One week ago we saw a lull in the rain that had been battering us for 3 days, raised anchor, and arrived in the mooring field at Fort Myers Beach just as the rain began coming down again. Fortunately, the rain was short-lived and we spent a wonderful few days in FMB with weather that felt much more like the weather we’ve become accustomed to here in Florida.
We had planned to stay through Monday morning, to see the Super Bowl. We were both feeling a bit lonely for the gang at Boot Key Harbor–this was the first Super Bowl party we’ve missed at Boot Key in our 4 seasons down here. Well, the Super Bowl was a big disappointment (not that we were rooting for any one team, but we were looking forward to watching a good game). We ended up back at the boat by the start of the 4th quarter to listen to the end of the game on the radio. And rather than leaving on Monday morning, we decided to extend our stay one day.
It’s funny the surprises that come one’s way. While in Fort Myers Beach, we discovered old sailing friends, John and Lucy Knape aboard Maraki were in the harbor with us! Ron and I knew John and Lucy when we were all much younger, sailing out of the Muskegon Yacht Club. Back in the early 1980’s, John and Lucy sailed away from the Great Lakes in their Irwin 30 (Sequel) to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Europe and the Mediterranean, and ended up in the Virgin Islands where they worked and had their children. Four sons later, they left the Virgin Islands and circumnavigated in Maraki. They came back to Grand Rapids as their eldest was ready to enter high school, and have lived just a few miles from us for the past 15 years or so. I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve seen one another in that time. Ridiculous! Imagine our surprise when Lucy facebooked me (Facebook is a great communication tool!) to let me know that they were in the mooring field. It was great to spend some time together, catching up and sharing stories.
The day we left FMB for Naples, Maraki was still at anchor just outside the bridge (that’s Maraki in red). We motored the entire 27 miles down the coast to Naples; the wind was too close for us to sail. However, Maraki’s point of sail was more generous and John and Lucy sailed the 120 miles to Key West in just 24 hours. And caught no crab pots!
We’ve been sitting at Naples since Tuesday. They have a limit of 4 days on their moorings, so we will leave here tomorrow and head to Marco Island. Unfortunately, I caught Ron’s cold and have been pretty miserable while we’ve been here; I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. However, earlier in the week I felt up to taking advantage of the beautiful calm mornings here to try out my Christmas gift from Ron:
I cannot wait to take her back north with us and am really looking forward to the paddling opportunities this summer in the North Channel.
Ron and I are in discussions right now about what we’re going to do from Marco Island. Do we really want to take the two very long days south to the Keys? The idea of staying in this area and really exploring all these anchorages we always pass over is feeling more and more appealing.