Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23 rd Nanas final blog for 2017 to 2018 IE cruising adventures

Today was a very interesting hot day. IE cruised appropriately 30 NM which we discovered later was about 10 miles by car. We cruised up Charlotte Harbor to the mouth of the Myakka River where we entered through a single lock and into six miles of canal to reach Safe Cove. Safe Cove is a storage for boats where IE will remain under cover for the summer. It is where the number two arrow on the chart is. Upon arrival we rented an car from enterprise - to make sure this time we make our flight!!!we drove the car across the causeway to Garperrilla Island which was only about 10 miles away. 

The sailboat in the lock is named Irish Rose. The tall snowy egrets was our audience as we navigated the lock. It was a long cruise up the canal and we arrived at 2pm. The docks do not have electrical outlets so we were very thankful that IE  has a generator - it will be a hot night! 

Tomorrow Nandad will meet with the Volvo Engine Mechanic to get an opinion about the starboard engine. Nana will pack up the boat so that we will return in the fall to a nice clean boat. Nana and Nandad are thinking we will book a room at the Gasperilla Inn - if they have availability. This would be a very nice ending to our 2017/2018 cruising adventures. As always we are externally grateful for the opportunity that presents itself to us and we hope we will continue our exploring next fall.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 20th to April 23rd

IE has spent the long weekend at Boca Grande Marine - one of our favorite spots so we were very excited to secure a slip. This is a very busy Marina with lots of boats coming for lunch between 11am and 2pm and then later for dinner. Gasparella Island is truly a unique spot. It is the perfect place to walk, bike, golf cart ,beach and a fisherman’s paradise. The best Tarpon fishing - I believe! According to the local guide the island has no stoplights ( Nandad loves that ), no gas stations, no fast food and no fast paced living. 

On Saturday Nana and Nandad were provided with the best, if not noisiest, entertainment for the afternoon. The highly juiced cigarette boats arrived - 35 in total participating in the Fort Meyers Poker Run. Now these boats are quite the spectacle to watch and arrive with much glamour- helicopter overhead taking all kinds of pictures. Maybe IE will appear in some very high tech boating magazine! After the noise we got to admire all those highly polished and beautiful machines. A sport for the very wealthy.

Sunday as always found Nana and Nandad attending mass at the beautiful little Catholic Church called Our Lady of Mercy. Barbara Bush would attend service here when she was on the Island - all flags are flying half mast in respect of her passing. A wonderful breakfast at The Gasperilla Inn which is truly Florida As It Was Meant To Be - as advertised by the Inn. If you are lucky enough to stay at the Inn you have access to golf, tennis and a beautiful beach club along with a hoard of other activities. 

The Our Lady of Mercy church at Bona Grande 

Nana in her glory at breakfast and Nandad outside Hudson’s grocery where the Pink gas pump is surrounded by beautiful flowers. The store closes on Sundays and opening times are 8am to 5 pm. The perfect schedule to allow some Island time every day. 

Monday morning IE will make her way up to Safe Cove. Safe Cove is 30 nm from Boca Grande where a series of canals  ( 6 mile long) lead to Placida Harbor. She will remain there for the summer and Nana and Nandad hope to return on their adventures once again in the fall. How lucky are we.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A day from hell ( Uber & Spirit Airways)April 15th Nana and Nandad return to IE

We arranged an Uber for for our flight at 6.45am from Boston to Fort Meyers. He arrived 5.10am in a Prius with nearly 200 k on the clock - wheel bearing shot- traveling at max speed of 60 mph on mass pike after taking 20 minutes to get to 495. ( at this time on-a Sunday morning Logan is 50 minutes max). We arrived at Logan at 6.08 and it took another 5 to 10 minutes to proceeded to check in for our flight at 6.45 only to be informed that the computer stopped issuing boarding passes 45 minutes before takeoff. ( Narration by Nandad - can you feel his frustration!). Not to worry boarded a Jet Blue flight instead at 8.30 amazing what money can buy. Lesson learned by Nana and Nandad. Arrived at IE at 2pm and headed for South Seas Captiva. On our way over we got caught right in the middle of a thunderstorm with high winds and horizontal rain!! At least it wasn’t the sail boat so the Captain and First Lady remained dry. It was a little unnerving to be navigating the ICW with limited vision however we arrived safely into South Seas and were docked by 6pm.

Now our daughter Aideen and family were having their own experience due to the storm their flight was delayed by two hours and they were kept on the plane with a two and four year old!! Needless to say all the movies on the iPad were watched before take off! They arrived exhausted to the resort at 10pm. A long day but at least they woke up to sunshine, warmth and IE was right their at the dock.

A wonderful few days spent sharing paradise with family. The kids swam in the pool everyday ( although it was a long walk for little ones to get there), the manatees and dolphins were a huge success, we went on a dingy ride, boat ride, rode the tram to watch the magic show and of course made a wish at sunset by throwing our shells into the ocean. All adults were exhausted particularly Mommy and Daddy but a good time was had by all.

