Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Making our Way South

December 20, 2017

I am going to try to keep the posts about South FL brief as we have been to most of these areas several times in the past and if anyone needs more info, look back on our previous cruises.  We arrived in Naples yesterday after a short motor from Ft. Myers.  First time we had been to Ft. Myers and I must say the place was fair hopping for this time of year.

Santa on the bar at Cabbage Key
So let me back up a bit - its so easy to get out of sync when I don't write every day!  We were last in Venice.  Our route took us from Venice to Charlotte Harobor where we ducked on the inside to find an anchorage for the night.  We were thinking about staying near Cayo Costa and had heard of a great anchorage in Pelican Bay.  I think we could have got in there fine, but one of the boats traveling with un, Navigo, draws 6 ft. and that might be tight.  So we elected to go a little south on the ICW and this turned out to be a great decision.  We dropped the hook at Cabbage Key after consulting with Bob Kriegel on the anchorage location.  It was actually pretty easy to find being just off the ICW channel (east side) near the private channel entrance to Cabbage Key, against Useppa Island.
The Inn at Cabbage Key
Anchorage Location

This was our our first time stopping here, despite having passed through this area in 2014.  So if you get to this area on a boat, check it out - a wonderful little spot.  The restaurant was delightful.  Excellent food, excellent service.  We had a shared dish of stone crab claws and shrimp.  Delicious!

The atmosphere in the bar/restaurant was great, with dollar bills on the walls and just a great "Hemingway" feel to the place.  Definitely worth a stop over or even renting a cottage here.  So far, this has been one of our favorite stops.  But onwards, it was just for one night.  Our next stop was Ft. Myers Beach.  We hadn't intended to stop here, but we were searching for an anchorage around Sanibel, and just didn't find much protection, so we headed into Ft. Myers Beach for fuel, water (Diversified Marine) and a look at anchorages.  We ended up in the mooring field ($18), which was quite a good spot.  Took in a quick look at Ft. Myers Beach- definitely set up for the snowbirds, and surprisingly some younger folks - likely as school is out for Christmas.  We did get a great happy hour meal deal  at the Yucatan - $9 for ribs or pot roast - great food and great price.  However, I was concerned that eating so early, Janet's hair may turn purple!!
Salty Sam's - Ft. Myers Beach

Now - we had exceptionally low tides the following morning.  Midnight Sun and TraSea got our despite hitting something on the bottom - suspect it was a foundation to the mooring - ouch!

Navigo had to wait a couple hours for the tide - but that was ok, as we planned a short motor to Naples (no wind), with a 2-night plan for Naples.

Again, taking advantage of our PYC membership and the reciprocal arrangement, we decided on a free night at Naples YC followed by a free night at Naples Yacht and Sailing Center (a short 1/4 mile hop across the channel).  Also, its a laundry day!.....and yes, the YC at the sailing center has laundry facilities.

TraSea motoring to Naples
There are some amazing boats in Naples YC - mainly high dollar stink-pots, but look at this hand-built sailboat!

...........but they do let the "riff-raff" tie up too!
Midnight Sun at Naples YC

Where in the world is Midnight Sun II

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