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Where we are.

 

Where we have been.

 

 


September 09, October 09, November 09, December 09, January 10, February 10, March 10, April 10, May 10, June 10, July 10, Sept 10, Oct 10, Nov 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.

Almost full moon over the harbor.

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

View of the boats in the harbor in the morning.

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.

Motorbike we saw at the grocery store.

We saw this motorbike at grocery store. Rich took the picture but before he could ask any questions, his girlfriend arrived and off they went.

A beautiful full moon.

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.

January 28,2010

We finally made it to the Keys! And what did we find? Yet another sunken boat!! They're everywhere...

Another sunken ship.

It was a beautiful sail from Little Shark River to Vaca Key. We anchored just about dinner time and watched the sunset sipping on our sundowners.

Our first sunset in the keys.

January 27, 2010

The entrance to Little Shark River.

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.

Further down the little branch.

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.

Mud flats at low tide.

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

The view of Marco Island as we leave.

Goodbye Marco Island.

The view of the Gulf of Mexico from inside Indian Key Pass.

Looking back at the Gulf from inside Indian Key Pass

Yacht that was in our desired anchorage.

When we got back to spot where we wanted to anchor we found this luxury yacht already there.

Snow Goose anchored in Indian Key Pass.

Rich snapped this picture when he took Edie ashore.

The moon rose early and was bright.

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 truck.

A Corvair truck!

It's a Corvair PU truck!

Close up view of the side.

It looks plenty strange and had a side gate instead of a tailgate.

The front view.

Here's a front view of the 1961 Corvair truck

Another view.

Side view

The rear of the 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!

Rich, Anna, Bids, Nick, Wister, Judy

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 more.

 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.

The Wharram catamaran behind the Snow Goose.

Our first view

Another view of the Wharrum catamaran.

We are going to get a close up view tomorrow and we'll have more pictures.

January 22, 2010

Anna going through the shells we have collected.

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.

Cleaning barnacles off of shells.

I used a dental pick to scrape barnacles off of some of the shells.

Using baby oil to bring out the colour and shine of a shell.

 used baby oil to bring out the colour and shine of many of the shells.

A fighting conch shell that has been oiled.

Some of the shells I plan to keep after they have been cleaned.

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.

Shell with creature still inside.

This shell was still occupied, so we threw it back into the water.

A hill of shells.

In some areas the tides create hill of shells like this one. Most of the shells are bleached white from the sun.

Starfish on the beach.

I wanted to keep the starfish, but it was still alive, so back into the water it went.

Hermit crab inside of a shell.

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.

Where we were stuck this morning.

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 water.

Map showing Coconut Island.

Google earth showing no island.

I went on Google earth and brought up Marco Island and Coconut Island is missing. How does a whole island go missing? Does anyone know?

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 oyster shells).

Rich taking Edie ashore in Gordon's Pass.

This area was too shallow to stay anchored at and there was too much traffic.

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.

Where we were stuck for the night.

We grounded at the mouth of the bay.

Rich trying to kedge the boat off the sandbar.

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

 

The canal we motor down when going into town.

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.

The dinghys parked at the end of the canal.

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 bottom.

The Heavenly Biscuit

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.

Rich and his birthday cake.

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.

The beach trolley.

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.

Little girl frowning at Rich and I.

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.

 

Row as fast as you can. Your Birthday is coming.

Rich rowing the dinghy.

Happy Birthday Dad

It's your

54th

Love Will, Jen, and Megan

 

January 15, 2010

Tea with our friends.

Gene and Stella came out for an afternoon sail. Besides the wonderful sailing, we enjoyed snacks and tea with our friends. A delightful afternoon.

The Pirate's ship we met in the gulf.

While we were out Pirates tried to attack us.

Another view of the Pirate ship sailing in the guld.

We told them that we'd send um ta Davy Jone's locker and they left without firing a shot.

Parasailing in the gulf.

Finally the weather is warm enough, so there were several parasailors out in the gulf.

The parasailors as they land.

These guys landed almost right behind us.

January 14, 2010

Our friends Stella and Gene

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.

Anna walking along the beach looking for shells.

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.

Rich's version of a sand fish.

