Day 24 March 2018

As I said we are off today to return to FT Myers. The wind is calm so far and it’s a clear morning. We did have a touch of quick rain overnight. Everything is wet. 

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The wind did pick up as expected but it was still just fine out there. 

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There was lots of boat traffic out today... a continual path of mostly zippy boats... 

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One of the interesting little side challenges we had on this cruise was in Bruce’s search for the best Bloody Mary.   Here, my friends, is the hands-down winner. Ford’s Garage Bloody Mary in Ft Myers. Yum!

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We doent a quick night here and were off at first light in the morning for a long day crossing Okeechobee into Clewiston. 

Days 22-23 March 2018

While in Boca Grande/Gasparilla Island we rented a golf cart and checked out the place.  What a completely charming place to visit. This is the Gasparilla Inn, which is definitely the biggest game in town. They have a beach club, golf club and tennis club, a couple of restaurants and a cafe.

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Even the bank was charming... also not easy to find....

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All over the island there are the most stunning Banyan Trees. 

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Here is the Gasparilla Island range light which is functionally more a beacon because it is not big enough to live in as a traditional lighthouse would be. (It’s not crooked, my camera and I were). That explains a lot, doesn’t it?

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I mentioned that we rented a golf cart to get around. This is our “Charriott #1”. As you can see, we had a bit of a mishap... 

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So, a lovely gentlemen came out to where we were stranded and provided “Charriott #2”. 

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The beaches here are quite lovely. There are quiet private stretches.... 

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And more populated stretches. This is out from where we had lunch. This is called South Beach. 

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This is the gigantic yacht “Hilarium” right next to us... separated by a privacy wall, of course. I googled it and discovered it is 133 ft long. 

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And here we are.... 

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We’re off in the morning for Fort Myers and on toward “home”.

Day 20- 21 March 2018

Here we are off again. Today we motor to Gasparilla Island. Our first bridge today is a timed bridge and only opens on the hour and half-hour.

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Bridge #2, Stickney Point.... this poor sailboat missed the last opening and had to hover the whole 30 minutes. Poor Dream Catcher. 

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 What an amazing morning for some rowing.

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And more bridge openings....

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We’re going out into the Gulf today. What incredible conditions. Dead calm....

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The most exciting part of being able to go off-shore is we get to skip all those bridges. Yahoo!!! 

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We were greeted very warmly.... isnt the water a beautiful color?

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 ...and encountered what was charted as “fishing haven”...

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It was a perfect beach day on Gasparilla Island. This is called Port Boca Grande. 

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The approach into Boca Grande Marina is a bit hairy. You have to come waaay in to the seawall and severely hook around to port to avoid some extreme shoaling. It is the most extreme approach we’ve ever seen. Though we had done this before a few years ago, it still amazes. The pictures give you an idea but the spaces in real life are much tighter. 

 port side....

port side....

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Starboard side....

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At last, the view aft.... We’re on a lovely face dock but not an exposed one. It is finally, finally a warm Florida day! Let me see if I can find some shorts under all those pants and sweaters and fleeces....

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