Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Marco to Marathon

We left at 7:00 am on Saturday morning to hit the high tide through Goodland Pass.  We followed Dan and Carol on the sailboat "Maxine" because they'd traveled that route before and have a 5' draft. 



Following "Maxine"

The chart says 3' of water but there was actually 10'. Our draft is 3'8", so Captain Scruffy was nervous about this passage.

Yep. This mosquito bit me.


Maxine

After 86 nautical miles (9 hours) we arrived at Banana Bay Marina on Marathon in the Keys.  We stayed here last year. John likes this marina because there is a Home Depot across the street.
 
 
Sunday we rode out bikes to Sombrero Beach which is one of the nicer beaches in the Keys.  http://www.ci.marathon.fl.us/government/parks/city-parks-and-beaches/

We have our own little beach at the marina where we can watch parrot fish, manatees, and spiny lobsters.  I got this picture from the internet - we're not allowed to catch lobsters in the marina.  
 

The view from the flybridge.

We're planning on leaving Saturday for Plantation Key.  
 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Arrived Marco Island April 2

When we tried to leave Estero the wind suddenly picked up, so we turned back and stayed 2 more days waiting for the weather to calm down.  The next day, our water pump broke.  By some crazy miracle, the other Mainship at the marina (John and Barbara from Texas) had an extra water pump that they kindly gave us.  John - aka Captain Handy - replaced it.  Then we were on our way to Naples. 
Egret eating a shrimp



Captain Handy in the engine room replacing the water pump



Rick and Sue on Moonshine. We met them in Zihuatenajo 3 years ago.


Naples appears to be the Beverly Hills of SW Florida, if Beverly Hills had lots and lots of canals.  These are houses - not hotels......




 
We stayed at the Naples Boat Club which was made up of mega-yachts.  We liked the name of this 100' yacht. 
 
This is for my cat-crazy niece Alison.  This Persian Cat was in a store called
"The Wind in the Willows".  It was shaved to look like a little lion or poodle or who-knows-what. This is a real cat!  
  


 
Some years ago we spent Christmas with Augie Palma's family in Miami.  His grandparents kindly gave us gift certificates to the Bonefish Grill.  We FINALLY FOUND ONE in Naples.  We took a water shuttle to get there. The driver sold beer and wine out of an ice chest.  It was really fun!  Thank you again Mr. and Mrs. Palma! 
  



 
 
 


We are now at the Yacht Club of Marco Island through tomorrow.  We rode our bikes to the Snook Inn for lunch.  John had the Gator Sliders.  I had the blackened tuna sandwich. 
 
 
 
Then we rode to Tiger Tail State Park.  http://www.marco-island-florida.com/beach.htm     
 
 

There is a lagoon there that you can walk through to get to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico - it's the short cut to the beach. 


Friday, March 28, 2014

Lover's Key State Park

Yesterday we took the trolley (.50 per person) to the south end of Estero to Lover's Key State Park.
http://www.floridastateparks.org/loverskey/

The park is comprised of 4 barrier islands and is VERY NICE.  Lots of walking and biking paths.  And as for seashells, it blew Sanibel away. The beach looked as though dump trucks had deposited loads and loads of shells.  The quality and variety were very good.





This is a Pen shell
Our shell booty


This is an Olive


video
 
 
 

Back at Ft. Myers Beach


Here at the Pink Shell Resort there is another Mainship 40 belonging to Barbara and John from Texas.  They have a most excellent dog named Shiner, after the Texas beer Shiner Bock.
 







If the winds are under 20 knots tomorrow we'll head to Naples.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Captain Scruffy

John has grown an "I-just-retired beard" and my mother thinks he looks scruffy.  I think he looks "Hemingway-esque".  What does everyone think?  Leave your vote in the comment section at the bottom of this post. 


3 Nights at Anchor at Cayo Costa

We really lucked out at Cayo Costa.  The weather was perfect and we were able to anchor in a super-protected spot. 

The whole island is a park and you can only get there by boat. No cars are allowed.  The beach is giant, we saw dolphins and manatees every day, and swam in the Gulf of Mexico. 


 
 
 
 
On Saturday we headed back to Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island for a week.  It's raining as I write this, and is supposed to rain off and on this week. 
 
 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Captiva to Cayo Costa

We're leaving this morning on a rising tide to anchor for 3 nights at Cayo Costa.

http://www.floridastateparks.org/cayocosta/

A big storm came through Monday night, so Tuesday morning I went to the beach at low tide (the crack of 8:30 am) to do some shelling.  There were lots of tiny scallops but I haven't found any intact sand dollars yet. 







There were 5 or 6 manatees cavorting in the marina.  We've never seen that many at once. Sometimes they would lift their heads out of the water and touch noses :-)