Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventures!
Eric here catching you up to date on the latest travels of Still Waters II. Click on this link to see the day- to-day travel log.
I would also like to welcome aboard Cookie G. as our newest virtual crew member.
Summary of week:
The crew left Venice and made their way to the Pelican Bay anchorage across from Cayo Costa State Park. On Friday they headed to Ft Myers to enjoy the Edison Festival of Lights.
Sunday – Tuesday, February 12-14, 2017
The crew continued to enjoy the laid-back retirement vibe of Venice. They walked the historic downtown and actually found the worst fudge on the loop. How fudge can be so creamy and have almost no taste is baffling to the skipper. He was a trooper though and suffered thru the pound of peanut butter fudge he bought. The Admiral did her part to eat the chocolate fudge, but in the end the skipper took one for the team and finished it off also.
The crew spent much of Tuesday riding their bikes around the island and walking the many beaches of Venice. The crew is still amazed how empty the beaches seem to be, even in this peak season for Venice. The only thing that seems to be full are the restaurants.
There is one restaurant at the marina that opens at 1100, closes at 1000, and is packed the whole day. Cars sit in the parking lot roadway waiting for a car to leave so they can pull up just to get a parking space. Boaters actually make the marina a destination just to go in and eat.
With all this activity, the crew had to check it out for themselves. The Admiral had a wonderful fish sandwich and the skipper’s grouper bites were outstanding. Best of all, they actually found a lull in the activity mid-day and only had two people in front of them in the wait line. Yes, life is good on the beach.
You know you are in a quiet town when the big thing to do is drive to the park and watch the nightly sunsets over the ocean. But as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do, so the crew would go walk out to the jetty and sit and watch the dolphins play while the sun would slide down and out of site.
Tuesday night the crew sat and talked with a couple of locals as the sun did its thing. After the sun went down the crew invited them aboard for a quick tour of the boat.
The Snow Moon was also visible coming up in the east one evening.
This 1926 wooden yacht made its way to Venice and tied up next to Still Waters II. The owner is selling 20 shares in the boat for $500,000 each. But do not take too long to make your decision because there are only three shares left.
If part ownership in a yacht is not your idea of living the dream, maybe this 48 foot Cat that also parked next to Still Waters II is more your style. It can be yours for a mere 12 million.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The crew set out towards Pelican Bay today with the idea that they would anchor for two nights. However, mother nature was back to huffing and puffing with high winds so they were not sure if they would anchor or not.
About half-way to Pelican Bay they ducked into Cape Haze Marina for fuel. Active Captain showed the diesel price at 2.02, the cheapest fuel in Florida, and the skipper was not going to pass that up. The marina sells fuel at their cost. It was a bit trying to get Still Waters II back into the fuel dock but the skipper finally made the dock. After taking on 132 gallons of fuel, the skipper was delighted to learn that the price was 1.90 a gallon. Yes, sir re Bob, this is a good deal and worth the trouble.
After the fuel stop the crew made way to Pelican Bay. When they arrived, there were already 15 boats in the anchorage. The skipper found a good spot and the crew became boat number 16. About an hour and a half later, two sailboats came in and joined the party. The cruising guide said this was a popular anchorage, but who knew this many folks would be here mid-week.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
The skipper launched the new Walker Bay dinghy and rowed over to the Cayo Costa State Park dinghy dock.
Upon arrival, he walked about a mile to the Gulf side of the island.
If you have ever hiked with the skipper you will recognize this next line, “the beach is just around the next bend.”
After arriving at the beach, the skipper found this most amazing shrub. He did not know that shells grew on trees.
After getting a mile from the campground he discovered shell heaven. He found nine Sand Dollars and many large sea shells. In fact, there were so many shells he could not possibly harvest them all. He found a few good samples to take and left the rest for the next person to make their way down the beach.
A few other interesting finds along the beach…..
A few birds were in formation along the shore guarding the shells.
On the way back to the dinghy dock a Park Ranger picked up the skipper and saved him the mile walk back to the dinghy. Now all he has to do is row back out to Still Waters II.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Low tide was at 0800 this morning, so the crew had to wait for the tide to rise before setting out to clear a shallow spot in the entrance of the bay When the crew went to weigh anchor, they found grass wrapped around the anchor chain. With a little more than 140 feet of chain out, it took about 40 minutes to retrieve and clean the anchor chain.
Once underway, the crew had a wonderful day on the water. The weather was perfect for a day on the water so there were a lot of other boaters out enjoying themselves. It was not uncommon to see at least seven boats headed towards Still Waters II at any given time. The crew is glad that they are not making this run on Saturday.
As the crew continued south on the GICW, they finally came to day marker red 16 which is the furthest the crew will travel south on this loop adventure. After passing red 16, the crew turned northeast and headed to Ft. Myers.
Headed up the Caloosahatchee River towards Ft. Myers.
This water front store brings a whole new meaning to the words convenience store.
Turns out that this weekend is the Edison Festival of Lights and the largest parade in the southeast will be Saturday night. This also means that the marinas are all full, but the crew snagged a slip because a long-term slip holder had his boat out for maintenance and agreed to allow the crew to use the slip for the weekend.
The crew feels pretty fortunate to have gotten a space to stay. The crew talked to some boater friends that they found over in the west bay of the marina and learned that they book their slips a year in advance to ensure they have a spot for the Festival.
After docking the crew walked over to the main stage of the Edison Festival of Lights and listened to some live music.
The first band played the blues and were pretty good.
The second band was named SOWFLO and played rock/reggae.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
The crew discovered another public art display in the Ft Myers River District. This was a 25-piece exhibit of Colombian artist Edgardo Carmona. The exhibit just completed an 18 city tour in Europe.
A few of the pieces…….
A snow cone vendor
Fixing to score 10 points on the next domino play.
While walking around in the morning to look for the art work, the crew noticed that the parade route sidewalk was almost already ‘reserved.’ People had come and placed tape down to mark there spots. The skipper asked the locals about the practice and the locals all agreed that it was an acceptable practice and people honored the system.
So come early in the morning, mark your spot, go home, and show back up at 1800 to claim your good spot on the parade route. The skipper is not sure what he thinks of this system.
Speaking of marking your spot. One last sculpture.
The parade turned out to be a little soggy. The rain began to fall about 1700, two hours before the start of the parade. There was a light drizzle for most of the parade. But it did not seem to put a damper on the parade entrants or crowd. There were over 130 entrants and it took almost two hours to pass by where the crew watched the parade. The crew is glad they stayed and watched the parade, but are not going to be booking a year in advance to be back.
Next Week –
The crew is only 10 miles from their ultimate goal of crossing their wake at Sweetwater Landing and completing their Loop Adventure. After taking a few days off to celebrate they will head across the Okeechobee Waterway and head south towards Miami.
Loop On – The water goes on forever and the adventure never ends.