My First Overnighter in After You, a Sanibel 17

by Chuck Wicks

I got back safely from my first over night trip on "After You"(previously Ron's Island Girl) my new to me Sanibel 17. It was nice to see Ron again. I went sailing with him on Whisper a few months ago on Lake Harris. It was also nice to meet Art and Brenda on Kiva. I had seen pictures of peep hens but had never seen one in person. It looks bigger in person. It's too bad that ya'll didn't stay over night because the rain never hit in the area that I anchored. I took Ron's advice and anchored in a cove behind Honeymoon Island. I anchored at about 4pm because it looked like the storm were starting to roll in. I was exhausted because I got up at 5am to leave so I would get to the launch ramp early. I took a nap and found out that the fan that I bought at Walmart worked great. When I woke up 3hrs later (Itold you I was tired) the boat was sitting on dry mud. The area was getting extreme tides because of a full moon. The difference between low and high tide was about 5 feet. I wanted to go to Caladesi Island the next morning so when the tide came in at 3am I pulled both of my anchors and moved to deeper water. This worked out fine but it put me up wind of the shore and I was real nervous at first even with both anchors out. I woke up every half hour to check to make sure I wasn't moving but I stayed put. The next morning I wanted to go to Caladesi Island for their "breakfast witha ranger" muffins, juice and coffee from 8:30 to 9:30. I pulled anchor at 7:30 figuring this would give me plenty of time. I had to go under the causeway to Honeymoon Island and I didn't want to have to fool with the lift bridge so I droped the mast which is an easy thing to do. I decided since I had already dropped the mast that I would go under the fixed bridge since it was a little closer. On my chart it showed some fairly shallow areas on the South side of the bridge but I thought with everything up I could make it. WRONG! I ended up getting stuck and had to climb out and push the boat off. I then went back through the fixed bridge and went around to the other bridge that I should have used in the first place. By the time I made it to the park the breakfast was over, DARN! Any way I made it back to the marina later and everything else went well. Looking forward to Cayo Costa next month, Chuck