Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March 18th to March 20th

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 CaptivašŸ˜

Thursday, March 15, 2018

March 12th to March 15th. City of Fort Meyers & York Island

Nana returns or IE after a wonderful few days in snowy Franklin. While away Nanadad was busy and we are now the proud owners of a new Walker Bay dingy. 

We are excited that we finally can feel safe exploring, particularly when anchoring. Nanadad donated the old dingy to one of the dockhands who was very happy and promptly repaired the punctures so his adult kids could have a run around. Great to recycle items. 

March 13th

Nana and Nandad took the dingy on its first ride down the Caloosahatchee River and had a wonderful lunch at Pinchers. We then had a fantastic bike ride down Mc Greagor Ave passing Edison’s Winter Estate. A beautiful avenue with lots of trees and areas to sit and watch the river flow. We then went to the Florida Rep for a fantastic performance Night and Day. Singing and dancing to Cole Porter , it was just wonderful. 

March 14th 

A day of catch up starting with a long walk over the bridge and back. It is wonderful to watch so many walkers, joggers, and bikers use the lane for exercise. Laundry needs to be done, a lazy afternoon reading and dinner reservations at the Veranda. It is celebrating 40 years of operation. The owner bought the two three-story Victorian homes in 1978 and transformed them into the Veranda. The interior is certainly elegant in Southern style and the bar is very cozy with a live piano player - always a treat. They also have the most unique way of making Caesar salad right at your table which we will have to try the next time we go.

March 15th 

IE is back at York Island on Pine Island Sound on anchorage. Another beautiful sunny day. This time we were able to explore the canals along the St James City side in the dingy. A very interesting place with lots of meandering canals almost like a maze. We passed three Tiki bars all of which look like you could pull up your boat and stay for the evening - not sure who would be responsible for the ride back to the boat!!!Anyway Nana and Nandad stopped for one beer and headed back for the sunset dinner onboard. In case you hadn’t noticed that is Nana peeping out from the ass!

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 4th and 5th IE is now at City of Fort Meyers

March 4th Nana and Nandad returned once again to The Pink Shell Marina for a day of R&R. Nothing like the beach, the pool, the spa, the food and naturally lots of dry towels. Our docking was the most difficult yet with the strong winds and tide causing quite the challenge! Not a pretty sight but no damage and once the wind died down and the tide changed IE looked like she was just tucked tight into her slip. As always the sunset is a guarantee and the miles of beach lends itself to long walks with the ocean breeze. At the end of the evening there are always some sand sculptures to admire.

March 5th IE will remain in Fort Meyers with Nandad  until March 12th while Nana pays a well deserved visit back to Franklin. Nandad has plans to purchase a new dingy which will give us a little more flexibility when anchoring. We are also looking forward to spending some time with Dana and Sinead and family who have rented a house on North Captiva from March 17th to the 24th. How exciting.

Nandad will be quite happy to explore in his ford150 pick-up. A whole new experience.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

March 2nd & 3rd IE anchors at Cayo Costa and Pine Island

Ireland’s Eye heads black to Pelican Pass to spend a nice quite evening anchoring. The above picture is Nandad preparing dinner while Nana is having a pedicure! Now a pedicure on a boat is not quite the same as at the spa but the next best thing. While watching the sunset which you can see is spectacular Nana has managed to make her toes sparkle. Our dinner was amazing with candle light and wine - very romantic - just goes to show it doesn’t have to be Valentines Day. While watching the night sky Nandad spotted the Newport Trumpy Freedom cruising along looking quite magnificent. 

It was a very windy night and in the morning there were some boats that ended up towards the shoreline but IE held fast. Nana and Nandad attempted to dingy over to the state park however due to extensive damage to the docks it proved a little challenging so we decided against. 

March 3rd Saturday morning. Now we realize that the weather back in Massachusetts has seen high winds with lots of damage and also a severe snow storm in Ireland so we feel lucky here in FL. IE heads to Pine Island to anchor directly across from YORK Island. Now funny as it may seem Nana compares anchoring to snow days. They make you sit back and enjoy where you are right now in the moment. The prefect spot to just snooze, read a book and enjoy the surroundings. Nana and Nandad took the opportunity tonite to lie back on the bridge and watch the stars - the Milky Way was amazing. And just before we thought the moon was missing it appears right at our stern two days after full moon - quite the sight.

To all our loved ones may you one day experience the magic of the precious moment and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 28th to March 1st Laishley Park & Marina Punta Gorda

Laishley Park & Marina is right downtown Punta Gorda on the Peace River. It is situated right beside the Tamiami Trial Twin Bridge which means there is the constant noise of traffic. However there is a wonderful Harborwalk and bike trail that spans about four miles. They have a free loaner bicycle program to encourage folks to visit the town by bike rather than by car. Gilchrist Park lies along the waterfront where they are almost finished what looks to be a wonderful children’s playground. They also have tennis courts and eight pickle ball courts all which were full when we strolled by. There are many Tiki Bars with lots of live music along the way and a great spot for families to watch their little ones run around. 

March 1st Viken 4th birthday so Nana and Nandad started the day with singing happy birthday via FaceTime - a wonderful modern convenience. Nandad was certainly in his Forest Gump mood today determined to get as much exercise as possible. Nana on the other had was having a little sun exposure experience so decided to remain in the shade for the day. As always boating has multiple tasks that surface so today IE had the pump out boat pay us a visit - always a good thing! Then Nandad arranged for the service department at Punta Gorda Marina to come pick up the dingy and repair the outboard. Nana is amazed at such prompt service but we will see where that might take us!! Late afternoon took us on a long bike ride to the Ponce de Leon Park where we watched the sunset which as always was amazing. The bike ride back to IE after sunset was amazing as we were also witnessing the full moon. The picture above shows Nana and Nandad sitting on the Park Bench and the crab picture is the monster crab at the 16000 square foot Laishley Crab House restaurant.

The above picture shows the activity on the Pier where Nana also saw stingray swimming and the sunset is taken at Ponce Beach. How privileged are we to be able to witness such beauty with Mother Nature at her best. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

February 26th to the 28th IE docks at Burnt Store Marina Punta Gorda on Charlotte Harbor

Charlotte Harbor is a very wide section of the ICW and a great spot for a sailboat. IE arrives into Burnt Store Marina after fueling at Palm Harbor. When entering Palm Harbor the Skipper notes some smoke from the starboard engine - not again the skipperette said! However the mechanic found a broken hose clamp and after a quick replacement we were on our way. Arrived into Burnt Store Marina which is a 600 acre plus Resort with all kinds of amenities. If you can’t find your exercise of choice here then you have a problem! There are tennis courts, pickle ball, golf, swimming pools, water taxi, yacht club, kayak rental, sailing school , fitness center and a bike path around the grounds. A very active retirement community who are certainly not ready to wind down. The manatees are cruising around and are very difficult to catch due to their camouflage and the brown color of the water. Nana tried really hard to get a picture of them but without success so she resorted to one taken from a picture - it gives the reader some idea of these very special sea monsters.