Boca Grande Inlet - Tarpoon Fishing Tournament
After two awesome days at South Sea Islands, we made a short hop to Pelican Bay, just off Cayo Costa Island. The girls had enough of beaches so we weren't compelled to hike across the island in the heat. Instead we enjoyed their first night at anchor, swimming a long time off the back of the boat, playing Train/dominos, and grilling a pork loin. We had a great evening with lots of entertainment in the anchorage. 1st there was a sailboat that went aground and had a couple of dinghies try to push him off, and eventually had tow boat US push him off. Then at sunset a guy in full kilt regalia stood up on the roof of his boat and serenaded the anchorage on his bagpipes. He turned slowly around during the songs and played to the 4 compass directions. The anchorage clapped at the end of the performance. Fun.
From Pelican Bay we spent a long day sailing out the Boca Grande cut where we were treated to the beginnings of a Tarpoon fishing tournament. The boats were just breaking up from their "instruction meeting" when we went through. The picture gives you a feel for the number of boats. We've been through this area about 4 times, and 3 of those times thre was a tournament. It is great fun to see.
A family of 3 Manatees in the Marina
There must have been at least 6-7 manatees in the marina at once. They like to hang around in warm shallow water. Fascinating, but you never could get a really clear look at them and had an even harder time capturing them on film. When we first arrived, and I was busy with docking, I had a really good view of them, but I couldn't get to my camera.
Brittany was especially fascinated with the manatees.
05/29/2011, Bradenton, FL
Waiting for the Trolley at South Sea Resort
A half day motoring, because there was no wind, took us to South Sea Island Resort & Marina, on Captiva Island. The marina guests are entitled to use all the resort facilities, including the pools, trolley, private beach with chairs, umbrellas, towels and solicitious attendants, and the nicest showers and restrooms anywhere. We had an awesome time. Only thing that would have made it better would have been to have our A/C working.
Sarah had really been looking forward to this spot and it lived up to it's reputation. Ann loved it too. The girls spent lots of time at the beach, and all four of us enjoyed the water slide. (see early picture that John posted.)
05/29/2011, Bradenton, FL
Sarah, Brittany, and John at Times Square, Ft Myers Beach
Sarah and Brittany flew into the regional airport near Ft. Myers. The boat was ona mooring buoy in Matansas Pass, next to Ft Myers Beach. Brittany had been day sailing with us before, but never spent the night on anchor, or mooring ball, or anywhere other than our Texas marina (in Palacios).
We spent their 2nd day in FL touring Ft Myers Beach by foot. Shopping the beach shops and having ice cream. We didn't go to the beach because it was raining and not very inviting. But the girls were saving their beach time for the next stop.
Sarah and Brittany at Orlando Airport - leaving FL
Sarah and Brittany left on Friday after spending 12 days with us. We had an awesome time and so did they. Now it is back to San Antonio, summer semester for Brittany, and a job as camp counselor for Sarah. And, John and Ann are getting underway again.
How about a pictorial of their visit.
05/22/2011, Seafood Shack Marina next to Cortez Bridge
The Seafood Shack Marina
Our night anchored in Little Sarasota Bay was one of the more pleasant of this trip. The anchorage is just off the ICW but as predicted by the guide book, the traffic died down in the evening leaving the sea around us broken only by gentle ripples. The bay became as quiet as if we were at a remote island anchorage. Following another of Ann's tasty meals, bar-b-cue chicken this time, and after a rousing session of Mexican Train, we settled in for a great night's sleep. A gentle breeze kept us cool all night long. Around 11pm, the moon came up lighting up the bay. The whole evening and night could have been an advertisement for the cruising life.
We left the anchorage around 8:30am and motored to the Seafood Shack Marina located next to the Cortez Bridge in Bradenton arriving there at noon. Jascat will be spending the next week here while we tour Sarasota and the Ringling Estate and Museum, and go to DisneyWorld. When we get back, the girls will have flown back to Texas and their summer jobs, and we will be preparing to cruise over to Pensacola.
After much consideration, Ann and I have decided to leave Jascat in Pensacola for the summer and early fall. We originally planned to be back in southern Texas by the first of June before the summer heat in Louisiana and Texas really started to ramp up. This vacation with the girls, as much fun as it has been, has kept us here in Florida an extra three weeks making it nearly July before we could get back. Neither of us can stand the thought of motoring for days on end along the hot, muggy ICW in Louisiana and Texas in mid June.
So, why Pensacola? It has a great cruising ground we've not explored, and it's just a day and a half from San Antonio. Should be fun.