We left Marco Island early last Thursday morning on a rising tide. We had no problems with depths getting out of Smokehouse Bay, but Ron was a nervous-nellie the entire way, until we reached the inlet.
By Thursday, the heavy easterlies had begun to “lay down” and we had a wonderful sail up to Fort Myers. We considered going in at Naples, just 7 nm to our north, but the day was young, the sailing was great, and we decided that we could easily handle the day-long sail up to Fort Myers, 34 nm to our north.
As we left the inlet at Marco Island, we recognized the sailboat coming out just behind us as a sister ship to Annwfn, our Niagara 35 (our “sweet” sailboat). I made a radio call to Fayaway and was greeted by her owner, also heading to Fort Myers. We promised to get together once we both arrived, to compare notes. There are a number of Niagara 35’s out there, but they’re not a common boat here in the south (Canadian boat builder) and generally we owners are pretty excited to meet other Niagara 35 owners.
We didn’t pick up a mooring at Fort Myers until nearly 4:00 that afternoon, but it had been mostly a blissfully motor-free day of sailing. You can’t beat that! Not only are we not spending money (burning fuel), but it’s quiet! I really, really dislike the hammering of the boat engine, and so does our cat!
We are planning to stay here at Fort Myers for the next couple of weeks. It could be an interesting two weeks. There isn’t much question that it’s spring break here on the Gulf coast: young men and women everywhere, after about 10:00 in the morning. I have never seen so many pierced navels. I have never seen so many tiny bikinis. Ron has commented that the women seem to be wearing less, while the young men are covering up more. The style appears to be long swim trunks pulled down over hips, worn over dark boxer shorts. And none of these kids wear shoes. The black pavement has got to be hot… their poor feet… And this past weekend, as we walked along the main street by the beach, guys in red t-shirts with “LOVE condoms” emblazoned across their chests, handed out free condoms to anyone interested. There seemed to be a lot of interest. Oh, to be young again!