June 4th to June 12th
10,000 Island Cruise Report by Ned Christensen
Passion III arrived at Panther Key on the afternoon of June 7th to find Jerry and Kathleen Wellens on SLO DANCE, and Dan and Debbie Merriman on AIR BOSS already at anchor, having arrived the day before.
On the way down, Art Gross, who was sailing with me, received a phone call telling us that AIR BOSS had suffered a throttle cable breakage and could we pick up a cable to bring to their rescue. After a couple of phone calls, to a friend of mine, he agreed to purchase the cable and meet us at Marco Island Marina. We picked John White up and he joined us on the trip down the Marco River to deliver the cable to Dan on AIR BOSS. Many thanks to John for delivering that cable! The next day, Wednesday, we returned John to the Marco Island marina, then returned to Panther Key. We then joined Dan, Debbie, Jerry and Kathleen on SLO DANCE for cocktails later in the day. Surprise, surprise, Linda Raymond and Michael Cain on ZYDECO joined us at about sunset. They were returning home from their trip to the Bahamas and Florida Keys. It was great to have them join us on this cruise.
On Thursday morning, we all loaded on Passion III for a motor sailing trip to the Rod and Gun Club at Everglades City. We all enjoyed the interesting historical pictures adorning the walls of the club and later , a relaxed lunch-eon. Going back down the river, we were actually able to sail for part of the return trip to Panther Key. Friday morning, ZYDECO and SLO DANCE departed on their way home. Dan, Debbie, Art and I dinghied around the area and explored the anchorage and beach at Whitehorse Key. This is a very pretty spot. Next time you are anchored at Panther Key, take the time to dingy over to Whitehorse Key and look around at that beach.
Saturday morning, AIR BOSS and PASSION III raised the anchors and sailed southwest toward Romano Shoal, cut through a pass I use a couple of miles north of the Romano Shoal light, and then on up to anchor for the night in the Marco River, just North of Factory Bay. We were visited by several dolphins that were feeding in the area. They were very active in the evening and again the next morning. Great fun to watch these beautiful ani-mals.
Sunday morning began with a leisurely departure followed by motoring home. Very little wind, and the hottest day of the year on the water for us so far. But, I look forward to going again next year.