Just another day in Paradise…

Pictures have been uploaded and text corrected.

Dr. Bell phoned this morning from Hawaii where he is staying in a cottage at Mama’s Fish House. He said I could check it out at mamasfishhouse.com . I did and he must be holding back on how much he is worth. Pretty swanky place.

But we are also in Paradise her on Cabbage Key. This morning we awoke and after breakfast took a walk on the nature trail. There is such an assortment of plant life here. Things you might not see in your part of the country. Here is an unusual succulent that may only grow here and on surrounding islands. I am sure my former Court Reporter Lizabeth will be able to enlighten us.

We climbed the water tower which is the only one to have survived until today. Climb the 41 steps and you reach an observation platform with a bench. We sat and soaked in the beauty around us. Above our heads on top of the water tank itself is a huge Osprey nest with one chick who sits hunkered down while his mother whirls overhead trying to encourage him to fly. She is tired of hauling in fish and wants him to get a job fishing for himself. Sound familiar to any of you.

When we left the dock for our walk we were the only boat tied up here and I took a picture.

By the time we returned an invasion had taken place. The harbor was packed and more boats were arriving every few minutes. Runabouts, pontoons, large cruisers, yachts and ferries from nearby Captiva. And it is not even in season yet. They say from Valentines to July 15th they will serve from 5-900 people at lunch every day and a sizable number at dinner. 

They feed them and in 3 hours we are all alone again. Well not totally alone.

On nearby Usseppa Island is an airstrip and a camp where they trained the Cuban invasion force for the infamous Bay of Pigs landing. It is a completely private island and you cannot even land your boat there unless invited.

Even in Paradise one must work, so we changed the oil and filters this afternoon. This is no simple task as each engine holds 16 quarts of oil which must be pumped out into a suitable container and then new filters installed before refilling with fresh oil from 2 1/2 gallon jugs. It takes two of us to accomplish all this and then the engines must be cranked and tested for leaks or problems. We had run 166 hours between changes which may be pushing it a tad but when you are running on a regular basis you can push the envelope more than a lot of stop and go just like a car.

I also cleaned the raw water strainers and the one for the air conditioners was almost completely clogged. My guess is this occurs when we are in shallow marinas and the tide is low putting the pickups very close to the bottom because the engine strainers do not have this problem.

Tomorrow is a travel day and our destination will be weather dependent when we leave the ICW and go outside in the Gulf. Bad weather equals short day; good weather equals Naples. 

We dined aboard tonight and will have some Key Lime Pie from the restaurant later. I wish I could have captured a picture of the stars above the boat tonight. They are spectacular! But a camers won’t do it or at least mine won’t. So I leave you with a shot of Cbay again all alone and at peace…