September 09, October 09, November
09, December 09, January 10,
January 31, 2010
It has been a rainy dreary day with Rich attacking the dinghy in
an effort to keep it running. He even took a saw to it at one point.
It has been frustrating to repair the motor almost every day and
stressful to worry about being stranded away from the boat.
January 30, 2010
We met Deb and Lew from Free-n-Clear for lunch today. The
food was good and they shared a lot of information with us about the
marina and the city of Marathon. It appears this will be a good
place to visit for awhile. Then we went to the movies for the first
time in months. We saw the movie Avatar. It was absolutely,
take no prisoners, fantastic great for a Sci-Fi flick.
Rich thought the dinghy was not going to make it back to the
boat. The engine is just about to go to the little outboard
graveyard in the bay.
Well we learn something new every day. Even though we are in a
designated anchorage we are required to turn on our anchor light
each night, because Marathon is outside of the Colregs so, we are
considered to be in international waters.
January 29, 2010
With the cold front due Saturday, the harbor is full. We went into
the marina today to put out name on the mooring waiting list. We
walked down to the grocery store and found there was a theatre and a
movie house in town.
We saw this motorbike at grocery store. Rich took the picture but
before he could ask any questions, his girlfriend arrived and off
We were all tired by the time we arrived back at the boat. Edie
climbed up on the couch and went to sleep. I sat out in the
cockpit admiring the beautiful full moon.
We finally made it to the Keys! And what did we find? Yet another
sunken boat!! They're everywhere...
It was a beautiful sail from Little Shark River to Vaca Key. We
anchored just about dinner time and watched the sunset sipping on
January 27, 2010
We headed a mile back into the everglades on Little Shark River to
find a place to anchor for the night. Then we came to the cross
channel to the Big Shark river. The cutoff went from wide open water
to this narrow path through the trees.
It crossed over between the Little Shark River and the Big Shark
River. Afterwards, we went another mile up the river until we ran
out of deep water. The evening was filled with birds flying down the
waterway finding roosts for the night.
The next morning the tide had gone out and we were surrounded by
mud flats and the smell of decaying vegetation as we motored out to
the Gulf and turned south for the Keys.
January 26, 2010
Goodbye Marco Island.
Looking back at the Gulf from inside Indian Key Pass
When we got back to spot where we wanted to anchor we found this
luxury yacht already there.
Rich snapped this picture when he took Edie ashore.
The moon was brilliant after sunset.
January 25, 2010
Today another cold front came through and after the rain
stopped, we took the dinghy to shore and walked to the post office.
At the local ACE hardware store we saw a really interesting
It's a Corvair PU truck!
It looks plenty strange and had a side gate instead of a
Here's a front view of the 1961 Corvair truck
And the engine compartment!
January 24, 2010
We spent the day with Nick and Bids from the Wharram Catamaran,
Tevake and Wister and Judy from the Choy Lee "Remains of the Day".
Wister and Judy graciously invited all four of us boaters to their
house for an evening filled with interesting conversation and
excellent food. Thanks again for such an excellent evening!
January 23, 2010
We are still at Marco Island planning to stay until Tuesday when
the wind switches around from the north.
Rich and I have been busy the past couple of days with boat
chores. He has worked on the dinghy engine, prepped the dodger for
varnish, worked on the dinghy engine, finished installing the
spacers under our mattress, worked on the dinghy engine, tried to
fix our refrigeration unit, and worked on the dinghy engine some
I have cleaned to my heart's content. I scrubbed all of
the grout on our counter top and reapplied grout sealant and I
cleaned the stove and oven, vacuumed, dusted, and rearranged things.
While at the local marina the other day we saw an orange Wharram
catamaran at the dock. When we returned from shore later that
day, we found a new boat in our anchorage, another James Wharram
designed catamaran flying a British Flag! Check out the picture
album section of the web site for more pictures of this unique boat.
Our first view
We are going to get a close up view tomorrow and we'll have more
January 22, 2010
I decided I needed to finishing cleaning and go through the shells
we have, before looking for new ones. I didn't realize how many I
had until I spread them all over the table. Quite a few.
