-E.B. White

Thursday, March 2, 2017

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us

Yup, we escaped once again.  

Ventured out to Keewaydin Island which is a barrier island in Florida that has no cars, roads or bridges.  An environmental group stopped a bridge to the island.  Locals and visitors can enjoy the experience of a visit to this pristine barrier island and its ecosystem only by boat.  The southern tip of the island is the area where local boaters congregate by parking their boats on the shore and enjoy people watching.  Best options are to rent a boat, go on a tourist boat, visit with a private boat owner or call Hemingway Water Shuttle.  The Island is home to Rookery Bay.  We found this spot 13-14 years ago, no one was here, things change.  

Dropping anchor - barely an inch to spare on the beach.  At least four food pontoon boats have already arrived.  All good for us, we will hang out relaxing on Broulee until they all leave at 5:00 o'clock - then we take over the beach!

Empty beach - looking forward to a quiet sunset and a walk on the beach.

  All is good until the wash down of all of our feet, some don't mind so much, some not so much.

Even though not a "green flash" sunset - it was still good.  AHHHH

Next morning it was a quick dinghy ride to the beach, need to get there before throngs of people arrive.

Looks like a good morning on the beach

Dad, it's all about me and my ball, Dad - Hey, Dad, what about me and my ball?

Then its, Izzy give me the ball, Izzy drop the ball, IZZY DROP THE BALL!!!

Labrador and Dad just happy to be walking the beach - all is good.

As I mentioned before, we were here 13-14 years ago with our good friends Doug and Robbie.  We were the only people here and there were no paths cut through to the gulf.  This is a big shelling beach, and I am "borrowing/stealing" this idea for pictures from Doug.  I have decided to photograph shells rather than pick them up (I had a serious shell intervention in 2006-2007 during boating in the Caribbean).

Even though Izzy was leashed - the word spread fast, Dog, DOG, BIG DOG!!!  Funny thing is instead of flying behind us, they flew ahead so once again,, Dog, DOG, BIG DOG!!!

We knew our quiet beach time was short lived - so we crossed back from gulf to anchorage to our return to Broulee for more relaxing time.

Oh, Oh - time to head back - the boats are heading into beach and...

Hemingway Water Shuttle just dropped off their first beach group.

  Leaving our footprints to the soon to be overrun prints on the beach.

Back to our "Island in the Sea"

Back to Island for Izzy final romp, Ice Cream and sunset - tomorrow, back to the Marina.

Category 5 hurricane bird home.  

Marina, not a bad place to be either.  Broulee snug as a bug in a rug.

All is good here!

Advice from a Dolphin

Have a playful spirit
Be curious
Find someone you click with
Sound out new ideas
Glide through the day with ease
Find your life's porpoise
Jump for joy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Bustin" out of the trailer park

We recently cut the lines, and ventured out to one of our favorite anchoring spots for an overnight.  Keewaydin Island, for our boat, can only be approached on high tide.  It's Izzy's favorite place - dogs are allowed on the beach.  During the day it's packed full of small beached boats, but by 5 O'clock we have the whole beach and anchorage to ourselves.  This is  Izzy returning to Broulee after her last pump out for the evening.  Her face is saying, "Mom, no need for a wash down - seriously, put the hose away.  I barely got wet.  Yea, right!!! 

Then it was feeding time for the dolphins, Izzy thought swimming with them would be fun, keeping her on board was a major issue.

Rewarded with a beautiful sunset.  We love this spot.  Upon return to the marina, everyone asked "where did you go, where did you go?   One couple said, "we need to get out of this trailer park.  It is hard for us, normal adventurous people to be once again in a Marina.  If you have to be stuck somewhere, this is a great place.   We are planning another outing soon.

Deb back in Minnesota, again, for very nice weather.  Record breaking warm temps - melting snow and ice in February is not normal.  63 degrees on February 17th was flip flop weather for me.  Our yard is pretty much clear of snow.  Ice on lake is sloppy and not safe.  Looking at more snow this weekend, but, we should be over the hump as far as severe cold temp.

Broulee, once again, participating in the Blessing of the Fleet.  Good friend Doug Stiefel helped crew with Captain Rick and Queen Isabella.

Sunrise view from Broulee's cockpit, looks like the Marco River is on fire - good to be back.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Moving On 2017

Meant to post this when we got back from Christmas in Minnesota - things got busy, but once again, better late than never.  A little old mixed with a little new.

