Starting a new year afloat…

Ron spent much of November and December readying Prairie Dog for launch before the boatyard closed for the holidays, allowing us to get an earlier start to our winter boating season. We spent a couple of days at the dock following my arrival which allowed us the chance to re-connect with my cousin who has recently purchased a winter home nearby. Christmas Day saw some blustery winds, but then we shoved off from the dock to spend a pleasant afternoon and evening anchored in the “lake” before locking into Charlotte Harbor the next morning.

This may not look like much, but it’s always a bit stressful managing this manual lock. We had no problems locking through that morning, but learned two days later that it had closed down again the day after we locked through. Good thing we got out when we did!

We motored straight to Fort Myers Beach last Thursday. Although there was a bit of boat traffic, it was NOTHING like making our way north in Pine Island Sound during March, in the midst of spring breaks. We didn’t see near the number of dolphins we saw last year at this time. Perhaps the red tide from this past fall?

Our current plan is to moor here at Fort Myers Beach for the season, making short side trips south in settled weather, visiting our favorite cruising spots north as we make our way back towards the boatyard in March. Even though we arrived before the new year, mooring balls are more occupied than we anticipated. Last season, depending on timing, it could be difficult finding an available mooring ball. Anchoring restrictions in Florida likely aren’t helping.

Conch horns at sunset…

We will miss “sailors’ midnight” at the boatyard this evening, but will likely wake to welcome the new year: Fort Myers Beach advertises midnight fireworks off the fishing pier. Sounds like a noisy start to 2019!

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