Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sanibel Island

June 1st.

Winds out of the SW at 12 - 15kts with gusts near 18kts.

I was to meet Josh (aka Tidetraveller) to discuss the possibility of using the Kuleana for the Everglades Challenge ( a 350 mile adventure race down the west coast of Florida.  Josh successfully completed the 350 mile race this year using a Hobie Adventure Island.   Josh, being a true adventurer, wants to complete the race on windsurfer or paddle board.  So to give him a chance to test sail the Kuleana and perhaps determine if it would work for such an adventure we agreed to meet on the causeway leading onto Sanibel Island. 

The weather was great for testing the boat.  We had a nice strong wind blowing from the WSW with an occasional rain cloud as a frontal system moved across the state.  Josh brought along his stand-up board that he had retro-fitted for a sail.  We spent a couple of hours racing back and forth in the bay comparing notes and discussing possible options for the race. 

We both agreed that with some modifications to the design at least one Kuleana will be at the starting line for the 2013 Everglades Challenge.

Since I was in the area I thought I might as well spend a couple of nights on Sanibel and do some exploring.  I have heard lots of good things about the area but have never been made the time to visit.  So after a few hours of sailing with Josh we packed up and I headed for the Periwinkle Campground on Sanibel Island. 

Periwinkle Trailer Park & Campground is a nice park that has a limited number of tent sites.  I was able to reserve a site with electric hookup but never needed to use the electric.  Here in Florida, June it can get pretty uncomfortable to sleep at night, so I brought along a fan.  But because of the overcast rainy weather on Friday the temps were pleasant and I had no trouble sleeping in my tent.

Once I had my tent set up and camp in order, I set out to explore the island by bike.  I thought ahead enough to remember my bike and I am glad that I did.  Sanibel has a great bike trail so once you are on the island you don’t really need to ever use your car.
If you get to Sanibel you have to visit Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grill.  Order the Yucatan Shrimp.  You will love it!!!

On Saturday I rigged the Kuleana and sailed out to some of the islands north of the causeway.  Some of these are great for camping on, and would make a great stopping point if doing the EC.

This island just a few miles north of the Sanibel causway would make a geat place to camp.

Can you find the trail through the mangrove?

Another beautiful Gulf coast sunset on Sanibel Island... decompression time.

 Sanibel is a great place to visit.