-E.B. White

Sunday, February 7, 2010

CATCH UP TIME AGAIN! Ok so I've been a slacker , busy, but not sure doing what. I just checked Tourist's blog and he's back at it so figured I better write something otherwise I'm sure to hear from Doug.

A couple of shout outs from Deb - 1st thanks Izzy for finding this Hello Kitty Balloon in the bushes for my birthday and Rick for making my day special and........

Joni for this great conversation gift for happy hour. and Jackie, my sunrise/sunset friend - thanks for the birthday wishes. My email is dk.smith@att.net

Made it to Ft. Myers on the 25th of January and into Legacy Harbour Marina in a strong north blow. All was fine until the Captain let the crew know he was a little nervous about docking in the strong winds - it was almost Mutiny on the Broulee. Maybe next time the Captain should keep his nerves to himself. There was a large contingent of old friends to greet us (that's just what you want lots of people watching you when you may be crashing into things or "excited" words exchanged onboard). To make a long story short the Captain did a great job; the assistance from all the dock hands was much appreciated and all those "excited" words were spewed into the wind and never heard from again. We planned to stay a week but by the next day had convinced ourselves to stay a month - great place to get some projects done and oh, yes we need to go get our car from Panama City (384 miles) and leapfrog it to here - are we having fun yet?

Our journey to Ft. Myers started with crossing the Gulf of Mexico from Apalachicola to Clearwater on January 19th in the teeny tiniest weather window we have probably ever had - turned out to be one of our best crossings of the Gulf. The pics below show just how flat it was. Left Apalachicola at 6:00 pm and arrived in Clearwater at 5:00pm on the 20th.

Seas overnight and into the morning 2 feet or less

By midday - the seas went flat

Stayed at Clearwater City Marina the 20th & 21st waiting for another blow to pass thru. We encountered this Pirate ship just as we were entering the harbour at Clearwater. After 23 hours at sea - yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum sounds pretty good. Ahoy Matey we're coming aboard!

Broulee all safe and secure at Clearwater Marina just before sunset Ahhhh!

There where two other Krogens at the Marina a 39 ft. named Grand Adventure and a 42 ft named Steveadore - I think this qualifies as a Krogen rendezvous.

Clearwater Marina is home to one of largest fishing fleets on the west coast of Florida, also sailing charters, sight-seeing boats, dinner cruise boats, parasail boats and dive boats.

We left Clearwater on the 22nd along with several sailboats with a planned destination near Tampa Bay just east of Maximo Point and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Causeway. We all travel about the same speed so we had lots of company when we dropped the hook that night. One of the boats had a yellow lab on board and Izzy was "hey what's up with that" when she saw the dog heading to shore in their dinghy. She is pretty sure she can remember we have one of those boats too - "why can't we go too?"

Keesi waiting paitently to go to shore.

We were really hoping Izzy wouldn't see this - but she did. So much for the potty training in the tray.

The 23rd was a Saturday and we normally make it a rule not to travel on the Intracostal on the weekends, but the barn door was in site and well anyway......... It looked like it might be a kinder, gentler day when this sportfish actually hailed us and told us he would like to give us a slow pass (this is almost unheard of). But everything went downhill from there ( sheer craziness).

Now he's starting to kick it up a notch - oh,oh - that sailboat is in for a ride. Thanks sportfish "Therapy" for the nice pass.

Tampa Bay was a bit choppy but manageable - we have just passed under the Tamp Bay Bridge and will be heading back into the Intracoastal.

There are lots of things on the Intracostal that can make or break your day - one is the millions of bridges (well it seems like that many) that you have to have opened (on their schedule) so you can continue on your way.

and lots of NO WAKE ZONES.

Although the Intracoastal is not Rick's favorite for the above reasons - it is fun to travel thru it - well unless the water gets skinny or your waked by a big go fast boat or a bridge is down for maintenance or well you get the idea.
There are lots of beautiful homes like this and....

hanger-on houses like these

and every block or so has a little side canal where you can park your boat right at your house!

The evening of the 23rd we ended up tying up to the wall at The Crows Nest Marina in Venice after scrapping severeal plans to anchor out. It seems Saturday is a popular night for anchoring in large flotillas and partying all night. Crows Nest Marina is a good spot to hang at and the next morning on our walk Izzy saw her first snake (my favorite kind a dead snake). Yes there was bloodcurdling screams going on at that point. I'm pretty sure everyone was well aware we had just found a snake.

Crows Nest Marina - Venice, FL

And Izzy's buddy Keesi was at the marina also.

The 24th we had a pretty uneventful cruise to one of our favorite anchorages at Cape Haze just in time for another blow. As we were approaching the anchorage we were greeted by these frisky dolphins playing in our bow wave. You just don't get tired of seeing them. Settled in to watch the Vikings vs the Saints for the NFC game - oh, well maybe next year.

How cute is this?

Oh, my gosh - it just can't get any better than this.

Well that's it - the next day we made it to the Caloosahatchee River and Legacy Harbour Marina our home for the next month.

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