We anchored in Pelican Bay from Tuesday, 3/2 to the 7th before moving on to Useppa Island Anchorage. On the way to Useppa we decided to make a quick run into Charlotte Harbor to look around since our next anchorage so close.
The winds were predicted to be in the 20's during our time in Pelican Bay. The wind did seem to blow strong and was not anywhere near the prediction unless our anchorage was so well protected. Our anchor held fine but we sailed allot at anchor and Charlie tried several ways to stop the sailing. Finally giving up.
While at Pelican Bay we had plenty of time to explore the area on our kayak, cook, read, fish, motor repair and even watch a little TV.
Cooking aboard regularly
Nightly dinners outside
Our kayaking took us to the beach on the barrier island, Cayo Costa State Park to Hike and go to the beach and visit Manatee Hole. The fishing was unsuccessful...surprised (not)!
Cayo Costa Beach
We'd been watching boats go in and out of a little cut in the island shore. Little did we know until we went in that it was FULL of Manatee's. Fun to watch and just a little nerve racking when one adventurous Manatee decided to pay us a visit, bump the bottom of the kayak and giving us a little love. Charlie screamed like a baby.
Hiking on the island was spectacular. One day we did a 5 mile hike and did not see everything. The vegetation was spectacular and views unbelievable.
Dinghy Landing at the park
Native vegetation on the island
View of the Gulf from a high spot
Cross island road, about a mile accross
Looking at the cut into Pelican Bay from the east side of the island. You have to enter by going within 50' of the beach for a couple hundred yards. We ran aground here about 15 years ago and wrecked our dinghy that we were towing.
While we were at Pelican Bay Eileen contacted our good friend Mike Huffer who lives on Pine Island. He brought his Grady White out and took us to Useppa Island Boat Club where he is a member for lunch. What an outstanding place to visit. He and his friend Joan plan to visit us again soon now that we are anchored at Useppa. Next we plan to move to Matlacha, FL and anchor near his home and explore the unique little town, do some laundry and provision.
Mike on his Grady White
High speed ride...nice tender!
Banyan Tree on Useppa Island
Marshall Cat Boats at Useppa. 15' Cat rig. Builder lives on the island and they race on Saturdays in season. Cool little boats, we saw many of them sailing with families while anchored here.
We had lunch at the Collier Lodge on Useppa. Thanks Mike!
TARDIS is anchored between Useppa and Cabbage Key. This might be the most beautiful anchorage yet. So many interesting boats passing in the ICW. We're only about 100 yards off the channel. Plus there's these huge mega yachts anchored with us, interesting to watch how more prosperous people cruise.
Charlie's cousin, Don Buck and Gail, have been updating us on their progress. Fun! They are waiting at Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, FL before making their first crossing to the Bahamas soon. We hope to do go to the Bahamas in two years. Next winter we intend to continue exploring the west coast of Florida at a leisurely pace.