Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dec 14th 2017 Heading back home

Well if Santa can't have snow I guess the next best thing would be a hammock. Irelands Eye is back at Cape Coral where she will remain until we return sometime in January. Nana and Nandad are ready for some home time to catch up with all those little ones. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. Looking forward to Cruising adventures on Irelands Eye in 2018. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dec 13th 2017

Ireland's Eye holding her own beside the Black Cove motor Yacht. Our view at night while sitting outside astern. The lights are so pretty and the wind blowing through the palms is very calming. 

Dec 12 the Nana and Nandad took the day to ride to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It was a five mile ride however this time the wind and sun were kinder and we also had the shade of an actual bike path all the way. When we arrived to the visitors centre we were provided with binoculars for the four mile Tram ride around the reserve and Nandad purchased his lifetime National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass - oh the places we will go. We also purchased our Kick the Bottle bags so we could fill up with filtered water for our ride. 

The park is over 6400 acres which means that over 70 percent of the island is conservation land. It is a mangrove forest that form an ecosystem of its own. Our tour guide Lewis was incredibly informed and we has lots of time to see and witness the wildlife in its natural habitat- a truely not to miss event. On our way back we had a wonderful lunch at Rosie's Cafe & Grill on Palm Ridge Rd.,  which is this very cute hidden away little gem. Nana finally has a Conch that she can attempt to blow at sunset - not as easy as you might think! This was also purchased on our way back to the marina at She Sells Sea Shells - now try saying that fast! 

On our next visit Nana would like to do a guided kayak tour around Tarpon Bay, bike wildlife drive at sunset and bike along the West Gulf Drive. It was a great nature day where we got to see alligator, nesting Osprey, herons, egrets, white and brown pelicans, roseate spoonbill and these tiny black crabs crawling up the trucks of the mangrove. 

Today Irelands Eye will cruise to Cape Coral where she wil stay for a few weeks while Nana and Nandad celebrate Christmas with friends and family. Time to return to the snow. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dec 11th 2017

Sunday December 10th a Layday at Pink Shell and as you can see Nana is well wrapped up. We rode our bikes 6 miles to get Mass at St Columbkille Fort Meyers. Now trust me when I tell you it was a very long ride against the wind all the way. Naturally we arrived as Mass was finishing so a very nice lady offered to drive us to Subway where we got breakfast and then walked back to the church which was another mile!! We were very determined that we would get Mass. After all that effort we were honored by the bishop, The Knights of Columbus and a wonderful choir. During Mass Nandad recharged his e-bike for the ride back. A very active morning. 

Monday December 11th Irelands Eye is leaving today for Sanibel. A great picture of Nandad at the Christmas Poinsettia down at Time Square Fort Meyers beach. Also when returning to the boat last night after a wonderful evening stroll this was our late night visitor. 

Monday Ireland Eye leaves The Pink Shell after four wonderful days. She arrived at Sanabel Marina which is just a short ride across San Carlos Bay. Again the Skipper did a fantastic job of backing in Irelands Eye into a narrow slip right beside the Gramma Dots Seaside Saloon. The Marina is surrounded by magnificant Black Cove motor yachts as the owner runs Ireland Yacht Services. Irelands Eye looks quite the elegant lady holding her own. A wonderful bike ride to the Lighthouse and stroll along Lighthouse Beach where lots of bleachers are doing the Sanabel Stoop collecting shells. Sanibel has 22 miles of bike trails crisscrossing the island which is 12 miles long and three miles wide. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dec 9th 2017

Dec 6th

Irelands Eye enjoyed her stay at THe City of Cape Coral and before leaving Nana found her next fun adventure. Biking around on this beautiful machine. Not sure Nandad would approve! We left for a quite anchorage spot away from the crowds and found ourselves the perfect spot right off Pine Island at the tip of St James City. We had the perfect evening with a wonderful dinner, sunset and star gazing sitting right at the bow of the boat. It is truly one of the amazing parts of boating to be able to enjoy Mother Nature at her best. We spotted a falling star and a very clear Orion but the moon and the dipper stayed hidden away. We also could hear the dolphins play and breath but unable to see them which was an experience not to be missed. Perhaps we can share someday with the grandkids. 

Dec 7th

Irelands Eye is headed for three days at The Pink Shell Marina where Nana intends to soak up some sunshine, catch up with some friends, have a massage, swim in the pool, eat wonderful food, and enjoy many walks along the beach. Life at its best. 

On Thursday night we had the opportunity to star gaze this time through a much bigger telescope which was fantastic.

We had a wonderful day with Sue and Dave Patton and Sue's sisters Marge and Nancy. They provided the lunch and we cruised right up the waterway and came around by the Gulf. There were some very narrow parts and the Skipper was happy to have some assistance from the experienced Dave. We also had a group of dolphin entertain us for quite a while which was very entertaining. I include a picture of a very happy Nandad cleaning the windows- he did a fantastic job. The things you will do when you are expecting visitors. 

