Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A summer day at Ft. De Soto

A fun summer day at Ft. De Soto. With massive Red Tide just a few miles south of us we're enjoying the area before it all gets wiped out.

A strong ebb and a bit of summer breeze carried us swiftly out Bunces Pass.

Stopped for lunch on the ever growing shoal just south of Bunces. The beach on the horizon is part of the shoal.

After lunch, we sailed north along Shell Key and, for the first time, entered the new pass which was created by hurricane Irma. This used to be all marsh and sand. The old pass on the northern tip of the island filled in completely so now this is the only cut north of Bunces pass. As a result, the current whips through here at an impressive clip. We had enough wind to slowly make way against the current right up the the narrowest part but had to give up and beached for a break.

I could just barely stand against the current at thigh deep. 

Minor calamity as a result of a wind shift due to the building sea breeze and a tangled sheet. I think the crew were complaining at this point that I'm taking phots instead of helping right the boat. 

It's really rough out there.

Looking out the pass into the Gulf.

We took advantage of the sea breeze and reached all the way to the northern tip of Shell Key and into Pass-a-Grille channel where we were hoping to portage back over the old cut and continue our circumnavigation of the island. No chance. I had not realized the extent to which the inlet filled in. There is no sign of it and we'd have to carry the boat 75 yards through the dunes. 

We beat out of Pass-a-Grille channel against a 13-18 knot breeze. I rarely sail with 4 people which is the maximum you can reasonably fit so wasn't sure how the boat would do against the chop. We once took a bit of green water over the bow but the boat handled great and we made good progress into the chop. Once clear of the inlet we turned south and a close reach got us quickly back into Bunces Pass which was still ebbing slightly. We sailed a few feet off the north shore to stay out of the main current and easily got back through. 

A stop for one last cool-off soak at the inside shoal, now exposed by the falling tide. 

Red track going out, pink returning.


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