Most boat trips, if you’re lucky, have that ahhh moment. Like emerging from underwater after holding your breath, you immediately go from panicked to relieved. Well, our ahhh moment of the trip happened around noon of our third day. We had successfully navigated a skinny, crab-trap-filled channel and made our way to the ICW bound for Little Shark River in the Everglades.
After hours spent provisioning, packing, moving boxes, and prepping the boat, we were finally underway and it’s as if we left all the pre-trip stress neatly coiled at the dock. Country music played through the flybridge speakers as we dug into a simple lunch of ham and turkey on white bread with Pepperidge Farm goldfish. Surrounded by turquoise water and watching the occasional flying fish, I’m sure Digital Editor John Turner and Deputy Editor Jason Wood would agree that it was a lunch meeting we won’t soon forget.
Throughout our 50-mile leg we swapped stories and shifts at the helm. Conditions were as calm as they get; in fact our only obstacles were the seemingly endless fields of crab pots that had us juking and weaving.
As dusk settled upon us, we nestled into a spot between two sailboats on Little Shark River. The sun setting behind the dense mangroves was a warm welcome, the hoards of gnats and mosquitoes that descended upon us, well, not so much. Faster than you can say, “Do we have any bug spray?” we battened down the hatches, fired up the Northern Lights Generator and turned on the air conditioning. I’m sure our sailing neighbors looked at us with disdain. And that was before we powered up our Aqualuma underwater lights and seared 3-inch-thick ribeyes on the Kenyon electric grill we’re testing. Enjoying our meal in the saloon with a few cold beers, their looks of disgust had little affect on our mood.
As we wrapped up a successful first day of cruising, the memories of printing dozens of shipping labels for our electronics, or humping 20 gallons of fuel from a station down the road to Arawak were all but forgotten; they were replaced instead by the simple, yet satisfying memories we were making.