I used a dental pick to scrape barnacles off of some of the
used baby oil to bring out the colour and shine of many of
These are some of the shells that I plan to keep. We are sending
packages of shells to some of our grandkids as well.
January 20, 2010
We headed out early this morning so I could go shelling at low tide.
While walking on the beach, we met up with a local gentlemen who
explained that Coconut Island disappeared overnight a few years back
during a storm with high winds - but not a hurricane.
This shell was still occupied, so we threw it back into the water.
In some areas the tides create hill of shells like this one. Most of
the shells are bleached white from the sun.
I wanted to keep the starfish, but it was still alive, so back into
the water it went.
While cleaning my shells back at the boat, I found this stowaway.
When I picked up the shell, I was as startled as the Hermit crab
inside and back to water he went.
January 19, 2010
This morning was beautiful; we were expecting an exciting day on a
stretch of the old ICW. We waited for the tide to rise, then headed
out for Marco Island. We were not far down the ICW when we realized,
it wasn't to be. We were bouncing off of the bottom.
We came to a dead halt just before markers 68 and 69. Rich tried to
turn us around by backing up and using the bow thruster when,
sideways in the channel, it quit. The upper shear pin had snapped.
Rich had to row the anchor out and again kedge us off. By the time
we were turned around and headed back out the local police showed up
in their boat. He looked at us turned around and headed back without
saying a word. After Rich had repaired the bow thruster we both
agreed that this place had too shallow water for us so we headed out
into the gulf for Marco Island.
Next we arrived at Marco Island to quite a surprise. The island we
planned to anchor behind is missing. The Skipper Bob 2005 guide book
we have writes about a good anchorage behind Coconut Island
and the NOAA chart we use in SeaClear shows a Coconut Island, but
when we got to the marker to turn behind the island, there was just
I went on Google earth and brought up Marco Island and Coconut
Island is missing. How does a whole island go missing? Does anyone
January 18, 2010
We headed for Naples, first trying to sail, then motoring because
the wind just disappeared. Once in the Naples channel we looked for
a place to anchor where we could take Edie ashore. The recommended
place in our guide proved to be too shallow. We pulled over in a
wide spot in the pass and Rich took Edie to the shelly shore (all
This area was too shallow to stay anchored at and there was too
We headed back to our last choice of anchor spots in a little bay
surrounded by million dollar homes, but it was not to be.
We grounded at the mouth of the bay.
Even though we tried to power off, then tried to kedge off, we
even tried to tip the boat and power off, but we were still stuck.
In fact, we were stuck for the night because the tide was on the way
out. At 1:00 AM (after the tide came back in) we powered off and
found a deeper place to anchor.
January 17, 2010
It was much too nice to stay on the boat today, so we decided to
go to town. Rich needed to buy a set of feeler gauges at the
hardware store anyways. This is the canal that we motor down. It
ends behinds the TOPPS grocery store on Estero Blvd.
There are always several dinghies parked here. The dinghy
way to the right seems to be abandoned. It is partially flat, half
the oars are missing and it has barnacles or mussels all over the
While waiting for the trolley, we decided to stop here for a
treat. It is only open until 2. They sell breakfast, lunch and
treats! I wanted a treat.
While I chose a cinnamon biscuit roll, Rich chose cake. He told
the waitress, it was his birthday. The cinnamon roll was delicious
and Rich's cake was great. A dense moist yellow cake with chocolate
buttercream frosting. He was in cake heaven, we all know how
incredible his sweet tooth is. The piece was so large he had to eat
it in two sittings.
We rode the trolley in to Summerlind Square, then walked a
little over a mile to the hardware store. The weather was warmer
than we expected.
The natives aren't too friendly! We tried to smile at this
little girl, but she was not having any part of it. Cute isn't she.
We finished the day on the boat with Rich's birthday dinner. I
cooked Shrimp Scampi for the first time in my life and it turned out
great. Rich loves shrimp and these were bought at the farmer's
market on Saturday.
as fast as you can. Your Birthday is coming.
