So marina life is great and all, but it’s not what a blue-water-capable sail boat is designed for. Plus you can get pretty complacent with all that 120V shore power, unlimited potable water, showers and grocery stores a short walk away…. so it is time to test Sanitas’s systems while at anchor off the grid!
We decided to spend a night anchored off Eggmont Key State Park and wildlife preserve. Better yet, we planned to spend it with our new friends Drew and Sharon. We met Drew way back at the St Pete boat-show, when he captained our free sail on Tampa Bay. When introducing ourselves, we realized both our boats were currently located three boat-lengths apart in the Salt Creek Marina! By the end of our three hour tour, we were fast friends and all booked to set sail together for Key West as “buddy boats” on Jan 19th. Crazy! Since then, we have spent several evenings together talking and planning and getting excited for cruising. We even spent Christmas dinner together, and really felt welcomed in their family and home. So the prospect of anchoring out was more exciting knowing that we’d have wine and Euchre waiting for us in the harbor.
Winds were super light, so after a couple of hours of attempting to sail south, we gave up and started the motor. Still fun to ride under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge! (I told Mike, I could have jogged from downtown St Pete to the bridge faster than we sailed there) we had the chance to try lots of boat systems for the first time on this trip:
- We laid the anchor, and ensured that the 25 ft markings were still in place, and that the windlass worked
- We used our house battery banks and solar to power our electrical needs. Well mostly. One of the three solar panels never did function.
- We used our insanely expensive marine quality propane grill for the first time.
- We used the water maker, aka desalinator, for the first time. Coolest boat gear ever!
- We hoisted our dinghy, Bug, off the foredeck and into the water and back. And putted a whole 25 yards over to Drew’s boat and back. This was not a graceful project.
A successful trip, if I do say so myself!