Monday, March 27, 2017

2017March27th

March 25th Nana and Nandad left La Bellle early and had Avery long day to get back to Riverforest Yachting Center . After 10 hours we were ready to have a cocktail and dinner. We took our time with I.E. cruising around 8 to 10 knots. A very nice day with the perfect breeze on the bridge and plenty of opportunity for Nana to watch the wildlife through binoculars. After a very smooth passage it took about two and a half hours to get to the other side of Lake Okeechobee- we would have taken a break at Roland and Mary's Marina just before Clewiston but they were having a big bass fishing contest. The stretch along the canal and Lake Hippchee has its own special character passing lots of farm country with cows and horses grazing along the way and some coming down for water. Nana spotted lots of alligators camouflaged by the side of the canal,lots of egrets strolling along between the bamboo and water grass. An abundance of Blue Heron perched in their natural environment and even a Turkey Vulture picking at what looked like the carcass of either a manatee or gator.
March 26th Layday getting organized to return home , renting a car getting an uber to enterprise and having google find us the nearest Catholic Church so we could get to mass. What great use of all modern day conveniences. 
March 26th Nana and Nandad are spending the day cleaning, packing up and leaving I.E. in good shape for our next adventure hopefully in November. No more blogging until then. Excited to see all the grand babies, family and friends. Another great journey on I.E. that took many twists and turns but finally brought us to the west coast which we both loved. Nana wonders where our journey will take us next.




Friday, March 24, 2017

2017March24th


March 23rd Nana and Nandad started the journey back towards Fort Meyers. I.E. arrived into City of Fort Meyers Marina just in time for lunch. The Marina is right downtown where there are lots of wonderful restaurants. The downtown area has lots of wonderful sculptures, fountains, Shops, and a free trolley service - so very user friendly. We had no sooner stepped off the dock when Nana noticed a boathouse that was also a salon & instantly arranged for her toes and hands to be taken care of- a great find.  
That evening we had visitors for cocktail hour and dinner which was welcome company. Thank you again Dave & Sue, Alan & MaryAnn. We had an excellent dinner in the courtyard at The Twisted Vine Bistro.
March 24th I.E. started up the Caloosahatchee River after a wonderful morning visiting the Edison Ford Winter Estate. We did not spend enough time and will simply have to return. It is a must for anybody visiting the area. Always so much to see. Our evening is once again spent at La Belle OCWW Mile 103. Also known as the Honey Capital - the company maintains 1000 beehives. If you can tolerate the noise it is a lovely spot and the Forrey Grill has great food. A very unique restaurant. 




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017March22nd

Irelands Eye arrived into South Seas Resort at South Captiva yesterday at 11 am. The perfect family vacation resort with activities for all ages. Nana and Nandad washed and scrubbed I.E. so that she would look respectable among all the larger more modern boats. We missed Tigran's energy. There is a resident dolphin that swims around the boats and delights everybody when it comes up for air. There is also a family of very large Manatees that swims around ever so slowly. They are difficult to see due to the color of the water but worth the effort to watch out for due to their size. Afterwards Nana went to the beach of course and Nanadad continued his reading. At sunset there was a tradition of celebrating the Sunset. As most of you are aware Nana loves Sunset so off we went and participated. The ceremony involves throwing a Shell into the ocean at the exact moment the sun goes down and making a wish. Lots of little ones around which made Nana miss all those beautiful grand babies. Of course there is a flag for somebody to hold and naturally a conch to blow. 
March 22nd Nana and Nandad will play the nine hole short golf course in perfect sunshine- we will see. 
Another wonderful day. Of course Nandad was the winner of the golf! A lovely course perfect to practice you swing and putting. Nana was very proud that she did not loose a ball in the water- quite the accomplishment since we were surrounded by water. After golf Nana took the new fold up bike and biked into Sanibel across the blind pass- about 10 miles of simply wonderful homes,landscapes,and of course the ocean. The perfect award at Santiva General Store - the most delicious ice cream.
 Tomorrow Thursday Irelands Eye will head to City of Fort Meyers Marina beginning the journey up the river 