Dec 8th 

After a fantastic morning at the Spa followed by a wonderful afternoon on the beach Nana and Nandad met with Helen and Jeff  and their friends Mike and Pia. We had cocktails onboard followed by dinner downtown at Nervous Nellies and then a night cap on the stern of Irelands Eye. A wonderful evening with great company. 

Dec 9th 

A very windy and rainy night with lots of thunder and lightening so today, Saturday is very wet, windy and cold. The perfect day for laundry, gym and blogging. Dave picked us up from the marina and took us to see their new condo where Sue had the most delicious dinner prepared for us. They have the perfect view with the ICW on one side and Sanibel on the other. Dave then drove us to see the lights at Naples Botanical Gardens which was truely a magical evening. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Nana and Nandad are now at the City of Cape Coral Yacht Basin. This marina is right at the entrance to Redfish Pt. Just before the GIWW- Gulf Intercoatal Waterway Mile 0.It is part of the Cape Coral Parks & Recreation so lots of activity here. There is a very large pool, a small beach, lots of tennis courts and indoor pickle ball with outdoor handball- oh to have all that energy! Before leaving The City of Fort Meyers Nana and Nandad had a very active Layday. Nandad actually went for a ride on his little electric bike. 
Nana has decided that she really likes red sculpture which this ones definitely fits the bill. It is called Fire Dance and sits in the middle of Centennial Park however I doubt that it would fit in my back yard!
There is a wonderful restaurant called the Boat House right at the entrance of the basin with great food, live music and delicious cocktails.
There is definitely a Christmas atmosphere here with lots of friendly boaters. A very pleasant spot with again another wonderful sunset right over the river. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017


 A very happy Nana doing her time at the helm. Today was a very long day going through four locks,multiple bridges and finally arriving at our destination The City of Fort Meyers just as the sun was about to set 5.34 pm. Leaving Clewiston and heading west along the OCWW brings the most spectacular bird watching opportunity. This stretch of about six miles provides the best viewing of all types of heron simply flying from towering leather ferns,stately oaks dripping with moss and verdant vegation along the shore- as described in the Waterway Guide. Nana did not see any gator this time round but did spot a very big bald eagle perched on the oak tree minding it own business. Lots of cattle grazing along the Caloocahatchee Canal and also some beautiful horses spotted grazing very happily on the front lawns.
Now I realize that lots of you will wonder what do you do while cruising for several hours. Well today Nana cleaned the inside of the boat, did two hours helm time, made lunch and dinner, did yoga on the stern and also sunbathing in the shade on the bridge. Now that's a good day. We arrived into City Of Fort Meyers where the shipper showed his true colors and backed Irelands Eye into her slip beautifully 
After checking in at the Ship's store we sat up on the bridge and enjoyed a cocktail while watching the sun set for the day. 
The cattle grazing along the Caloosahatchee Canal
The full moon view from the stern as we eat onboard- now that's what boating is all about. We will have a lay day tomorrow and then decide where to from here. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2017Dec 2nd

Cruising Adventures Number Three.
 Irelands Eye has spent from March to November at the River Forest Yacht Centre in Stuart where she had the best of care and attention. Nana and Nandad are ready to start on adventure number three. Today we left RFYC after a lovely dinner with Mark & Mary who live aboard their beautiful Kadey Krogen called The Good Life. We were also joined by Richard and Jeannine who also have a Krogen called Amost Perfect. Now that is the best thing about cruising there is always somebody new to meet and share stories with. After receiving a hand from Richard and Jeannine to leave the dock we realized you should always check your lines for little lizards and brown frogs!
RFYC is on the OCWW mile 13.8 - that is the Okeechobee Waterway. Irelands Eye cruised very nicely along the waterway at a nice 9 knot speed. A beautiful sunny day with light winds and great protection provided to the Captain while he steered from atop. We left at 9.45 am and crossed the lake without any difficulty arriving into our dockage at Roland and Mary Martin Marina at 3pm under the guidance of Captain Sam. Clewiston is OCWW Mile 75.8. A very busy spot with a busy weekend of Bass Fishing competition going on. Lots of expensive sports equipment on view. A great Tiki bar & restaurant onsite.
As you can see Irelands Eye was the anchor for lots of the fishing boats coming in at the end of a days fishing for weighin! Tomorrow Nana and Nandad will leave and head west for Fort Meyers and hope for another safe days cruising. Tonite we watched the sun set on our port side and a magnificent full moon on our starboard side. It truly is the good life.

Monday, March 27, 2017


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


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


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


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


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


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.