ALLIGATORS, SNAKES AND DOLPHINS

Sea Eagle at Cayo Costa

This guy was nearly as tall as me!
On our last day at Cayo Costa we walked over to the Gulf side and along the beach. We noticed a small lagoon a few hundred meters along where there was a small sail boat and a few people fishing. We went to have a look and at the edge of the water was a sign saying “Do not swim, Alligators”. Sure enough resting quietly on the edge of a bank was a small alligator. It was small, no question however I guess Mama was nearby so we did not linger. These people are hardy, standing in ankle deep water fishing!
On our way back to the boat in the dinghy, I noticed something long and black in the water. On closer inspection we realized it was a black snake, swimming diligently towards our boat! We floated around for a few moments watching to see what it would do. It obviously took a like to “Anything Goes” as it headed straight for the back steps. Thankfully it was unable to get enough grip, so only its head made it up the first step before it slipped back into the water. I was not happy! Finally it gave up and drifted off towards the shore, slightly encouraged by Peter running the dinghy at it!
Peter had been in the water a couple of times over the few days we were at Pelican Bay cleaning the hull and was oblivious to snakes, and alligators and as we subsequently learned bull sharks, when someone said “ you will never see people swimming at Pelican Bay, there are too many bull sharks”. Oh dear, ignorance is bliss I guess. Which leads me to another story. When Peter cleaned the hull he noticed that one of the props was VERY loose. To cut a very long story short, we had to turn around and head back north for a couple of days to have the boat hauled and the subsequent hub replaced. Actually it worked out ok as the insurance company was insisting we haul the boat at their cost, and have the hull inspected for lightening damage. None was found, thankfully. We also managed to catch up with a couple we had met at dinner a few nights before who were sailing with a group. We were included in a fun evening at Moore’s Stone Crab restaurant and met yet some more nice cruisers.

The underside of Anything Goes with Cortz Marina in the backgroud!

 
Oh I forgot, the title of this newsletter included dolphins. There are many around this area, always fun to watch, but this particular dolphin was obviously in a very playful mood and I watched him for a while leaping in the air, rolling over and swimming on his back, then he came right alongside the boat, turned over and looked up at me hanging over the rail, and blew water right at me! It was magic. Sure made up for all the creepy creatures!
We are now moored at Sanibel Island, about two hours from Fort Meyers Beach, having sailed down the Intracoastal Waterway from Cortez, via Sarasota (unbelievable thunderstorm the only night we were there – seven sleepless hours!) and one night at Venice.

Beautiful Venice above and below

 Last night we moored at Useppa Island. A private Island with gorgeous homes where you may only go if invited. However across the water, a short dinghy ride a way, is Cabbage Key, for all you Jimmy Buffett fans of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” fame, and yes we ate a cheeseburger at the restaurant. Cute place actually and the walls of the restaurant are adorned with signed dollar bills, about 80,000 of them.

The Restaurant at Cabbage Key
Today has been a cleaning day, how boring. Nothing really changes does it? Always cooking and cleaning to be done but nice to have a sparkling boat sitting in a quiet bay with no one else in sight. The margaritas will taste very sweet tonight.

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