Monday, March 20, 2017

2017March20th

A lazy morning this morning as Nana took the dingy over to the park and had a wonderful walk on the beach finding very pretty sand dollar-notice picture. Nandad had a very long conference call so by 11am he had done a days work. Another beautiful day in paradise so we decided to hop over to Cabbage Key for lunch. The lovely little spot rests between Cayo Costa and Pine Island and although a very busy spot we have decided to stay for the night. Once you wander around the tiny island you experience a peacefulness that is really unique. Nandad was careful to carry a stick with him in case the local alligator crossed our path. The Inn here is a very busy restaurant and also has rooms and there are several cottages for rent. There is a big white tower that hold a water tank with 6000 gallons. The restaurant has an estimated $70000 dollars hanging all over the place and every year almost 13000 dollars fall to the floor and get donated to a local charity. A novel idea. We are booked into South Seas Resort on Captiva tomorrow so excited about that. 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

2017March18th

Nana and Nandad had a Layday for St Patrick's day at the Pink Shell Marina. The morning started with a light breakfast onboard Irelands Eye with Dave and Sue Patton. Finally we got to connect after several weeks of frustration. Sue and Dave have been cruising their boat for several weeks now but every time we would arrange to meet I.E. would need some attention. Nana and Nandad donned their Irish tea shirts, dressed the boat with Irish flags - thank you Bridget. We did not go to the parade as it takes place on the other end of Fort Meyers Beach which is a long walk! Nana had a wonderful hot stone massage followed by two peaceful hours on the beach. Life is good today. Great dinner with Sue and Dave at Sunset Beach Grill and it was a perfect bright red sunset. A wonderful stroll back to Pink Shell Marina on the beach where they had the Trolls playing on the outdoor movies screen. A fun distraction. 
March 19th This morning Nana and Nandad left Fort Meyers Beach and headed over towards Sanibel. A beautiful warm sunny day so we decided to drop the anchor over by Daring National Refuge for a quite relaxing lunch. The captain then decided that he wanted to head up to Useppa Island on Pine Island Sound about 18 miles. Nana was on the helm at the bridge for the entire journey and Nandad took a video of a family of dolphin that stayed with us for about 15 minutes frolicking all the way, such high jumps and twisting was a wonderful sight. I.E. is now anchored on the Northeast side of this private Island enjoying lots of peace and quite. Tomorrow we might anchor at the Island of Cayo Costa which is a State Park and after that we will stay at the South Seas Resort on Captive where we will explore a little.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017Mar16th

I.E. is now docked at Pink Shell Marina in Fort Meyers. It was really quite exciting today to cross the OCWW - Okeechobee WaterWay- into the GIWW-Gulf Intracostal Waterway. This happens without any real definitive mark at Shell Point which is right at the tip of Punta Rossa Cove. Nana and Nandad chartered a sailboat in this area in January in a place called Tarpon Marina so it was particularly interesting to be back on I.E. Cruising into San Carlos Bay with Sanibel to starboard and Fort Meyer Beach ahead with the wind and the sun was really inviting. Looking forward to cruising Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva, Useppa Island, Cabbage Key, Pine Island Sound and Cayo Costa. Lots to see and explore in 10days. 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017March15th

Nana and Nandad have crossed Lake Okeechobee and I.E. is now at a very noisy town dockage at La Belle OCWW Mile 103. Lake Okeechobee is the second largest fresh water lake in the US after Lake Michigan. We entered at Port Mayaca lock and crossed along Route 1 which is the Open Water Route. It took about two hours and the water is the color of dark chocolate!  Passing through leaving Clewiston lock to port we head for Moore Haven lock which is open so I.E. goes right through. The canal along this route is really very pretty with lots of reed grass, bamboo and water lettuce for the snowy egrets to play. The cruise down the Caloosahatchee canal- try pronouncing that one- took longer than expected so once we went through the Ortona Lock we decided to call it a day. Nana had fun for a short step aerobic session listening to 70's rock on her ear phones! It's fun to step it out with the breeze of the canal and knowing that nobody else can hear your music! Nandad was entertained listening to Nanas voice singing along! Oh the things we do for distractions . 
Tomorrow we hope to finally make it to Fort Meyers where IE will explore the west coast for a few days before heading back home. Winter storage will be at River Forest Marina where I.E. will be taken care of from April to Nov.