I have been rather lazy over the last couple of weeks and have not updated the blog. I do apologise! We have covered a fair bit of ocean since writing last and Ralph and Di joined us for 12 days. We met them at Fort Myers Beach where we spent a couple of days. A cute spot with lots of “beachy” shops and casual restaurants. While there we drove over to Fort Myers itself and visited the Edison Ford Estate and Museum. Extremely interesting and set on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. Gorgeous old homesteads and gardens and a very interesting museum.
From there we sailed north to Boca Grande. The wind was blowing a steady 15-20 knots so we flew up the Gulf! In fact as we entered the Boca Grande Pass we were doing 11 knots, which I have to say was a bit hair raising! We turned into the Intra Coastal waterway and motored more sedately to Pelican Bay – again! Still it is a nice anchorage and Di had not been there before. The next morning we travelled a few miles north to Boca Grande, a beautiful town on the island of Gasparilla. We had a great mooring, with a short dinghy ride to get into the town. Beautiful homes and gardens, lovely beach on the Gulf side and a famous lighthouse which has been restored. It was a very hot couple of days, but our sightseeing was made easier when we hired a golf buggy. The old railway tracks that ran through the centre of town have been removed and replaced by a small “road” just for buggies and bikes. It is great and it seems that almost everybody in town drives owns a buggy.

Boca Grande


The next day we sailed the short distance to Useppa and went over to the restaurant at Cabbage Key to show Di, and this time to add a dollar of ours to the wall!

Attaching our signed dollar bill to the wall

Part of the Money Wall at Cabbage Key

Peter,Julie & Di at Tween Waters Beach Captiva Island

After lunch it was off to Tween Waters Resort on Captiva Island. We moored in the bay and used the dinghy to get on to the island. Once again we found a lovely town, beautiful homes and a great beach. At the northern end of the island is the South Seas Island Resort which was completely destroyed by hurricane Charley in 2004, but has now been rebuilt to its beautiful and ridiculously expensive self!

Enjoying the beach on Captiva

Coloured Beach Chairs at a private entry to the beach

The Bubble Restaurant Captiva Island

 

A rather large frog in a garden on Captiva Island

Must have been named after us!

 

Two days later it was up anchor again, very early, and we motored through glassy seas out to Red Fish Pass and on into the Gulf. We had a great sail south in near perfect conditions, en route to Naples. The water was so lovely that we “stopped” for lunch and just floated around for an hour or so and had a swim. We arrived in Naples at 3.00pm in the afternoon and travelled up the Gordon River to the Naples Yacht Club for two nights. Peter and I have been to Naples a couple of times by car, and always enjoy being here.

How the other half live in Naples!
Our next port of call was Marco Island about an hour and a half south. A very nice place to visit too and at the Yacht Club we met other Manta owners, Larry and Stephanie Stewart from Punta Gorda. They joined us for a drink and then Larry proceeded to serenade us with his bagpipes as the sun set, standing on the roof of their boat. It was really rather special. Some of the neighbours came out to listen and gave him a good round of applause when he had finished! The following morning we motored to another anchorage on Marco Island at Smokehouse Bay. Very picturesque and from there we took a trolley tour of the island. Somewhat disappointing after some of the lovely places we have seen, but it still was a nice area.

Larry Stewart on “Go Lassie” piping the sun down

Highland Fling -ing on Anything Goes
It was time for Ralph and Di to leave, so we sailed back up to Naples where they had rented a car. Peter and I are still in Naples, and plan to stay a few more days until the weather improves a bit. We have had no rain for nearly three weeks, and now they forecast showers and storms for the next three or four days. We will stay put and enjoy one of our favourite areas for a bit longer!

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Dean Says:

    Well, it sounds as though you’re never coming home! Let me know if you’re holding a garage sale back here… 🙂
    As you were! Dean

  2. Francie & Ruedi Says:

    Hi Julie & Peter,
    What can I say! Fanastic photos of your wonderful lifestyle. We have finally come down to earth after the wedding. I wish we could have it all again! You are certainly having a lot of fun! It’s great to get so many photos of your travels, & happenings. Sorry, I have been so long in replying. Our kitchen saga is still going on. the joiner comes tomorrow to hopefully rectify his ” muck” ups. Fingers crossed it will be the last time?

    Weather is absolutely ” foul” here for the past week. One cold,windy front after another. No reprieve! The first ray of sunshine is supposed to arrive Wednesday this week?Please send us some of your sunshine, & have a Margarita for me. We are just about to bundle up & go out to brunch with some friends. That is about the extent of our happenings at the moment Both of us are ” stir crazy” locked up the whole weekend.Oh, the joys of N.Z. climate! We will look forward to your next posting & dream of sunshine & warmth!
    Take care
    love Francie & Ruedi

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