Sunday, February 28, 2016

Our time in Marco Island

Marco Island: it’s small and wealthy; a little too rich for our liking. We were anchored in a small bay surrounded by condos and a strip mall for shopping. It took an hour or more to motor to this inward bay through canals bordered by single family homes. We were glad to be in there when the open seas were getting twenty knots of wind and we got nearly nothing.

We enjoyed walking to various places as most everything was close. We walked to Wells Fargo, the U.S. Postal Service, Publix and West Marine just to name a few. I was excited to check out a second hand store, but was disappointed when I saw their prices. Nothing beats the second hand store prices in Nebraska. I suppose that’s what I’m used to now.
The Winn Dixie dinghy dock. Very convenient to get groceries.

On our way back to our boats.

We have to go under the bridge.

When we first arrived we stopped for coffee and a bite to eat at Mangos. It was good and right on the water. I watched Sanibel as we ate.
The view from Mangos.

I took Jimi’s bicycle and rode to the other end of the island two miles away to spend a few hours at the public library. It was nice to get away and the bike ride was good too.

And then we have many days of no play and all work.
I have to clean the fridge one or two times a week. Everything comes out including the wire rack. I use bleach water to clean everything.

All clean!

Jimi scrubbing the water line.

On Wednesday we walked 2+ miles to the beach. While there were a lot of people, there were also a lot of shells and I hadn’t brought my shell bag. I was bummed. We walked a while enjoying the sand, fresh sea air and the scenery. On our way back we stopped at Doreen’s Cup of Joe. Doreen’s is where it’s at. Jimi and I each ordered a cappuccino (I drank mine and half of his) and we shared a burrito. Both the coffees and the burrito were great! Thumbs up to Doreen.
 Wide open spaces.

Jimi found a couple of chairs by the trash..

The tide was out, the wind was blowing and we love the beach.

Bob made arrangements with the marina to let us have showers, so we each got in two showers during the week we were there. We tried to use the internet, but it wasn’t working, which is why I went to the library one morning.

Coconut are everywhere. After nearly a year of giving Jimi the Coco Jack as a gift, he was finally able to use it. We tried it out for the first time.
First he has to cut some off the end...

...until it looks like this.

Then he takes his tool and pounds a few times... 

...until the tool in embedded in the coconut.

Then he opens the coconut by pulling the handle of the tool in an upwards direction.

Waa Laa - get a straw and enjoy.

If you want some coconut meat. scrape it out with the next tool.

Here's a large chunk of coconut meat.


I love these tool and we're so please they worked so well. 
Thank you Shark Tank and Coco Jack.

We left the bay area around 3 pm Saturday anchoring just outside the canals to stage ourselves for our real departure. Then at 9 pm we pulled anchor again and set sail. We sailed through the night…finally arriving at Key West, Florida at 2 pm on Sunday.

We’re not certain how long we’ll stay here – maybe a few weeks to a month or more. For now, we’re happy to be back in one of our favorite places.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bye-Bye Fort Meyers Beach

Sunrise at Fort Meyers Beach

At it again – arriving at Fort Meyers Beach on Sunday, we anchored near the beach. We went to shore for a quick walk before the bugs came out. Monday morning we went back to the beach to collect sea shells. The tide was out by over a foot giving me an extra hundred feet of sand to search through; sand that would normally be under water. I’m happy with my finds.

Just before lunch we motored in to the mooring fields. The mooring fields were full up due to the bad weather we’ve been getting. We got lucky though – two boats left leaving two balls open for us to snatch up; one for Sanibel and one for Windygo.

The Fort Meyers Beach area on Old San Carlos Island is a nice place. It’s a little touristy, but still nice. There are lots of great eats. Bob treated Jimi and me to dinner at the Yukon Beach Stand and then we walked the pier before returning to our vessels for the night.

Paying for a mooring ball gives us access to showers (which we took full use of), laundry, water and Wi-Fi. The down side with their Wi-Fi is there really isn’t a place to use it.

My flowers are doing great. We set them outside during the day and bring them inside at night.

This is one happy bee at sea.

The lymph node on the right side of Jimi’s face has been swollen and he generally hasn’t felt good since November. He finally went to a walk-in clinic to see a Doctor. He found out he has a sinus infection and now has a prescription and on his way back to being in tip top shape.
Under the bridge to Fort Meyers Beach.

A quick and final lunch before leaving the island.

Now that's a chair.

After three nights on the mooring ball, we left the field anchoring by the beach again. Upon anchoring whenever Sanibel would swing around the helm wheel would turn. In addition we could hear some sort of banging on the hull. Jimi determined there was something on the ocean floor knocking in to our rudder. He promptly pulled anchor and moved. We’re hoping there’s no damage to the rudder; there’s no way to tell right now, as visibility would be an issue if he dived down to take a look. Keeping our fingers crossed.
He may look grumpy, but he's not - he's a sailor.

Jimi pulled anchor promptly at 7am for, roughly, a seven hour sail to Marco Island, Florida. At first the seas were calm and we were smoothly sailing along at 6 knots. Then later we were getting wind gusts, which were fine, but made things a little rougher. 
We arrived and anchored at Marco Island about 2 pm.

