JUNE – SUMMER – HURRICANE SEASON

We must be in “cruising mode”. We actually spent 10 days in one place, and just couldn’t be bothered to move on! Actually spending ten days in Naples is no hardship and we had a great time. We got to know another couple from Punta Gorda, who were moored next to us at the City Dock. Sue and Bob have become good friends and are certainly great company. Napels is known as God’s waiting room, with so many older  people there, however it still has a real buz to it as we found on Thursday evenings various groups and bands play at a number of outdoor restaurants and art galleries. You  can wander around the streets listening so all the music, stop and eat, even dance in the street! Naples also has a wonderful art museum which I visited one afternoon with Sue and Bob. On Sunday Bob rented a car and we, plus one other couple, drove to Goodland on Marco Island for the famous (perhaps infamous) Sunday concert at Stan’s Restaurant. What a blast. It was packed with people from every walk of life from bikers on Harleys, to people arriving in their cruisers and tying up alongside the restaurant. The music, mainly country was loud and wild which kind of matched the crowd! Stan himself was there. A rather crusty old gentleman dressed in white, who seemed to know everybody, stopping to talk as he staggered around. One other character, also dressed in long white pants, white shirt, and a captains hat on his head and a variety of stuffed animals on his shoulder was wandering around totally oblivious to what was going on  around him! The concert started with a magnificent rendition of Stars and Stripes. Everyone stood respectively for the anthem, something a little unusual for us to witness, but interesting to see how patriotic Americans can be. We really enjoyed the day.

HARLEYS, TRUCKS AND A CORVETTE Z06! GOODLAND

On Monday 22nd we left Naples and sailed out into the Gulf, heading north to Fort Myers. It was a magnificent day, sadly not enough wind to sail, but we lay out on the nets in the warm sunshine and motored our way up the coast for six hours or so until we arrived at the Tarpon Point Marina. Bob and Sue had recommended staying there, and it was lovely. We overnighted at the marina leaving quite early the following morning for Tween Waters. We anchored in a small bay opposite the marina and took the dinghy in and walked over to the beach for a much needed swim. We stopped to have a chat with a couple we had met on an earlier visit, who are spending three months at the Tween Waters marina and resort. Nice to catch up with them again. When we were dinghying back to our boat we noticed she was looking a little higher out of the water than usual?? Oh dear, we were on the bottom. Good lesson on checking the tidal flow! Never mind we sat there neatly until about 10.00pm when the tide came back in again and off we floated.

The next morning, Wednesday 24th, we left to join the Punta Gorda Isles Boating Club group at Boca Grande. Sue and Rob had suggested that we join their 4 day cruise with five other boats. We had a lovely time meeting lots of other people, visiting anchorages we had not been to before, eating and drinking lots and walking on the beach every evening.

The Tunnel Of love Pelican Bay, PGI Boating Group

On the last night Rob and Sue rafted up with us and we had about 20 people for cocktails spread over the two boats. Great fun.

Rafting up with Catalyst

Party Time on Catalyst and Anything Goes

Memorial Day weekend, some of the 70 plus boats in Pelican Bay

Sunset Pelican Bay

Julie & Sue Taylor doing what they do best!

As I mentioned above, with the arrival of June we officially enter summer, and the start of the hurricane season. The “experts” predict this to be one of the worst seasons for a while, rather like 2005 when Katrina hit New Orleans. Al Nino is weakening which usually results in a higher than usual number of named storms. We are hoping the experts are wrong and the glorious weather we are experiencing at the moment will continue for a long while yet.

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