The AC man cometh!
21 April 2017 | Sara's Favorite, Edison Estate, Ft Myers, FL
Ft Myers; Tuesday, April 18th through Friday, April 21st
After a restful night in a very secure and calm marina, the crew slept-in somewhat and was treated with a cheesy eggs and toast breakfast ala Sara. We planned a four night- three day stay in the Legacy Harbour Marina located just west of the Caloosahatchee River Bridge on the north side of Ft Myers. Cards and relaxation filled our morning before meeting the free trolley at a nearby stop for transportation to Pincher's for lunch. Starters were alligator bites for the table, margaritas for Gerry and Jean and sangria for Sara and me.
After lunch, we hustled several blocks to get tickets for the 2 pm guided tour of the Edison-Ford Estates. The tour was fascinating in terms of the houses and gardens, their construction, the relationship between Edison and Ford, their visitors, Edison's research, details of the two week journey from New Jersey to the estate, and many other interesting details and artifacts. Some of the facts that I found particularly interesting were:
- Edison was actually a mentor to Ford
- The Fords only stayed in their home for about two weeks a year for Edison's birthday. Their home was called Mangoes and there were numerous mango trees all over the property.
- Ford planned to give Edison a new Ford every year but after the first gift decided that it would be best to just bring parts to update the original gift which was purchased at a dealership in Tampa and transported to Ft Myers for the total sum of $485.98
- One of the factors that attracted Edison to his estate site was the extensive growths of bamboo which he hoped would provide a better light bulb filament
- Edison developed a botanical research laboratory to investigate the extraction of rubber from various plants- particularly Golden Rod. He joined with Ford and Firestone to form a largely unsuccessful company for rubber production
- Edison's house was actually built in Maine with locally available materials, dismantled, shipped to Ft Myers, and re-assembled in 11 weeks
- Edison engaged in research related to the production of Portland cement and formed a company for its production. Some of the cement produced by his company was used in the construction of Yankee Stadium
I could go on but why don't you discover more about the fascinating life of Edison and his wife by picking up a copy of his biography at your library- I think you will be genuinely rewarded for your efforts.
After our tour of the estates, we made a quick visit to the museum, primarily to see the automobile that Ford had given to Edison on one of his birthdays. In so doing, we passed through the botanical laboratory which proved to be quite large and elaborate although our visit was cursory at best.
After a short walk and a short wait, we boarded the trolley which delivered us to a stop almost immediately in front of the marina. It was then time for a little rest and relaxation on board Seahawk until cocktail hour at 5 pm. Having had a fairly substantial lunch, Sara fixed a light fare of cheese enchiladas which seemed to satisfy everyone. Dinner was followed by a rousing card game of Skip-bo in which Jean pretty much skunked Sara and me. Gerry worked on his blog and read. Unfortunately the AC went on the blink so we opened the main hatches, placing screens over the openings. Further, we secured the screen enclosure we had dredged out of the forward locker to minimize insect egress through the open companionway and windows between the cockpit and the cabin. It worked! The crew seemed to be reasonably comfortable temperature-wise and no one complained of mosquitoes or other insects.
Our second full day was somewhat lazy starting with a 15 min walk to breakfast at First Watch followed by grocery shopping at the adjacent Publix Market. Dividing the groceries among the four of us, we made the 15 min trek back to the boat. My shopping assignment in Publix was a small box of baking soda and a small can of green chilies- geez have you ever been is Publix? I immediately found the baking soda on the baking aisle but it took the help of not one but two stock workers to achieve success with the chilies.
The Gulls invited me to their game of Skip-bo and much to their surprise I broke through with a big win- my first after a number of games. In general, Jean is the queen of Skip-bo... but not this time!
The afternoon was more or less devoted to waiting for the AC service man to arrive and hopefully resolve our problem. But in checking the unit he concluded that it was actually operating normally and required no servicing. As it turned out, that did not prove to be the case although the unit operated satisfactory through the night which we were all thankful for.
Plans for the day were lunch and a play- Jesus Christ Superstar-at Broadway Palm Theater in Ft Myers. Too far away to walk and no trolley service, I decided to give Uber a try. I already had downloaded the App, so it was a very straightforward matter to request a pickup. Our driver, a pleasant middle-aged woman arrived within about 4 minutes and delivered us to the theater within about 15 minutes. Overall, a good experience which we would repeat for the return trip but with a different driver- Jacob from Israel. Both Uber vehicles were very clean and sufficiently spacious to accommodate our crew of four comfortably. Waiting time for Jacob was somewhat longer- about 12 minutes- but certainly quite acceptable.
The meal was served buffet style with salad and entree/veggie lines and soup and dessert stations. Overall, the quantity and selection was generous whereas the quality was average to good. Beverage service was provided on a table by table basis and was excellent by Alice from Chicago- a great grandmother. However, the day's real feature was the play which was performed admirably by a rather large and thoroughly professional cast. Although the size of the stage was not up to Broadway standards the set was very adequate and the costuming was particularly impressive. The lead parts- Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Judas, Pontius Pilot and Herod- were played by very accomplished actors with great singing voices. All in all it was a very enjoyable experience.
Returning to the boat we greeted with a non-functioning AC. After some discussion we decided to call Craig who had worked on the unit the previous day but we had to make that night with fans and open hatches. While a little warm for sleeping when we turned in, it soon cooled off and people were looking for their light covers. Craig appeared comparatively early this am and replaced the Freon in the unit and made several suggestions for improving the performance and functionality of the unit. However, by the time his work was concluded it was too late to leave for Naples which was the original plan for the day.
Not to be deterred, the intrepid crew of Seahawk met the local free trolley and rode to a restaurant- the Tropical Cuban Mambo Restaurant that I had selected out of 60 possible restaurants. We learned that the restaurant featured both Puerto Rican and Cuban food. To say the least, it was not a particularly attractive restaurant and the service was a bit slow but the black beans and rice, roasted pork and plantains were filling and tastee. Gerry opted for a Cuban BLT which we learned only differed from a "regular BLT" because they used Cuban bread. Compared to the Cuban bread we are familiar with in Tampa, this version was wider and flatter.
Following lunch we visited a nearby antique store which was housed in a building over 100 years old that served as a general store. Located near the railway station, it would likely have been frequented by the Edison's and the Ford's. After a bit of looking, we re-boarded the trolley for a tour of the downtown area before returning to the Marina. We were a bit apprehensive that the AC might have crashed again but thankfully that was not the case...but the guys did crash almost immediately for their daily naps. The Gulls took "lesser naps" and were up playing cards soon.
Tomorrow is about a 46 nm leg to Naples and our mooring at the Naples City Marina, one of our previous mooring locations.