It was a beautiful morning that started with a great view of the moon going down. It was 75 degrees when we got up at 05:30. We saw 4 more alligators this morning; tried to get a picture but they didn’t turn out. We went through 2 more locks today; the Ortona Lock and the Franklin Lock. We made real good time with a bit of a tail wind and averaged 9 knots. Went 45 miles in 5.5 hours with both the locks and 3 bridge openings. Just visited the rest of the day with Nick and Aline after getting here about 11:45. It was good to see them again.
5-14-2014: Beautiful view of the moon just before day break.
5-14-2014: Husky on floats on the Okeechobee Waterway.
May 15 through 18-2014, Thursday through Sunday at Nick and Aline's:
It is nice to just relax and not have to travel. We got caught up on a few things. We took Nick’s car to West Marine, Ace Hardware, and the grocery store to stock up on just about everything. After paying the high prices for groceries in the Abaco I will never complain about prices here in the states again. Went out for some nice dinners and got caught up on visiting.
5-15-2014: I got to help Nick tag this Monarch butterfly from Nick and Aline's butterfly garden.
Butterfly blog: http://nickiebodv.blogspot.com/
5-16-2014: Sun set on the Caloosahatchee River
May 19, 2014; Monday, Fort Myers Yacht Basin: A short 10 mile trip down to the marina. Stopped at the fuel dock and got 300 gallons of diesel and a pump-out. Had a busy afternoon with a list of things to get done; wash boat, wash clothes, walk to Publix, dispose of old oil and get ready for an early morning. I wanted to get a hair cut but ran out of time.
May 20, 2014, Tuesday, Got going by 06:15. There was a 70 foot boat that came in late last night that left at the same time this morning as we did. It was from the British Virgin Islands. The captain drove it totally with remote control; he was standing on the stern and driving backwards. It took us 2 hours to get to Mile 0 on the Okeechobee Waterway; the turn off to Fort Myers Beach. We then headed north up Pine Island Sound to Charlotte Harbor and then on the Sarasota Bay. It was a beautiful morning and day and we made good time. The first anchorage we had picked turned out to be way too shallow so we went another 8 miles and anchored by the Ringling Causeway Bridge in Sarasota. For just spending the night, it is a nice little anchorage. We went 90 miles today in 10 hours and 20 minutes.
5-20-2014: On the “Miserable Mile” at Fort Myers Beach; last time we were here he sold bait out of his boat and now he has a house on a barge anchored there.
5-20-2014:: Lots of dolphins following our boat again
May 21, 2014, Wednesday, Clearwater Municipal Marina: Got going by 06:15 again. Another beautiful day. Sarasota Bay was smooth with just a little ripple. Tampa Bay was a little rougher with a light chop. We had a lot of “No Wake” zones again today. We got to Clearwater by 13:30, got 200 gallons of diesel and were in our slip by 14:30. We got settled in and went for a walk over to Cooter Restaurant for drinks and “Grouper Cheeks”. We went 63.5 miles today in 7 hours and 15 minutes. I finally got my hair cut on Thursday. We plan on staying here for another day before crossing the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.
5-21-2014: Sun rise on Sarasota Bay
5-21-2014: Our boat on the face dock at Clearwater
CO's comments: The guy that was backing up his 70 foot boat by remote control had to have spent at least $25,000 for that system. The boat was easier to back up and go side ways than it was for him to manually drive it forward. It takes all the fun out of docking. I bet if the system quit he would have trouble getting it in by himself manually.