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.




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 Mar14th

Nana and Nandad have returned to I.E. Nandad arrived Monday 6th to Eau Gallie to make sure that I.E. is ready for Nana and Tigran.
March 8th Nana and Tigran arrive ready for a few days of adventure. Tigran is our five year old grandson and ready for his first big adventure on I.E. Nandad meets us at the airport in a mini van which Tigran thinks is just amazing - so much room. Once onboard he quickly decides that his bunk will be the top one which means that when Daddy comes he will have to sleep on the bottom!
After a few days of fun activities we arrive into Stuart where we meet up with Tigran's dad. What incredible energy little children have and how they really make us look at life differently. Also how exhausted we adults become just concentrating on keep them occupied. No time for blogging while that was going on?
March 13th Tigran & Michael return to Massachusetts to another snow storm! Nana and Nandad head down the St Lucie Canal to River Forest Marina for yet some more engine repairs. This time it turns out to be a clogged filter and worn gasket. We are discovering that I.E. seems to like the attention of mechanics and engineers- oh boy are we in trouble!
March 14th Leaving River Forest Marina and heading along the St Lucie Canal we discover that the swing bridge at Indiantown is not operating but after an hour of pottering around we are lucky and make it through. I.E. is now at Indiantown Marina and the plan is to cross Lake Okeechobee tomorrow and make it to Fort Meyers Beach to eventually meet up with Dave & Sue. We saw our first gator right here in the marina floating around appearing to mind its own business- would not like to be on a SUB here! Photos will have to follow later- technical problems!





Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 Jan22

Nana and Nandad are now resting on the Catalina 36 at Southwest Florida Yachts which is at Tarpon Point Marina Cape Coral Fl. After three days cruising San Carlos Bay, Pine Island Sound, and Charlotte Hbr the seas are big and the winds are strong so we are at the Marina enjoying the amenities of the Westin. Again not bad.
Jan 19th Nana and Nandad heading out from Glover Blight into the Okeechobee waterway, along miserable mile into San Carlos Bay which is part of the ICW and anchored at Darling National Wildlie Refuge which is on Sanibel Island. 
Jan 20th Leaving Sanibel and heading into Pine Island Sound Nana and Nandad listened to the inauguration of our new President Trump. Anchored at North Captiva for lunch and then attempted to cross Captiva Pass which was not so smart- do not follow our lead.Nandad being the best Captain ever brought us through even though at one point we were three feet with a sand bank right on our starboard - the good part is we made it and finally attempted to sail on the Gulf of Mexico. Coming through Boca Grande Pass was well marked and we anchored off Punta Blanco Island off Cayo Costa.
Jan 21st after another amazing sunset dinner with incredible night sky and such palpable peace Nana woke to catch the sunrise which was spectacular in more ways than one can describe. After yoga, reading and a terrific breakfast we were ready for what turned out to be a wonderful sail in Charlotte Hbr. After we headed down towards Useppa Island , Cabbage Bay and back into Tarpon Marina passing the very creative Jasper's Bait shop floating in the river cove. Very creative 
Today Jan 22 we are having a layday listening to 20 knots plus of wind and expecting some very heavy rain with possible higher winds. That is when it's nice to be cosy in the Marina. Heading back home tomorrow after two very interesting weeks that took on twists and turns Nana and Nandad would never have expected. But again is that not what boating is all about, the first picture is Sunset at Boca Grande. The second gives you an idea of where we were , the third is the miserable mile on the Caloosahatchee River where all boats slow down so there is literally a traffic jam and the last picture is the bait shop on the floating dock- an innovative idea for Newport. No more blog until I.E. is ready to go again which we hope will be no later that end of February fair winds and safe seas to all. 




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Jan18th

Nana and Nandad have continued their journey by land until I.E. has engine repaired. After three days at the Pink Shell Marina on Fort Meyers beach we are ready to return to the water. This marina is the perfect place to switch off and enjoy the facilities with morning walks along the beach and evening walks into the sunset. Not bad. Pools, ocean, yoga, massage, excellent food all have helped to relax a very stressed shipper and first mate.
Nana and Nandad have decided to explore this wonderful southwest coast line by chartering a 36 Catilina for the next four nights. We will return to snowy New England on Monday Jan 23. The first picture is Nandad preparing I.E. for the ultimate removal of the salon area to accommodate removal of engine. The second picture is the perfect sunset from our room at the Pink Shell Marina Resort. 
The third picture is the wonderful sand castle sculptures that are on the beach daily. The last picture is the resort , the perfect place to entertain the grandchildren. 



Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Jan14


Well Friday the 13th turned out to not be such a lucky day for Nana and Nandad. After rebuilding and installing the parts I.E. went on a ride out into the ICW to test the engines. Unfortunately the starboard engine shut down after reaching 14 knots which was not good. Today Saturday after some diagnostic work with one of the pistons it turns out that the engine will need to be taken out and a new piston put in place- not a good outcome. So I guess crossing the Okeechobee will not be in the cards for at least the next 4 to 6 weeks!
Nana and Nandad will spend the next few days preparing I.E. for what is to be a major project. They will make the best of the situation and possibly head to Fort Meyers by car and get the scoop for the next adventure. If we are lucky I.E. will be back in operation by the end of February which will give us time for a shorter trip to the west coast. Sad that we will once again miss an opportunity to cruise with The Patton's but perhaps a rendezvous sometime in March who knows where. The first picture is at Peter & Janes gated community at Solivita Poinciana. The second picture is what looks like a beautiful engine which unfortunately has to come out!!!The third picture is sunset at Indialantic beach just about three miles from the marina. The last picture is I.E. coming into the Eau Gallie river after her sea trial- which she failed!




Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 Jan10th

Returned to Irelands Eye to continue our 2017 adventures. Lots of work being done while Nana and Nandad were enjoying Christmas and the New Year with family and friends. The first of the 2016 boys celebrated his first birthday just before we left. How time moves on. Leaving Providence in the early morning hours with freezing temperatures and arriving into Orlando where it's in the 70's is very pleasant. Lots of work done by Tim and Captain Mike but frustrating day to learn that a part for the Volvo engine is on back order. We are forced to accept that I.E. will remain for now at Eau Gallie. Maybe this is finally our chance to take in the scenery and enjoy. Great lunch at Chefs Marios Cafe and dinner at the unusual Squid Lips. 

Jan 11th. Car ride to see Peter and Jane at Solivita in Poncitana About 90 minutes away. Nice to have friends to visit . A beautiful home surrounded by well maintained mature grounds with the occasional gator drying itself along the lake shore. Lots of activities to keep you busy with swimming, golf, tennis etc and great lunch at the grille. Nana and Nandad returned to I.E. feeling more relaxed.

Jan 12th Layday at Eau Gallie. Wonderful walk across the causeway and stroll along the beautiful stretch of beach. A surprise at lunchtime meant that  Nandad was sent to Fort Lauderdale to pick up some essential pieces for the part that somehow appeared at the boatyard today. Just another reminder that when it comes to boating you never can tell. The picture is Squid Lips back patio.