CRUISE UPDATE:This past Saturday night I sailed off-shore & overnight from the Gulfport to Ft. Myers Beach, about 120 nautical miles. It was a much better sail than the first but was still a little nervy since we are all so inexperienced. But the crew did well, and the weather was good to us.
The plan was to go up the Okeechobee waterway this week, but bad weather has us stuck in Ft. Myers. Yesterday we traveled about 18 nm northeast up the Caloosahatchee river to downtown Ft. Myers. Until then we had clogged and replaced the fuel filters a few times, but right past Ft. Myers we used our last one up and a fuel line became clogged. The offshore sail had stirred up all sorts of gunk in the diesel fuel tank and it needed cleaning desperately. This morning we had a guy come out and "polish" the fuel by agitating the sludge on the bottom of the tank, sucking it through a bunch of big filters and putting it back into the tank, circulating it a few times through until it ran clear and clean. The fuel I was getting out of the filters was oil black, not good. After spending some time bleeding the engine of air in the fuel lines (a big pain), we got the engine running smooth again with a clean tank.
However, a front is about to come through with a lot of rain and thunderstorms for the next few days. I dropped off my dad in Ft. Myers Beach so now its just me and my gf while she is on spring break. We expected to get to Stuart on the East coast by Friday. Now it looks like I'll have to keep the boat here for a week or two until good weather comes along and I can find at least one person to crew with me when the time comes.