Check out Libra! Docked at her very own remote tropical island:
What an incredible trip this was. Each time Libra makes a runs from Key West back to Pensacola, we always try to include a stop in the Dry Tortugas, weather permitting, as it is such a pristine, captivating place to explore. The historic ruins of Fort Jefferson, jewel-toned green waters, excellent snorkeling and diving, not to mention (on this trip) a stop at Libra’s own private island. Captain Ryan bravely nudged Libra up to this dock with just inches to spare under the hull.
The sail from Key West, departing the afternoon of January 4th on an approximate 24-hour run, was calm and required some motor sailing, and the time was spent acclimating the crew to the navigational equipment aboard the boat and the many systems and sail plans as well as enjoying the sunset and a night under crisp stars. Libra docked at Fort Jefferson right at sunrise the following morning and allowed the crew most of the morning free time to explore and learn about the interesting designs and uses of the fort over its lifetime and snorkel around the vastly-populated reefs and pilings along the fort’s shore before sailing over to Loggerhead Key for more snorkeling around “Little Africa” reef on the back side of the island.
Libra tossed the lines around sunset and continued her way approximately 200 nm north to Clearwater to pull out of the Gulf while a cold front set to bring north winds of 25-30 mph rolled through the Gulf. This was when Captain Ryan captured the stunning drone footage of Libra that so many have commented on on our social media pages!
The last 300 nautical miles of the trip, from Clearwater to Pensacola Pass, on the back side of the front in the Gulf, offered some very sport sailing conditions and excellent upwind offshore sail training for the crew. Libra galloped along at an average speed of 8.1, completing the passage in a record 37 hours. It was a wet, windy, memorable ride! Here are some more photos from the sail. Join us next time at www.saillibra.com/join-a-sail/.