Happy Birthday Dad
Love Will, Jen, and Megan
January 15, 2010
Gene and Stella came out for an afternoon sail. Besides the
wonderful sailing, we enjoyed snacks and tea with our friends. A
While we were out Pirates tried to attack us.
We told them that we'd send um ta Davy Jone's locker and they
left without firing a shot.
Finally the weather is warm enough, so there were several parasailors out
in the gulf.
These guys landed almost right behind us.
January 14, 2010
Our friends Stella and Gene kindly offered to drive us to Sanibel
Island to do a bit of shelling. The island has some of the best
beaches for finding shells in Florida.
As I walked along the beach looking for shells, I realized I was
at an disadvantage. I forgot my water shoes, didn't have a shell net
or magnifying glass, and my pant legs kept unrolling, so they got
soaking wet. Never the less I enjoyed finding shells. I found
several shells that I did not already have. The water kept
bringing new shells into the beach. Once I have cleaned them up, I
will put pictures on the site. Meanwhile Rich was entertaining
himself by creating fish art.
A smoking sand fish - imagine that.
Balancing fish...Due to the recent cold weather, there were lots
of dead fish washed up on the beach.
Doesn't he look ferocious. One of our many finds.
January 13, 2010
Our friends Gene and Stella kindly offered to take us shopping
while we are here at Fort Myers Beach.
First, Rich had to park the dingy and climb on to Shalom, Gene and
It seems as though we never get away from the store without more
than we go for... just like home! We've needed a new gas can and
finally found one that doesn't have that new fangled spout.
I didn't think that everything would fit into the dinghy. Rich was
right everything fit including us. (just barely)
Rich took this picture as I was waiting for him and talking on the
phone. It shows more detail on how loaded the dinghy actually was.
There a lot of shrimp boats on the east side of the pass.
We dinghied past rows and rows of shrimp boats, some of them
looking in sad shape.
This boat was unloading it's catch, notice the bags of shrimp on
the conveyor belt and the men pulling the sacks out of the hold.
Just look, my very own shrimp boat!
January 11, 2010
Today we left Port Charlotte heading south. We anchored
just past Cabbage Key. After dinner we decided to dinghy in
for dessert at the well known Cabbage Key Restaurant and Inn.
Leaving Edie behind to guard the boat we set off just as the sun was
As we were motoring over to the island Rich tried to convince they
would be closed.... it was cold, no one was around, it was late...
I suggested we check anyways, but I was a little hesitant as the
building sure looked dark. Then we heard music.
It was indeed open and it was warm. We sat next to the fireplace and
This bar is famous for all of the signed dollar bills that are taped
to the walls. I have to admit, we signed one and hung it with the
As we turned the corner on the dock, we were met by these ducks who
were running toward us looking for a free dinner. We assured them we
had eaten all our dessert and we headed for the Goose.
January 10, 2010
This morning's low tide was intensified by the strong north wind
overnight pushing water out of the bay along with the tide.
As you can see, there is no water under the dock and we are
grounded solid. We could not leave the dock until 2:30 in the
Our propeller was half way out of the water. Note the red box
showing the barnacles on the propeller blade.
Rich climbed into the dinghy and scraped the barnacles off of the
January 9, 2010
It was a cold rainy day which I spent making a privacy curtain for
our room along with curtains for our portholes. After much
hesitation, I am finally learning how to use the Sailrite sewing
machine! It was not as difficult as I had envisioned.
January 08, 2010
Pen Shell with barnacles
Sunray Venus Shell
Rich has already cautioned me about gathering too many shells. Is
anyone interested sea shells from the sea shore?
January 07, 2010
Tonight there was a beautiful sunset, we would have liked to see
it from the open water, but it wasn't to be.
January 06, 2010
Please note that the Captain is in full foul weather gear for
Edie's walk this morning. It was bitter cold with the wind from the
The morning walk took a lot out of Rich and Edie, too.
January 05, 2010
Today we moved the boat again, farther into the bay. When we got
up this morning the boat was bouncing off the bottom as the waves
off the bay rushed by us. It has been a cold windy day seducing us
into hibernation. Rich, Edie and I all took a turn "resting" on the
We wondered if she was really comfortable and "resting".
