My O'Day 25 Story

I bought the O'day 25 February 19, 2002. This will be my log as we grow together. Check back as we add new adventures.

Here is the start of the trip from Jacksonville to Stuart, the first leg of my trip home. I was able to take a few weekends to work on the boat to get it ready for the long sail home. I added a Raytheon autopilot to help steer, I believe the most necessary part of my electronics since this trip was to be single handed.

The fort in St Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos. As I waited for the bridge I was able to sail in front of the fort and downtown area.

Coming up on one of the bridges on the intercoastal, great weather unfortunately no wind this day!!

Nice weather motoring down the intercoastal. As you see no sail on the boom. The winds picked up the first afternoon and blew out a panel in the main. The only sailing I did the rest of the trip was with the genoa.

Out on the water early just south of Melbourne, Florida, just as the sun was coming up.

The last day of the first leg of the trip. These are some to the house as you go up the St Lucie river towards my anchorage in Stuart, Southpoint Anchorage. 

Only one grounding south of Daytona on the first night. I waited for the tide to come in and she floated right off. Make sure you watch for commercial traffic on the intercoastal water way. My first night I had a huge tug boat coming right at me. Even thought the channel is narrow it must be deep enough for the ocean going tugs.

I stopped four time over night on the way from Jacksonville to Stuart. The first stop was unscheduled just south of the Palm Coast bridge when my engine stalled and the boat drifted aground in the narrow channel (a little contamination in the float bowl). The next night was uneventful stopping at the Titusville Municipal Marina. This was my longest day cruising from dawn to after sunset, coming in to the docks in the dark. It was good to get a shower and wash down the boat. Day three started early. I was heading to Melbourne for the night to meet a friend and spend the night. This was a short half day trip with the winds getting quite brisk. Just getting into the dock was a task with a 20 knot breeze blowing. I left Melbourne early and decided to make it to Ft Pierce. Again not a long day, but I didn't want to make it into Stuart in the dark. Staying at Ft Pierce was a pleasure at the Ft Pierce City Marina, very clean and many amenity. Watch out for currents at this marina when the tide is rolling. I started out the last day of the first leg of the trip with perfect weather. I cruised down the water way and made it to Stuart's, Southpoint Anchorage a little after lunch time. With only a small fuel dock and pump out station I tied up and went in to pay the dock master for a weeks stay. He gave me a mooring number and I motored out to tie up. After tying up I paddled in to shower and clean up. I did some laundry in the great facilities before packing up for the ride home the next day. As evening came I walked over to old Stuart and had a great dinner in the shopping area just across a few streets from the anchorage. 

I have completed half my trip at 254 miles and will now take the bus back to St Petersburg and leave the boat for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately I do have to take care of some business at home. It also gives me a break from the long but enjoyable days I have been putting in. We take on the locks and Lake Okeechobee on the 24th of March. Estimating 3 days to cross the state and another 3 day from Ft Myers to St Pete. More pictures to come. 

Now, across the the state and up the west coast of Florida

As I crossed the state from Stuart to Ft Myers, it was a big ditch, straight and narrow.

After crossing Lake Okeechobee and reaching Clewiston you move inside with the flood wall on the south side and a row of dead trees on the north.

These are a few of the trees that are still alive along the shore of the lake.

I anchored up between Lake Okeechobee and Ft. Myers on the first night after leaving Stuart. Above and below are pictures after waking up in the morning. The fog started rolling in as the sun was coming up. Kind of eary with nothing around besides the desolated banks of the river.

I met up with "Old Glory" at the first bridge I came to on the second day. He, too, was bringing his boat back to the Tampa Bay area. We cruised along for the next 25 miles or so until I stopped for ice. We traded some pictures over the internet so I was able to get some pictures of myself going through the lock. 

The locks were intimidating in the beginning but I found them to be quite easy, even single handed. The first St Lucie lock was the greatest rise bringing me up a good nine feet, after that it was all down hill. 

Good bye to "Old Glory" and good bye to my batteries in my camera. I am sorry I wasn't able to take any more picture. From here I cruised down the river through Ft Myers and Cape Coral. Lots of boats for a weekday and many inconsiderate boaters throwing big wakes bouncing me around more than I had the whole way down the east coast. The second day I made it out to Cabbage Key, just north of Sanibel. From the start at Stuart to Cabbage Key I have now traveled 162 nm, not bad for two day.  With a three quarter moon I came sailing in to the dock about 8:00 PM. If you are familiar with Cabbage Key you will know it has no bridges out to the island and you can only get to it by boat. I went into the restaurant and had a great grouper dinner and a few beers, with intentions of sailing on till midnight. After dinner though I came out and promptly fell asleep on the boat. 

Day three I awoke around 6:00 AM, took a shower and headed north up the intercoastal. I now have only 90nm left to get home. As I motored on I had the most picturesque views of the trip, and no camera. For the first time I was in waters over six feet in depth and I could see the bottom. Passing through the narrow channels near Palm Island and through to Venice my eyes were flashing back and forth watching the scenery. I was now getting close to my old home of Sarasota, some familiar waters of many years past. The waters haven't changed much but the view along the sides sure have. Even passing my old house near the Siesta Key bridge I found the new owner had built it into a two story house. I waited for a few minutes for the bridge to open and on to the Ringling Causeway and the big water of Sarasota Bay. As I got closer to Anna Maria I needed to make a decision weather to cross the Tampa Bay channel in the dark or to have  a good dinner and come into port in the morning. Being two and a half days ahead of schedule it wasn't a hard decision. I stayed on the north side of the Cortez Causeway and had dinner at the Seafood Shack restaurant and Marina. The food was great and was able to swap stories some other sailors at the bar. 

Day four started early again. As the sun came up I was heading for one of the last few bridges I would have to open. It was before 7 AM so the bridge opened when I called and I was headed for Tampa Bay. With the autopilot on the next hour or so I was cleaning and working on the boat as we crossed the deep waters of Tampa Bay behind Egmont Key. I passed to the west side of Fort DeSota and came in Pass-a-grille Pass hanging out at Shell Island for a while and taking a swim. It was now time to take her home. I sailed up to the the Bayway bridge and requested and opening and on in to Boca Ciega Bay. I got in around 10:00 AM and was ready to get home. In all, no scratches or problems. The 15 horse Honda 4 stroke engine chugged away day after day, sometimes never stopping from six in the morning till nine at night. It's too bad I didn't have more time to enjoy myself but I had to get back. The next trips will be more for pleasure. Stay tuned for more adventures of my wanderings. 

Along with the navigational charts I used two books for my trip from Jacksonville to St Petersburg. The main book was "Florida Cruising Directory" which covers the entire state of Florida. It was a great help with bridge heights and information. I also gave distances from point to point alone the intercoastal as well as marinas along the way. I also had purchased "Florida's West Coast" by Maptech. Since my main sailing area is the west coast of Florida this book could help me into the future. The new edition covers the entire state not just the west coast. Not only did it contain some of the same information as the "Florida Cruising Directory" but also aerial pictures of areas along the route. 

Here is a map of Florida with the path I took in yellow. From start to finish the whole trip was about 500 miles, give or take a mile for side trips.

If you have any questions about the trip please email me and I will try to answer.

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For other O'day 25 owners here are some helpful hints and trick for your boat.

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