I set sail last Friday from Port Charlotte on a 250 nm cruise past Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers, Naples, Marco Island, 10,000 islands, Cape Sable and on to the Keys.
This was my first overnight/multi-day cruise with Miss Marisol. I invited my younger brother because he knows diesel, is resourceful, and he fishes Cape Sable and Florida Bay often and knows the waters.
We motor sailed/close hauled tacking SW out of Charlotte Harbor and conditions improved considerably once we turned onto the ICW at Cayo Costa. Our cruise was fun, and mostly uneventful until the morning of day 3. We left Marco Island behind as the sun disappeard on the horizon. Our plan was to sail in shifts all night to reach Shark River at dawn.
We made great time until about 3 a.m. when unforecasted winds of 25 -35kts started from the SE. It was too dark to attempt entry into Shark River. We motor sailed as close to the wind as we could and reached the Cape by dawn.
My brother started getting very aggitated. He kept talking about our schedule and how he "had to be back tomorrow." The tide, wind, and overall weather didn't care about his schedule. We had plenty of food, water, and diesel. Well, we did until he spent two hours trying to motor into the weather along Middle Cape. We burned half a tank that morning and made no progress. Tacking was not very helpful either. I was done humoring him. I ordered him to his bunk to go cool off. He just couldn't get over his power boating mentality. He thought the diesel was broken, because we weren't steaming into the seas and tide at 6 kts.
I went to my chart plotter and made a decision. We would change course and use the wind on our beam to make it to Big Pine Key in about 5 hours. That's a big detour from Islamorada. My brother didn't eat or speak to me all day. He missed a beautiful cruise at 5.8 kts. with my poor little yanmar thankfully silent.
When we reached the island and finally had cell reception, he called his wife and our dad and he almost instantly snapped out of it. It was incredible. He was miserable, then his happy self again. We overnighted in Marathon, then he rented a car and drove home. I finished the cruise with my Dad. It felt good (triumphant even) to sail into my home waters off Lower Matecumbe Key.
I didn't expect morale issues on my first cruise, but I'm proud of how I handled it. I didn't dismiss his ideas, but I also took command and made the decisions when I was done wasting fuel and time.