Monday, November 26, 2012

Fort Myers Beach

We are secured to a mooring ball here in Fort Myers Beach at the Matanzas Pass mooring field.  I called ahead to see what was available and we were given a choice of 6 balls.  Cruising slowly through the field making out the numbers was a challenge because the current had them all facing the other way. 
I hate barnacles
We got one, and it wasn't quite as new as in Sarasota. 
A lot of green crud and barnacles.

We now just needed to register and pay at The Matanzas Inn.  I Googled in on my phone and it said it was 2.4 miles away.  Had to be a mistake, right? 

So we cruised around looking for something just a little closer.  Number 11 was occupied, and 40, and 44.  Number 42 had so many barnacles growing that we couldn't get the rope out of the water.  Back to 50 it was.

See the bridge? That's where the
showers are and where we pay.

 After a night with 1 TV channel and on and off wifi we went to explore out through Matanzas Pass to the beach we passed on the way in. 

I'm not sure if he was looking for a snack
or $2 for having his picture taken but
he ran up to me as soon as we landed
Nice view!  There goes a boat sailing south

A bike ride takes a little (lot) of work but was worth the effort.  The bikes even though they are folding, take up as much space in the dinghy as two people.  We rode down the beach on the sand for 3 or 4 miles then back along the road. 
I'm sure that folding them back up and putting them in their bags the right way the first time will get quicker but we gave a bar full of happy hour customers some entertainment as we did it yesterday.
For rent.  Floating party deck complete with
bar, grill, couches, palm trees, hammock
and a dog

We have plenty of traffic around the boat

Just a short ride away the docks are full of shrimp boats.  Where there are shrimp boats there must be shrimp!  Big fat ones that Brian sauteed in butter and garlic.  Delicious!

once the sun goes down it gets pretty quiet

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cabbage Key & Thanksgiving

Wednesday we were looking for a cozy spot to anchor out of the north wind that's been howling for a couple of days.  We were planning on Cayo Costa but even though the chartplotter read depths of about 8 feet it looked pretty shallow.  A little later we saw a few boats anchored just west of Useppa Island and decided to join them. 

Within about half an hour we had been invited to a Thanksgiving brunch.  They had an amazing spread of food and cocktails.  I think at times there were 15-20 of us on a 37 foot boat.  Each time someone new came we all just shuffled a little to make room.  A couple of visiting fishermen stopped by and traded some freshly caught Redfish for snacks.  That was fun!

That's a bloody mary.  On the spike was a huge shrimp,
cheese, hot pepper, sausage and garlic stuffed olive

Just across the Intracoastal Waterway sits Cabbage Key.  We took the dinghy over to check out their famous bar.  The walls (and everything else) are plastered with dollar bills that guests have signed.  There are slips available, cottages for rent and a nice restaurant.  We went back the next day to walk the trail and climb the water tower.

we added our dollar to the wall

the view west out over Cabbage Key from the water tower

This is a really nice anchorage.  Although we are still getting a north wind which is cool and the passing boat traffic makes us rock a little, I would come back here again.

Thanksgiving dinner at the Cabbage Key Inn

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It was an Intracoastal day today from Sarasota to Englewood with lots of bridges. 

Some of the bridge tenders were great.  It's so nice when the the bridge is open before you get there.

boat work is never done


We did run aground once right in the middle of the channel.  6 knots to 0 in a flash.  No worries, no damage done just a little surprising.

the water turns much greener when you get to Venice
a little expensive real estate

I have noticed that the bigger the power boat, the less likely the driver is to return the boater wave.

this guy didn't wave back (wonder why) but he did did smile when I took his picture

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's time

I think I'm just going to get on with this today and backtrack when I have time and good wifi.

After a week or so of goodbye visits with all of our new friends we finally left the marina just before 8am on Saturday.  It was a fairly uneventful departure except for our docklines which were buried under our neighbour's.  Oh, and I dropped the dinghy bowline into the water on the way out of the slip.  Not a catastrophy, we towed it backwards. 

This isn't something I would recommend because it filled with water.  We got just past the first bridge, dropped the anchor, pumped it out and tied it up properly. 

With the sun setting so early these days we decided to make it an easy day and just head for the Manatee River.  It was only a 14 mile day but it's all about the journey not the destination, right?
We had afternoon snacks & cocktails while watching the pelicans fishing.  How they don't break their necks when they hit the water, I don't know but they always seem to catch something.

Sunday morning we plotted our course to Sarasota.  We have Homeport which is really convenient because we can plot our course on the laptop then transfer everything to the chartplotter.  Just for good measure we also have the INAVX app on the IPad.   

We arrived in Sarasota about 4 and snagged our first mooring ball.  It was much easier that I expected and I didn't even fall in.  At Marina Jack's for $20 you can stay on the mooring ball, free showers (used them this morning), wifi, water, laundry and a great view.

So here we are a day later.  We have a little issue with the generator which I'm hoping won't turn into a big issue.  On the upside, the solar panels and wind generator are doing a great job.

there's the Blue Moose at anchor
Marina Jack

About Us

Brian, Sally and Cricket the cat sailing on our 41 foot Morgan Classic sailboat. In October 2011 we sold our house, quit our jobs and set out for Florida in search of a sailboat. We found her in Madeira Beach Florida. A 1987 41 foot Morgan Classic. Our plan is to sail for a couple of years. First to the Bahamas, after that...who knows.