A smoking sand fish - imagine that.

Another piece of fish art.

Balancing fish...Due to the recent cold weather, there were lots of dead fish washed up on the beach.

A crab we ran into 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.

Rich climbing on to Shalom our friends boat.

First, Rich had to park the dingy and climb on to Shalom, Gene and Stella's boat.

Dock cart full of our newly purchased supplies.

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.

Everything and us loaded into our dinghy.

I didn't think that everything would fit into the dinghy. Rich was right everything fit including us. (just barely)

 Another view of the loaded dinghy.

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 is a large fleet of shrimp boats along the edges of the pass.

There a lot of shrimp boats on the east side of the pass.

There were rows and rows of shrimp boats.

We dinghied past rows and rows of shrimp boats, some of them looking in sad shape.

This boat was unloading it's catch of shrimp.

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.

As we passed the boat, I noticed it was my namesake.

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.

Snow Goose against the sunset.

Leaving Edie behind to guard the boat we set off just as the sun was setting.

The sign at the bottom of the walk way.

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...

Cabbage Key Restaurant and Inn and Marina

I suggested we check anyways, but I was a little hesitant as the building sure looked dark. Then we heard music.

Old piano inside the bar.

It was indeed open and it was warm. We sat next to the fireplace and had dessert.

Anna placing a dollor bill on the wall.

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 rest.

The dollar bill now residing on the wall  of the bar.

Ducks on the walk way to the pier.

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.

The lowest tide we've experienced yet.

There was no water under the dock.

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 afternoon.

The propeller was half out of the water.

Our propeller was half way out of the water. Note the red box showing the barnacles on the propeller blade.

Rich in the dinghy cleaing the barnacles off of the propeller.

Rich climbed into the dinghy and scraped the barnacles off of the propeller.

January 9, 2010

New privacy curtain for our room.

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.

Porthole curtains

January 08, 2010

Sea Urchins I found on the beach. Sea Urchins

Sandollar Sand Dollar

Pen Shell Pen Shell with barnacles

Sunray Venus shell 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

Beautiful Sunset

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

Rich and Edie on shore for Edie's morning walk.

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 north.

Rich resting after the morning walk.

The morning walk took a lot out of Rich and Edie, too.

Edie resting after her morning walk.

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 couch.

Edie resting on the couch on top of pillows.

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 minor modifications.  I found the recipe at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes .

Blackberry Buttermilk cake.

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.

A horseshoe crab in the sand on the beach.

At first we thought this horseshoe crab was alive because it was so intact.

The intact underbody of the horseshoe crab.

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 lain.

A live starfish.

Next we found this live starfish. This is the top of the starfish.

The underbody of the starfish.

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.

Anna picking up trash from the beach.

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 over board.

Live shell we found.

Rich picked up this shell; to his surprise it was alive.

The animal inside of the shell.

The animal inside of the is trying to pull itself back and close it's shell back up.

Another lure that we found.

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 rust.

Porta-potty on the beach.

We found these items on the beach; you never know when you might need a porta-potty.

Abandoned boat on the beach on Cayo Costa.

And finally we found this. It seems there are wrecked and abandoned boats everywhere.

January 03, 2010

No camping sign located on Punta Blanco Island.

This no camping sign was on southeast side of Punta Blanco Island.

This is a campsite we found on the west side of the 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.

A decent looking gril at the camp site.

This grill was stashed to the side of the clearing.

This bench was also in the clearing

This bench made it quite obvious this site was used for a group of people.

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.

Map showing where we dropped anchor.

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 shell.

The top of a Horshoe Crab shell.

This is a horseshoe crab...or what is left of it after the crab has been eaten.

The underneath side of a Horseshoe Crab shell.

The underside; the shell looks and feels just like it was made out of plastic.

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 crafts.

There is a black thing under our dinghy.

When we lifted the dinghy today...we discovered a critter.

Upon closer investigation we realize it is a small crab.

A little crab came skittering out from under the dingy.

It sure can scurry fast.

Here's a few close ups of the little guy. He sure blends in with concrete

The crab is heading to edge for safety.

He ran over the edge and then hung under the dock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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