mostly full so the tides are bigger.  We headed out Gordon Pass and turned south on the Gulf of Mexico toward Marco Island.

Last year we went the inside route on the Big Marco River to get to Florida Bay. The water was pretty skinny in the river so based on our turning mud earlier today we stayed outside past Marco Island.  Ramono Reef is south of Marco Island and we went about 7 miles south to get thru the shallows and even then I saw 4.5′ of water under the boat while we were crossing the reef area.

The winds were stronger down in this area and there was a good 2′ to 3′ chop on the water but once we got thru the reef area we turned north toward Calusa Island and the southeast winds were providing a little push. The water in Florida Bay is shallow and after we crossed the reef I do not think we saw more than 14′ under the boat and most of it was 5′ to 7′.

Calusa Island is our alternate to Everglade City where we stayed last year.  We were rocked by the fisherman leaving at 4:00 in the morning in Everglade City so we tried something else this year.  Calusa Island Yacht Club has some very good ratings on Active Captain and so far I agree with all the favorable ratings.

Calusa Island Yacht Club is located adjacent to Goodland Florida and only a few miles east of Marco Island.  The Big Marco River goes by and empties into Florida Bay from here. Lots of boats here and this is somewhat a suburb of Marco Island.  I talked to the dock master today and there are 24 liveaboards at the marina and most of the slips are full.  There is not a lot of water depth around here as you can see from the sailboat picture.  The docks are nice concrete floating docks with pump out available at all the slips.

We ate on board last night but tonight we will go into Goodland for dinner.  It is a small town but has several restaurants.  We will get a ride in from the Marina Manager when he leaves for the day.  We will walk back to the boat if we cannot find a ride, the distance is not too far. Candy and I walked in this afternoon to check it out.

The winds are up today and tomorrows prediction is the same.  We may have a break Sunday or Monday.  I will need to check the forecasts in the morning.