Bob picked us up in his dinghy and we went to shore for a preliminary look around, an afternoon snack and a cup of coffee.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine Treat

Snack Time - A triscut, salami, cheese, avocado and jalapeno. 

Three days shy of a month of being back in Charlotte Harbor.  I find it interesting that we started out here on these exact dates three years ago. For me time has flown by, but for others they say “is that all it’s been?”

When we first arrived we spent time with friends, Judy and Gary on s/v Cool Runnings, until their departure on January 31st. Judy gave us a Mexican Train domino set. Thank you Judy! We will get good use out of it. We’re hoping to meet back up with them in Key West in the coming days.
Sunset as we left s/v Cool Runnings in Fisherman's Village Marina.

The sunsets on Florida's seas are beautiful.

The weather hasn’t really been in our favor. We’ve gotten quite a lot of rain, for days on end even. The first set of rain storms confirmed that somewhere in my bed quarters I had a leak. I knew about the leak and hoped it would miraculously fix itself, but it hadn’t; how disappointing especially when I woke in the morning to find myself lying on soggy sheets, blankets, and etc.  It’s difficult to identify where the leaks are coming from with headliners and when countless nooks and cranny's are involved. Furthermore, Jimi couldn’t begin to fix the leaks until it stopped raining. My temporary solution was to try to collect the water as it entered my berth. I did my best to identify where the drips were coming from and I found three places to set bowls catching the intruding water. It helped immensely and over the next two days, I collected somewhere around a gallon of water. Once the rain stopped we poked around some more and think we’ve figured out what’s happening. The leak seems to be coming in at the hull seem. Jimi can fix this, but he’ll have to wait for a hot, dry sunny day. In the meantime, I hope for no rain.
This is the top corner of my mattress and sheet.

These were the three containers I used to catch water. I emptied them twice in a 24 hour period.

Somewhere along this shelf is where the leaks are.

I’ve kept myself busy with a lot of reading and knitting. I’ve made soap bags, a hanging organizer for my vanity, an apple bag, another bag for onions and potatoes, a bag for bags, and carrying holders for our new Yeti mugs.
Apple bag. Apples should be stored in a dark, cool place away from other fruits and vegetables. As they sit around they put off a gas that causes other fruits and vegetables to ripen faster.

This small bag will hold one onion and two potatoes. That's a good size for us right now.

I love my bag of bags. I use all my scraps of cotton yarn and came up with this. The grocery bags are pushed in from the top and can be pulled out one at a time, as needed, from a small opening at the bottom.

My hanging organizer. 

Soap bag - no wash cloth needed. It lathers nicely with 100% cotton yarn.

While in Punta Gorda, We’d only been able to get to shore a few times for walks. Most of the time we either couldn’t go because of weather or went only for groceries, showers or laundry. It seems like we’ve been stuck on Sanibel more than usual.

On February 1st, friend, Bob from s/v Windygo arrived to buddy sail with us. Jimi and Bob help each other with projects as needed. We’ve had him over for dinner and he’s had us over for dinner. Bob loaned us an antenna and when we hooked it up to our TV, we were able to get reception for the Super Bowl. That was GREAT – we felt as though we didn’t want to miss the game since our home team, the Broncos, was playing.
Bob arriving at the anchorage.

Chicken pot Pie from scratch on Super Bowl Sunday.

Bob had us over for dinner and grilled us some FANTASTIC steaks.

I took the leap and cut my hair. It’s length was to the middle of my back and now it sits above my shoulders. It’s still thick and out of control, but at least it’s easier to manage on a sail boat.

Jimi had had many other repairs and projects he's worked on including the patching the genoa sail,  patching the dinghy, replacing the lamps in the saloon, turning 275 feet of anchor chain around and some other miscellaneous projects.
Patching the sail.

Replacing the butyle tape under hardware.

The finale of our stay in Charlotte Harbor this year was the visit of John and Christa, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. They have been close friends of Jimi’s since his teen years. They came aboard Sanibel for a tour and an afternoon sail. Afterwards we walked along the water’s edge to the Tiki Hut where they treated us to a nice lunch. We had a fabulous time.
John, Jimi and Christa.

Lunch at the Tiki Hut.

The Tiki Hut.

Jimi and Christa in conversation.

On Saturday, February 13th, we sailed off; we’re heading south with s/v Windygo following along. We stopped for the evening in Pelican Bay and continued the journey on Sunday. We arrived at Fort Meyers Beach, Florida around 3 pm.

It’s good to be on the move again. The way I look at it Jimi took me on a romantic sail to Fort Meyers Beach for Valentines’ Day. He also gave me some chocolate covered strawberries and a potted flower – Hyacinth. Just before sunset we went for a relaxing walk on the beach.  I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.
Hyacinth sitting in the sink during our sail.

The chocolate covered strawberries took a beating getting to me, but they tasted the same.

No footprints - not many have access to come here.

Sea life passed on.

A relaxing stroll.

The colors are so pretty at sunset.


It was also good to be on a beach again. With our detours over the past year, this is the first time I’ve been on a beach in a year and a half.