Today was quite a day and one which we will never forget. We got up and left early as our plan was to make it to the south end of Pine Island near Sanibel Island. Under normal circumstances this would have been a long but doable day and setup the final half day to Burnt Store Marina which will be the winter home of BlueBreeze. To start up the coast we had to first go across Cape Romano Shoals. Using our Aquamaps app we had found a channel going straight west thru the shoal. We have used this app and our chart plotter charts since Annapolis, MD with no problem. Once we left the anchorage into the Gulf of Mexico, the wind picked up and the seas got really rough. We put up the reefed sails and sped across to the shoals. As we began to thread our way through the shoals, it quickly became evident that there had been a lot of shifting sand and the chart were not reliable. We ran aground but were able to back off and go back the way we came. We then dropped the sails and once again ran aground and were able to back off. It was very frightening as we could have been swamped if we couldn’t get off of the shoal. The only option at that point was to go south all the way around the shoals which we did. As a result by the time we headed north we had to motor into 5 ft seas all the way to the northerly Marco Island Inlet. It was a very narrow Inlet and at one point we actually surfed down an incoming wave. We made it inside and anchored. The wind calmed down and one other boat came into the anchorage. As you can see from these photos the day started with a beautiful sunrise.
The day ended with a beautiful sunset.