High winds are predicted over the next few days, we didn’t want to be weathered in at a marina. So good bye to the old main street of Venice where we saw this cute retro woody wagon.
After hearing rave reviews of the anchorage at Cayo Costa Park we headed south once again.
The NOAA radio weather report mentioned locations to our north, so we thought by going south we could outrun the ominous weather. The winds are blowing over 20 mph; and a glance behind us – shows dark clouds approaching. We only have 33 miles to travel; yet feel there might be a point where we decide to tuck in to a safe harbor to wait out the storms.
Cape Haze is one spot we had considered. It was early yet, we decide to pass and continue on. Dave is comfortable with the wind and commented that it is nice to travel on a day that is nasty- then we can enjoy the nice days while at anchor. In hindsight; it worked out. At the time I had second thoughts!
Still see the sad signs of storms- boats sunk in the harbors are never a good sign.
PELICAN BAY ANCHORAGE
Pelican Bay is an anchorage tucked in between Punta Blanca Island and the Cayo Costa Park. The guide books are specific of how to enter the bay without encountering the shallow sandbars.
There were several boats anchored and ready for a rain storm.
We follow the directions and arrive about .5 hour before the rain, lightning and wind begin to pelt the boat!
Within in minutes we can barely see the entrance or even the boats around us!
CAYO COSTA PARK
The next morning we drop the dingy and head to the dock to check out the state park. It is $2 per person at the self serve box. The free tram offers visitors a ride to the other side of the island to visit the beach. It runs hourly- we hopped on and were dropped off about a mile later at the beach!
SHELLING ON CAYO COSTA
The sand here is shell- not the fine sand of Clearwater Beach. The waves were hitting the beach and dropping new shells as we walked along! There are so many, and we didn’t bring a bag. We soon found that we needed to be discerning; and only picked up sand dollar shells. Otherwise our backpack would have been over -flowing!
For more help on shell identifying; here is a link; http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/sea-life-beach-bling-identification/
At the point, we wandered off toward a shallow backwater inlet that had birds and still water. It was cut off from the bay at low tide. As we got back on the main trail, Dave noticed this sign as were passing it to approach the shore line:
Watch for Alligators !
Back on the dingy; we followed the shore line south a bit and noticed a gap in the mangrove trees. We followed it in and discovered it opened into a bit of a lake. This looked like a perfect spot for manatees to hang out. They feed on weeds in shallow water; and prefer warmer water. We were rewarded by several poking their noses out of the water to see what we were doing.
Very hard to photograph as they poke up to breath, then sink back down. I had no idea they were so large!
Here are our attempts to get a picture:
COCKTAILS, DOCKTAILS AND BEACH-tails
Enjoyed a cloudy sunset on the beach with Mark and Karen (Captain’s Choice). We first met on the docks in Chicago; then crisscrossed paths all the way here!
This was our first encounter with no-see-ums. Karen had her thermo-cell along and it worked!
We purchased the same one after it was recommended at the rendezvous. We also talked about the merits of bridal veil for reinforcing our boat screens against tiny insects. May be on the lookout for veils next trip to goodwill.
I purchased bug spray made from essential oils at the last farmers market.
It smells good and will report back later about how well it works. The ingredients include Clove oil, Lemongrass oil, Peppermint oil, almond oil ; mixed with Witch Hazel and glycerin. Has anyone tried a similar product?
Or there is the old reliable skin so soft from avon…
It’s amazing to swap stories and hear about even more loopers out there that we haven’t met yet!
They asked if we watched Jeopardy last night. Odd question! Turns out that one of the categories that stumped the players was “Great Loop”. Since then video has been shared on Facebook by various looper friends. The answers included- Erie Canal, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale and Ohio River- all were missed by the contestants.
COLD FRONT MOVING IN (BUT ITS NOT SNOW)
At night the wind picks up again. In Minnesota boating; the wind usually dies down about 5pm. Here it starts picking up in the evening. The slapping on the boat at anchor can be excessive some nights! I know we wont get any sympathy from home, but we woke to 59degrees! Sweatshirt weather for sure!
COOKING ON THE BOAT
One nice side benefit of not moving today- Dave got an itch to do some cooking since he didn’t need to be at the helm all day. He cooked up the fresh shrimp we purchased in Venice. Along with garlic toast, we had shrimp alfredo fettucine. Mmmmm. On a roll, he made his famous meat loaf so we could have a precooked meal for the next day.
Not to be outdone; Colleen baked a batch of macadamia white choc chip cookies and taco meat fixings for a later meal too.
Part of the cooking frenzy is attributed to a little temperature mix up in freezer setting- causing a few items to thaw out before we noticed the ice cubes were turning to water!!
FMB (FORT MEYERS BEACH)
Our next stop will be in the Fort Meyers Beach area. This is where we will meet up with my cousin Janet. While we have never met, it seems like we already know each other from visiting on facebook! Our Mothers were twin sisters; so really looking forward to meeting a cousin on this trip. If there are any other friends or family visiting in the area- give us shout!
So the adventure continues- Christmas plans, Cousins, Manatees, anchoring, and beaches. There could be a new Jeopardy category here somewhere!
Thanks for reading- and following along on our adventure. We appreciate the follows and comments!