Happy New Year to all of our readers. It has been great to read your comments and to hear form some of you by phone.
We are going to depart Port Sanibel Marina on Wednesday or Thursday (depending on weather & forecasts). We will be stopping in Naples, Everglade City and possibly Flamigo. I need to call Flamingo and find out about their water depths and if there is any shoaling in the channel on the way in. There is a nice marina and the Visitor Center for the Everglades National Park at Flamingo. It would be nice to spend a day or 2 there before moving on to Islamarada.
We have had a couple of cold nights here and the low tides have been pretty low with the full moon but the weather is on the rebound today.
I have a few pictures that will hopefully be of interest. The marina rents boats and they were flushing one of the outboards and there is a manatee in the picture with his snout up drinking the fresh water, look close next to the prop. You are not supposed to give the manatees fresh water but it happens inadvertantly. Later that day I was draining water from my cooler off the swim platform and the manatee was there again for the stream of fresh water. It did not last long and he has not been back again.
We also have a osprey nest at the south end of the marina but there is no sign of any young birds yet, just the mother and father. We also have a great number of pelicans. They stay around the marina because of the charter boat captains. The captains clean the catch for the customers and then throw the fish remains to the pelicans who fight over them.
We had some rain one afternoon and ended with a double rainbow which was pretty unusual.
We also had a gentleman launch what turned out to be a brand new HackerCraft at the marina earlier this week. I did not realize that HackerCraft is still in business of building boats. The boat in the picture is 30′ with a 496 ci engine and he took it out into San Carlos Bay for some testing. I think they may have it down here for the boat show in Miami in February. The boat was mohagany with 12 coats of varnish and $300,000.
Finally one of the great sunsets at the marina.
Well it rained in Florida yesterday and the day before. Wednesday’s rain was a shower that lasted maybe 1/2 hour and did not interupt anything. Yesterday we had several showers, none were very long and they were at the end of the day. Today is perfect though in the upper 70’s and pletty of sunshine.
I got a rude introduction to the noseeum bugs around here. Monday late afternoon we were sitting out on the patio talking with friend and fellow boaters and I had on my swim trunks and did not notice that my legs were getting attacked by the noseeum bugs. They are called that because they are so small they will actually go thru normal window screens. Anyway it was a miserable night with the bites itching. I took some benedryl tablets and I tried benedryl lotion on my legs with marginal if any success. I went to CVS and got a pharmacist recommended lotion that helped, but only for a few hours and the itching was back. I saw a doctor yesterday and he prescribed some pills and a lotion that I picked up and today I feel a whole lot better. The real problem is that the bites are red and raise slightly. If you break the skin while scratching they can become infected. I stopped counting when I passed 40 bites on my right leg.
I also need to correct an entry in the last blog. We have know Peggy and Ken Watton since they did the loop in 2007. So it has been 5 years and not 4 years that Lenore and I have known them.
The 1st picture is the Lady Margaret, Ken and Peggy’s winter home in Florida and wherever they are traveling. The other picture is first light at the marina, just enough light for Candy and her 1st walk of the day.
Another great sunny day in Florida. I talked to a guy this morning at Port Sanibel Marina and he said the last rain they had was on election day. I am not complaining.
We did see some dolphins on the trip today. I got a tip from Bob from Orange Beach AL. He said to run the engines at 1500 rpm’s but not on plane and that is enough wake for the dolphins. While I think we can still get some better dolphin pictures, we had the opportunity today to see them jump the wake.
The water was fairly busy today. A lot of small skiffs out and about with a few fisherman. A few boats looked like travelers but we needed to really pay attention especially in the lower Sanibel Island area.
We passed thru another swing bridge today, Boca Grande Bridge. It is fascinating the way they turn it on the center and everything is in balance. THe bridge was on a schedule and opened on the hour and half hour so we had a little wait to pass thru. Clearance was only listed at 8′ so a lot of the boats need to wait for the bridge to open.
When we left Palm Island the wind was calm and only a little ripple was evident on the water. Wind was a little stronger on the southern part of Pine Island Sound near Fort Myers and the water had a moderate chop.
Lot of areas are posted as minimum wake. I asked one of the boaters about what minimum wake is and he said you can make enough wake until someone starts yelling at you. There is no real definition of what minimum wake is.
We arrived at Port Sanibel Marina in mid afternoon and our friens Ken and Peggy were there to greet us. We first met them in the Georgian Bay about 3 or 4 years ago when they were doing the Loop and then we visited them at Port Sanibel Marina that year when we went to Miami for the boat show.
Getting into the Port Sanibel Marina is somewhat of a challange because it is on a private marked channel and over a mile back off the main channel. Nice area with lots of natural little islands and some large homes as you get near the marina.
Another great day on the water, sunny and it got to the 80s. Lot of fisherman on the water today all the way down to Palm Island Marina. We also saw teenagers and younger in racing sculls on one of the bays north of Venice. There must have been 20 sculls on the water. You could tell that they were not very practiced because they were not all moving together with the rowing. We slowed down from 8.5 mph to 6 to minimize the wake.
Lots of lower style bridges today in the Venice area. We had to have one swing bridge and one bascule bridge open for us. Fortunately they were on demand openings and not on a schedule. The other bridges were in the 20′ to 28′ range so they posed no issue.
Many areas around Venice had lawn chairs all set up along the side of the ICW. Must have been a boat parade scheduled for later in the day or Sunday. Nobody was sitting there waiting for us to go by.
Palm Island Marina is another nice marina. Not a large marina, but a swimming pool, hot tub and a good seafood restaurant. They had free beer on the pool deck from noon to about 3:00 so that brought out the boaters that were in the marina.
Nice friendly staff that cannot do enough to help you dock and get setup and we saw Bob & Missy again, from Orange Beach Alabama. We first met them at Treasure Island earlier this week. They are staying here a month before heading down to Marathon.
Pictures today start at Marina Jacks and their facilities and finish at Palm Island with a great sunset to another wonderful day. Met a lot of nice people today and the scenery along the ICW is really good.