We are back on Broulee - fun to reconnect with everyone at home.  

Santa Claus arrived while we were gone (aka Doug),  Izzy could not believe it.  Seriously, after 3 days on the road - a lot of squeaking was happening. We now need a bigger toy box.

Izzy back home this fall - caught red handed, stealing two toys and two balls from the neighbors house.  The hood calls her the "toy whore" - and rightfully so!

New Years eve, back at the Naples Pier for the fireworks celebration.

Friends Bill & Jan joined us on the beach in Naples to celebrate New Years Eve at the Pier. 

Once again, New Years Eve on the Beach

It seems to be all good.

Well maybe the Alligator when looking for your golf ball might not be good, it is a learning lesson.  
Good to be back

Deb is in between worlds right now - splitting time between Florida and Minnesota.  

Deb's new friend. Nonstop to Minneapolis and back.

I love me a sunset - nothing better than breaking thru a cloudy day and be awarded with a sunset.

The Captain has mostly been doing maintenance projects and getting some golfing in.  

Name boards have been refurbished, complete with new LED NAV lights.  Also new LED mast/anchor light.

The boat hook got new coats of varnish, plus the brass hook got a polishing.

No major projects means we get to enjoy our cockpit, not a workshop, this year.    

Monday, January 30, 2017

Scottish, Dutch, Latvian, Irish, English & Swedish

 our family of immigrants.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon hand world-wide Welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.  "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!"  cries she with with silent lips.  "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teaming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus"

Please don't close the door, don't extinguish her light.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I guess, better late than never????

2016 was an interesting year?  My mom took ill and turned up in the ER in June, ICU next and Lung Rehab for the month of July, As usual, she's a trooper/fighter and is back on the mend.  

The main project while home was the refurbishing of the 1978 Kubota (more on that project to follow).  Also, a promised king size bed.  And, of course wine making continued.  As you can see, we are in major get ready to get the hell out of here mode, boats out, raking of leaves and storing everything before snow falls. 

Niece Ali and husband Josh got married on 7/16/2016 at Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, MN on Lake Superior.  Awesome fun for our family!  Glad to see Ali very happy!!!  We are huggers, Josh is a hugger - so he's been approved by all.

Of course, pontooning on Bald Eagle Lake for some relaxation.

and, of course, not without some bubbly

Snuck away to our cabin for a couple of outings, so more relaxation.  

We found a puff ball mushroom, this time we actually got it in time.  Friends, Bob & Pam had a recipe so here we go.

Slice, dip in panko and fry  - nummy - highly recommended.

Minnesota was proud to host the Ryder Cup, we are also lucky that our friends Mike and Anna had tickets - which they shared.  IT WAS AMAZING!

Another trip to cabin - Izzy and Rick having fun duck hunting.  Nothing better than fall in Minnesota.

Also enjoying some pheasant hunting - she's a lab, what can I say

In November we traveled down to River Forest at LaBelle, Fl to move Broulee out of storage (with her knew bottom paint and waxed hull) to Marco Island, Fl

Broulee on the dock at Marco, very good to be back.  Last winter Rick suggested they hook up with Bob Taylor on Istaboa and his On Spot Wi-Fi system.  Long story short - they did, it's awesome and the whole marina is ecstatic.    

We had a great Thanksgiving - hosted by Doug and Robbie at their home in Naples, joined by Minnesota friends, Jane and Dean.  Here we are having a farewell dinner at Island Gypsy, Isle of Capri.  We drove home to spend the Christmas holiday with family and friends.   

Enjoying the warm temps and Broulee

We definitely had a white Christmas, but also had record breaking cold weather (talking 20 below zero, not including wind chill).  It reminded us why we are not normally here from November till April.

Lots of festivis parties.  Bob decorated our Raspberry wine which will be bottling in the spring when we return.  Lots of caroling, parties, food and wine.  It was good to be home. Very Christmasy.

Of course, Mr. Type "A" has a project  underway - name boards needed repair (more on that project to follow).

Anyway, it's been a long year 2016, hopefully 2017 will be better, I am heading home in the next week to take care of things and the Captain and Izzy will hold down the fort here.

Happy New Year to our friends and family!!!

Love, Rick, Deb & Izzy