Aideen, Chris, Cillian and Liam with Nandad explaining the wish upon a shell ritual at Sunset.

Yes we did attempt dinner at Doc Fords before the magician performance! Early bird special is always good with little ones. The gang gathered on the bow of Ireland’s Eye on the way to North Captive so the Doneski’s could see where the Arsenault’s vacationed. We did attempt fishing however as you can imagine with a four year old and a two year old we were not that successful. Nandad and Chris’s patience was certainly challenged.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

IE will stay at City of Fort Meyers until April 15

Nana and Nandad are so excited to return to Franklin to celebrate Easter with family and friends. Nandad might have to make a little adjustment given he has been on IE for almost six weeks which means he has missed a lot of snow!

While taking a walk at South Seas Nana and Nandad came across the following , which was on the back of a bench looking directly over Redfish Pass towards North Captiva. Given that the sunset is always an event Nana thought her readers might enjoy “ Between the memories of the past and the hopes of the future there’s the bridge, where everyone comes together,called sunset” 🌅 This particular sunset is a repeat from a previous blog and is taken while on anchor at Cayo Costa/Pine Island. 

March 20th to March 23rd IE returns to South Seas Captiva

Now it is very difficult to explain how Nana and Nandad could be on IE just four miles from Sinead and Dana but not be able to reach them, so I have this picture of the islands that might explain. Sanibel and South Captiva are connected to the mainland by bridges however in 1921 a hurricane created the pass called Redfish Pass and so divided North Captiva from its sister island and hence it is only accessed by boat. The arrow above points to this Pass. The currents are very strong here and even if you do Beach your dingy that end of North Captiva is only a hiking trail!!! Are you understanding yet? 

Safety Harbor is the little hook at the tip of North Captiva. This is where The small ferries drop people off from Pineland and also where Barnacles is. So you can bring in small craft and enjoy lunch etc but unfortunately IE is too big! IE anchored very successfully for four nights close to Captiva Pass which is where Cayo Costa is however due to strong winds and high seas we were unable to stay or do the four mile dingy ride from Wednesday to Friday. So that is your navigation and weather lesson for now. 

While at the Marina at South Seas the Manatees were very much enjoying a shower from a hose on somebody’s boat. There must be at least ten swimming around but the are smart enough that when they hear the sound for your engine the move out of the way. Now the captain has to move the boat slowly as manatees movements are like the Sloth! No problem to captain A. 

The other picture is on our way up to the City of Fort Meyers passing Capt P’s cruiser with a dolphin on our port side. IE will stay here until April 15th when Nana and Nandad return for their final cruise of 2018. We plan to spend four days again at South Seas this time sharing the experience with The Doneski’s. Can’t wait. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March 18th to March 20th North Captiva with The Arsenault’s 

How many of us can say that we have seen Manatee in their natural habitat and Gopher tortoise? Here on North Captiva that is what you get to see. This is truely a unique experience. A wonderful few days both on anchorage and then at South Seas with overnight stay at North Captiva. Nana and Nandad travel the short distance of four miles in the dingy to North Captiva from South Seas which is on South Capitva. Now unless you know the area this might seem like a no brainer! However it is not as easy as it might seem. The waters at Redfish Pass, which divides one island from the other, is very susceptible to strong current and unpredictable shoals! It is only a four mile ride but it is shallow and unpredictable and of course, as all boating trips, there is always the unexpected. On our way over the clutch of the outboard engine keeps slipping and then the weather forecast is about to change! So our two night stay turned out to be one but we had a fantastic time both on the boat and exploring the island. How lucky are we. 

The Arsenault’s trying their luck at fishing using both the rod that Tigran put together and the rod that was already onboard - no fish were caught! Also our shelling experience at the beach right beside where the house they rented was. 

Ice Cream at Barnacles while Dana and Sinead have a much deserved dinner out while Nana and Nandad take over. The house that you see is right beside the airport runway and of course has a garage to house the plane - why not! A special place indeed. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

March 17th Happy St Patrick’s day & 28 years in the USA

Ireland’s Eye is on anchor right at North Captiva just before the entrance into Captiva Pass which will take you into the Gulf. It is a little choppy with lots of small watercraft coming and going. We did some exploring yesterday and took the dingy into safety harbor for lunch at Barnacles. North Captiva is a very unique spot first introduced to us by our daughter Sinead who rented a house here about three years ago. It’s only access is by boat, there are no cars, lots of golf carts, and homes so close to the water that it’s scary. There is also a small runway and it is very exciting to watch the aircraft land in such a tight spot directly over a small beach with golf carts and people on the beach - good pilot skill is a must. The perfect spot for some R&R. Sinead and Dana are renting again this year and we are expecting them today. IE is too big to enter safety harbor so Nana and Nandad will stay on the anchor until Monday and then we will spend four nights at South Seas. Naturally we will stay overnight at some point to be with the Arsenault’s - nothing like another Nana fix. Can’t wait. 


PHOTOS are IE on anchorage at North Captive and Nandad in the dingy again! 

The Arsenault’s arrive on North Captiva😍