About mid-day I was bored so I decided to bake. I made a
Blackberry Buttermilk cake. It was delicious. Then it was on to what
to make for dinner. I searched the internet for recipes that
contained both salmon and avocado. I found one that sounded great;
so tonight we had Grilled Salmon with Sweet Corn and
Avocado Salad with a few m
inor modifications. I found the
Rich says he loves the cake part, but he's not fond of the
blackberries which I love
Since we have been living on the boat, I have been reconnecting
with my love of cooking. I have always enjoyed cooking and creating
new dishes as well as trying recipes out of the numerous cookbooks
that I have collected over the years. I love to read cookbooks; any
kind of cookbook. I found a blog the other day that appealed to
me called 101 Cookbooks.
The woman who writes the blog reminds me of myself.
January 04, 2010
We went shelling twice today. Once this morning on Punta Blanca
Island as we walked Edie this morning. Then this afternoon we walked
the beach on Cayo Costa facing the Gulf of Mexico. You would be
amazed at what you might find on the beach.
At first we thought this horseshoe crab was alive because it was so
It was not alive as it had been out of the water for too long.
There were depressions all over the beach where other crabs had
Next we found this live starfish. This is the top of the
This is the underbody of the starfish; it's tentacles are
starting to curl because it has been out of the water for so long.
We put it back in the water.
Rich always picks on me when I pick-up trash from the beach. I
am deeply saddened by the amount of trash I see on beaches.
Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they toss things
Rich picked up this shell; to his surprise it was alive.
The animal inside of the is trying to pull itself back and close
it's shell back up.
I am beginning to think we could fill a tackle box with all of
the lures that we are finding. This one is almost like new - no
We found these items on the beach; you never know when you might
need a porta-potty.
And finally we found this. It seems there are wrecked and
abandoned boats everywhere.
January 03, 2010
This no camping sign was on southeast side of Punta Blanco Island.
We followed Edie into an opening in the trees and stumbled across
this very nice open area on the western side of the island, just
across from where we were anchored. It appeared to be a camp site
despite the "No Camping" sign.
This grill was stashed to the side of the clearing.
This bench made it quite obvious this site was used for a group of
January 02, 2010
This morning we decided to leave our secure dock and
venture out into Charlotte Harbor. The Captain decided to
leave when the tide was almost all the way out. I was sure we
were stuck on the bottom, but after a few thrusts forward and back,
he had the Goose into the center of the canal. Backing into
the next canal proved a little more difficult. Between the NE wind
and the current it took several tries to get the Goose headed in the
right direction. Did I mention he had timed out the bow thrusters
getting us away from the dock. In no time at all, we were in the bay
headed south with a following wind. Snow Goose galloped along
at 7-8 kts. It was a fast ride. The auto helm had some difficulty
holding the course in the wind.
We sailed down to the Intercoastal Waterway and looked for a
place to drop anchor. We passed on Pelican Bay because of the north
wind and ended up tucked behind Punta Blanca Island. We got stuck a
couple of times trying to work our way back, but it was worth it.
Notice the little round circle inside of the red box, that's us
at anchor. The white water on the indicates 6 ft deep or more. You
can see how narrow the channel is that we followed back.
While Rich was walking Edie on the island he found an interesting
This is a horseshoe crab...or what is left of it after the crab
has been eaten.
The underside; the shell looks and feels just like it was made out
January 01, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Can you believe that it's a new year? This year has flown
by quickly with more changes than I can remember. A year ago,
I was living in D.C. working at least 60 hours a week on a national
program. Now I live on a boat traveling from place to place
working 60 hours a week or more on projects. Retirement for us has
not been all rest and relaxation. The upkeep on the boat keeps us
busy as well as other projects like the website and of course, my
When we lifted the dinghy today...we discovered a critter.
A little crab came skittering out from under the dingy.
Here's a few close ups of the little guy. He sure blends in with
He ran over the edge and then hung under the dock