Threading the eye of a needle…

All pictures now uploaded. Take another look.

Departed the seclusion of Cabbage Key at 0915 and headed south with the idea of pushing to Naples if weather on the outside permitted or stopping short at Sanibel to walk on the beach and relax. Sanibel won and we are here. It was like going from 1950 to 2012 in 25 miles.

There was more boat traffic than we have experienced thus far due to an absolutely gorgeous day and it was Saturday so the weekend warriors were out in their fast boats. One center console fast fishing boat had 4 huge outboards on the back. I could not tell how much horsepower but you can bet it was over a thousand. Yesterday a similar boat with only 3 had 900hp. Where these people have to go so fast I do not know. I think it is more a mine is bigger than yours thing.

Day before yesterday we saw a dump truck driving across the water and I thought we would never top that. Well today as we left Cabbage Key there was a dog walking on water. I know a man that once did that but never a dog. He was a black lab and was having a ball. His owner had pulled a dinghy up to a sand bar and the dog took off running from one end to the other. I wish I had been faster to grab the camera because at the other end he was in shallow water and it really looked like he was walking on water especially with the boat going by on the ICW in the background.

We saw a variety of boats today including a houseboat, a sailboat and several dozen cruisers. That houseboat was powered by a single outboard motor and was towing a dinghy. Now on a day like today they would do fine out here but with any wind they would soon be thinking about climbing in that dinghy because it would be more seaworthy.

When we arrived at Sanibel the Commodore made a decision to end our day by going into the Sanibel Marina. It sits within spitting distance of the southern end of Sanibel Island and the entrance to the Gulf. It would have been an easy ride outside today but the beach called so we answered. 

Approaching the marina we were presented with a very narrow entrance made even more so by a sand bar on one side and small boats coming out with no concern for the bigger boat trying to get in. Jan was in her position as harbor pilot and I was on the foredeck watching for shallow water. We had been instructed to enter and take the first left channel and look for the second slip on the right just past a 62 foot Viking Sportfish. What he did not tell us was that the first left was hidden just inside the channel and it had another sandbar, plus the second slip was just right there with the Viking’s bow pulpit sticking out into most of the channel. There appeared to be no room for error and I could see us tangling with the other boat. But the guy on the dock was waving us on so Jan calmly manuevered her in a very tight turn so as to keep the props off the sand bar. It never even touched the large piling or the dock and soon we were tied up. The dockhand even complimented that everyone hits that piling coming in. The real question is can we back it out of here in the morning.

This is a swank modern marina in an upscale location and they charge for it. They rolled out the green carpet for us. We are right behind the restaurant and sitting among some larger boats. The 62′ Viking is big but the ship on the other side dwarfs it. The whole place is jumping with activity.

We had a pleasant lunch at Gamma Dot’s right on the premises. Here are pictures of the nice presentation of fried shrimp and crab meatballs. Even an edible orchid was included on the lunch order so we took it back to the boat and floated it in a Kahlua glass.

After lunch we took out the bikes and headed to the Sanibel Lighthouse which is pictured here. Look closely and you might see an Osprey sittin up there. Later we found its nest on a pole near the beach.

We walked on the beach but were disappointed that there were no nice shells. This is supposed to be the shelling capital of the world but not today. So we rode down to the DQ and had the most expensive DQ ice cream I have ever encountered, $2.89 for a small cone. They would not be in business long in our neighborhood. 

Back to the boat and an early day of it with dinner on board. We had company for dinner but he left when he found out we were not serving fish.