Saturday, June 6, 2009


Motor vessel Messing About, a 26' walkaround cabin, out of Port Charlotte, FL
Captain Bill Scully (43)
Crew Billy Scully (13)

Launched from home port 6-6-09 at 640 PM

704p cleared short bridge at 0.7 ft above mean tide.

721p cleared final bridge to charlotte harbor.
Captain and crew wearing life vests.

735p Charlotte beach complex too shallow to anchor. Heading to cayo costa's pelican bay.

746p eng temp 170. Volts 13.2. Oil 40 psi. Speed 20 knots at 3750 rpm. Engine hour 401

810p reached #6 marker west of burnt store marina. Head break. Turn west 270*

819p bear 240* toward lee side of cayo costa island.

853p anchor down in 6 feet at 26 41.600N, 82 13.305W.

940p almost no wind. Anchor holding with no swing. We will spend the night here.

1230am up for deck watch. Cabin is warm and stagnant with very little air coming throught the window. We had to close the door to keep the noseeums out. Billy is sleeping soundly. I might have gotten 30 minutes. Topside, there is a nice breeze going and its a relief to feel it. GPS shows our anchor holding nicely. Breadcrumbs feature is in a tight circle as we swing on the hook. Dark clouds are moving over us from the west. I hear.a dog barking on Cayo Costa island. My bride sent me a goodnight text but she must have immediately shut down and gone to bed, as she missed my reply. I'm thinking of you, babe.

1250am. There's lots of fish breaking the surface under this nearly full moon. Wind is about 5-10 knots and steady. Water has a constant ripple now and is gently slapping the boat hull; enough to keep me from sleeping thru it.

1am. Moon now hiding behind an ever-darkening sky. Wind is sustained at 10 or better. Re-check long/lat position; A-OK. Sure glad I recorded that three hours ago.

110am. Everything is under control. I'm going downstairs to try some sleep.

245am. Deck watch, all secure. Anchor holding nicely despite 30 minutes of nasty winds. The moon is shing brightly again, after storm clouds threatened. Temperature is very nice in the upper 60s. I've been on deck since my last entry, laying seat cushions on the deck sole and getting very comfy rest, if not sleep, in the cool winds. The harbor is experiencing a decent chop but up here the sounds of the water slapping don't seem to slap me with it; not quite as loud. We had lightening over Gasparilla Island, about 2 miles northwest of my position but no sign of the wet stuff. The dark squall that cast over me earlier can be seen about 15 miles east of me, looking like rain at Cape Coral.

255am. Winds back down to 5-10 knots. Harbor waters flattening out again. Despite my fatigue, this is a great summer night to be at anchor. I'm ready to lay down again and hopefully experience an hour or so of R.E.M. sleep.

315am. The storm cell that was over Cape Coral is building above me quickly. Lots of lightening but the thunder is still distant. I may have to clear the deck and be ready to close Billys cabin window. Strange, the winds here are still out of the west and the cell is east of me yet it continues to climb atop my position.

330am. Lots of lightening strikes in that cell. Looking around, it's an isolated system but it's a big one.

415am. Deck watch, all secure. Anchor is holding perfectly. This is a good boat. The lightening cell is gone and I got a few winks. The wind is back and dare I say, I'm a little chilly. If I had a blanket, I'd be covered up in my makeshift deckbed. The reason I'm up here is mostly to watch our anchor. I have the Garmin monitor screen angled down to the floor and I can see it whenever I need assurance that we're holding. Oh wow, big dark clouds covering my moonlight. There's so much around us yet we continue to be, well you know....I don't want to jinx it, right Kath?

510am. Worst, darkest, biggest and most windy cell yet, upon us. It's really low too. White caps all around but the anchor holds tight.

513am. Here's the rain. I jumped downstairs with Billy and batton the hatches. The rain lasted only 5 minutes. Billy is still sleeping soundly. He's a good shipmate.

605am more brief rain. I'm up for the day. Finish rigging rods and call my bride to say good morning.

705am. Anchor up. Billys not.
Anchor has big load of muck and weeds. That's why it held so well. It took me a while to clean the anchor.

730am. Motor out through Boca Grande Pass. Waves are very heavy; much more than forecast. There are plenty of boats on the pass fishing the annual tarpon tourney.

800am. Seas so heavy, unable to do above 6 knots.

900am. About 10 miles out, Billy feeling the seas down in the cabin. I ask if he wants to turn back and he says no.

1000am. We not making much progress. We're about 15 miles west of Boca Grande and I can't even stand up without holding the wheel. I manage to send a couple of trolling lines out while Billy holds the helm but this is ridiculous.

1030am and now I am feeling sick. There's no use in going further out. I feel bad for Billy. He's not complaining but I see it in his eyes. I make the decision to turn back. He's okay with it.

With a following sea I can now make 18 knots heading east. I run the waves hard because I don't want to be out here anymore. I have to get Billy to a safer position.

1130am we reach Charlotte Harbor and I give Kathy an update. I can't get the boat home until tonight due to the tide.

1235pm. Tie up at Punta Gorda's Fisherman's Village. Even the harbor is a choppy mess. Kathy graciously comes to pickup Billy. I will guard the boat here at Fishville's public dock until 6pm and I head for home. I've been awake since Saturday at 5 am. Home is right where I want to be.

600pm. Depart Fishville for home, clearing the short bridge at 650pm, in a tide of 1.0.

730pm. Boat is on the lift. Flushed salt water from engines, washed boat and fishing gear down.

Trip meter shows 85 nautical miles travelled.
Engine meter hour 409.

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