One of the many osprey standing guard at their nests atop the channel markers into Smokehouse Bay.
When we departed our anchorage at the Little Shark River, spending a long day motor-sailing to our favorite spot at Marco Island–Smokehouse Bay–we planned to spend a day or two before heading the short hop to Naples, but once we had internet access again and could check the extended forecasts on NOAA and the PredictWind site, it was obvious we wouldn’t have enough time to loll around Smokehouse Bay before the next front arrived. We never launched our dinghy, just anchored off the Esplanade Marina early that evening and we were out the inlet at Marco Island, sailing the 9 nm up the coast to Naples, just after 0800. We had a very nice sail, with the wind still behind us, and were very comfortable, secure on our mooring in the Naples City mooring field well before the winds shifted strong to the NW by early that evening. We sat on our $10/night mooring at Naples the full 4 days we were allowed. And in the wee early hours of that 4th morning, the wind went dead calm and then shifted nicely from N to S-SE. There was a bit of leftover swell from 4 days of northerlies, but it wasn’t uncomfortable, and we motor-sailed up the coast to Fort Myers Beach, where spring break was in full swing (beaches loaded, parasails, Pirate ship tours, sunset cruises, live music from the bars surrounding the harbor, lots and lots of boat traffic).
We took a mooring at Fort Myers Beach for a week, not sure that we’d stay a whole week, but we did. Friends from long ago in Muskegon, Don and Linda Hanson (aboard their new m/v Ring of Fire), were in the mooring field and it was really nice having the opportunity to catch up with them. Going into shore, walking to the store, doing our shore errands, were a reminder of the spring break craziness that hits Fort Myers Beach this time of year. Again, so many pierced navels on so many different body types! We had always escaped to the quiet of our boat by nightfall, but the parties went on, especially Thursday through Sunday evenings when apparently the bars with live music are permitted to play past 9:00 PM. Weekends we were regularly serenaded to sleep by music that made me nostalgic (probably not Ron). That is an interesting question: Has the music from my late teen years/early 20’s become the music that kids today consider their spring break partying music?
Before leaving Fort Myers Beach, we made sure to get into shore early on Friday morning for their weekly farmer’s market. We missed the market when we were in Fort Myers Beach earlier this season.