In our last post about spending time at Franklin Locks after Christmas, we mentioned meeting cruising couple Ron and Phebe from Montana. Ron and Phebe spend their winters cruising aboard their 34' Cabo Rico sailboat named Noodin and their summers living and cruising in their RV. This is definitely a lifestyle to dream of and Randy and I could definitely see ourselves doing the same sometime.
Typically, Ron and Phebe cruise to the Bahamas but this year they decided to stay stateside because of the Covid-19 spread and the travel restrictions in place. They decided to check out the west coast of Florida and headed across the Okeechobee to Franklin Locks where we first met them. Once back home at Fort Myers Beach, they invited us out to their boat for happy hour. It was great because we were able to trade tips and local info with them about where to visit and anchor on the west coast of FL while they gave us a wealth of info about sailing and cruising the Bahamas (which Randy and I want to do someday). After meeting them for drinks a few times on their boat and ours, they invited us to go sailing with them for a day sail on the Gulf of Mexico. We were so excited because we've been wanting to go sailing and see what it's like to turn off the engine and go sailing.
Unfortunately, the wind wasn't ideal the day of the sail but we went anyway to see what we could do. After a stop to get fuel and water, Phebe took us out of Matanzas Pass and into the Gulf. Even if the wind wasn't perfect, it was still a great opportunity to learn the sailing terminology and basics of which sails are what and when to use them. Capt. Ron was such an excellent teacher instructing us on what the do and why. Randy was a natural at the helm and somehow always managed to find the wind getting us up to 7 knots at one time. By the end of the sail, we had learned the raise the mainsail, genoa and we even flew the spinnaker. Randy and I loved it and were so glad we'd been invited to get the feel of sailing. Once we were back in the mooring field, Randy and I dinghied home to get Sophie and some beers so we could have sundowners on Noodin and reflect on a great day of sailing and spending time in the company of new friends.
Check out Ron and Phebe's blog to learn more about their boat, that interesting name and their time crusing the Bahamas.