We have really settled in and feel at home – so nice to not be moving every day.
Yesterday we started refinishing our rails – they got pretty banged up on the trip south. I did say “we” – even though you never see me in the pictures – it’s only because he never picks up the camera – honest!!
Bob and Carol met up with us along with a very nice couple, Bruce and Ann and a friend who is staying with them who are from Belleville as well. We had a great lunch at the White Elephant and short visit to the beach in Englewood.
We had decided to make a short trip to visit my sister, Laurie, in Ontario – being that it is Super Bowl weekend – really it was so we could extend our stay 6 more months in the United States!
Upon arrival in Toronto we where picked up by the police and taken to the Peel Region police station.
Truth is Laurie is acting Staff Sergeant and was kind enough to pick us up and lend us her home and car while we stayed to renew our US visit time.
My first question was can we turn on the siren and race around ….Ah no Grant… she was no fun…soooo serious. But check out those stripes! We are so very proud of my little sister.
We had lunch with my mom’s brother, Uncle Bill, he’s a great guy and a wealth of knowledge and experience and a lot of fun.
Uncle Bill with Laurie
Next stop Canadian Tire – we needed a couple boat things, really didn’t know what the heck these were at the front door.
I need to mention that it was cold? So we shopped for appropriate Canadian winter head gear.
Must say it was pretty though.
Laurie brought us home via the back roads to Kitchener from our shopping excursion and as luck would have it we happened upon her favorite watering hole …… we popped in for a few to warm us up.
The game plan was to return that evening for the weekly live entertainment with her best girlfriend and neighbor Ann.
Ann is 100% Newfoundlander and proud of it ..rightfully so – what a great culture. She brought us gifts for the boat from the actual Newfie Store in neighboring Galt,Ontario.
I now sport a new Nor-wester noggin cover and Cindy got new jewellery with the province’s flag on it.
I’m wondering if anyone recognizes these two
I believe they are wanted for questioning in Gore Bay from their last visit with us this summer … they are like the perfect storm when they get together. Cindy and I might have a little to do with it we can’t deny possibly encouraging a little rowdy behavior possibly.
Hey King .. there was some drinkin, food, might even bea been a fight ….etc etc ..lol
It was a late night and the details shall remain unpublished … it was on par with Gore Bay.. and we really, really look forward to our next visit / adventure with the “Perfect Storm”.
We know a visit to Canada in winter could not possibly be complete without a little snow, how about the biggest bloody snow fall to date this winter! I swore I would never shove snow again but ….alas I was wrong.
It was so cold we had to have a birthday cake with candles to keep warm…just kidding happy birthday to our wonderful niece Taylor!
Well after 5 very fast days, great meals, spectacular wing feast a minor hang over and a lot of laughs we returned to Florida …sad yes ..happy HELL YA!!!!
Back to the boat at Chadwick Cove Marina, all was well it was just as wed left it save and sound.
There are snook that gather every evening to feed around a light that attracts bait fish, no they were not in season unfortunately.
Check out the video , note the bait fish that swim in a circle in the light, pretty cool.
We got back with a few days to spare, readying the boat for our much anticipated company of Deb Kerr and Paul and Muriel Thompson from the Newburgh / Napanee area in Ontario.
They brought much missed food items with them Habitant French Canadian Pea soup; Wilton Extra Old Cheddar Cheese; Vector cereal; wine gums; new Roots chair and bead supplies of the Nauti Girl!! ..thank you! thank you! thank you!!!
On the day they arrived we were joined by their good friends Chris and Marina from Newburgh who were traveling about Florida.
We did a quick trip to the beach for some shark’s teeth hunting
Deb brought me something VERY special, my new hat from Active Captain a user based website where you rate marinas and anchorages for the benefit of the users. We use it as a guide to safe anchorages and good marinas. For every review you get 10 points, gain 250 points and you qualify for the coveted hat.
To make this extra special my friend Greg Wright from S/V Fracas had a bet who would get the hat first … prize a bottle of rum.
I cant tell you how happy I was …pictures say a 1000 words!!!
Greg has since conceded the win and purchased the prize which now sports a name “Rumbo”and has become a prisoner …we need to catch him to have Rumbo liberated … a pirates booty ha ha ha.
Our company all agreed to a one day party boat fishing trip aboard the “Reef Runner” to catch some fresh fish for dinner.
Morning briefing and rules
There was a bet placed for most fish and biggest fish to add to the fun.
All aboard ready to strike out.
Broke out the never fail lucky fishing shirt …. nope didn’t work
On the way out we came a cross a sail boat that had wandered out of the main channel and was hard aground. The skipper radioed the boat and asked if he might provide a wake that may lift him off enough to power back into the channel –HOLY SMOKES– a wake he got … almost capsized him poor guy.
We traveled out about 13 miles in a bit of a rain storm, Cindy was kind enough to take a picture of my blue fish, sorry no pictures of her 15 fish I was too busy trying not to get my butt kicked by her …again.
The first mate, Glen, was really great help
The total was 13 keepers, Cindy caught 15 – not all keepers – and Deb got the largest …
Then came the Pelicans
Then first mate cleans the fish for a buck each, a heck of a deal.
The Pelicans are great to watch quivering with anticipation and ready to scrap for a gutted fish. Check out this video
And here are our winners – $10 to the biggest and $5 to the most
We celebrated Cindy and my birthdays from 2014, thanks Deb, Paul & Muriel. Got a few tears outta my girl!
The next night we hit the White Elephant for some local entertainment.
We did a trip down to Stump Pass state park and enjoyed a day at the pass fishing and relaxing in the sun. It was about a 20 minute dingy ride.
A little cool that day.
Paul and I caught about 30 catfish, fun but not edible.
We spent the other days on the beach across the road Paul, Deb and I fished and soaked up the sun.
Do you see the Blue Heron in the foreground?
Well I THOUGHT I liked those birds, in fact I’d say ….oh look how graceful, what a beautiful bird… well NOT this bird .. he’s a sneaky, low down, dirty, skinny legged thief .. that’s all he is …
I fished for I bet 6-7 days and finally caught a nice silver trout about 2 pounds …yum dinner … ya well that’s what the heron thought to! Just as soon as I had my back turned he tip toed over to the pail, reached in and plucked that poor trout out and literally ran off with him. There I go chasing him down the beach until I realized there were about a 100 spectators …. cripes.
THAT bird can eat .. he spent 20 minutes swallowing that fish … errrggg.
Deb enjoyed the fishing!
We caught a shark, tickled its belly to relax it, petted it up a storm and released it …. got to wonder what it was thinking …what the heck just happened I bet.
The girls had a few jewelry making sessions ..fun!
Cupid arrived with Valentines to the boat complete with decorations and cards and yes chocolate YUM!!
All too soon it was time to bid them farewell, we were really sad to see them go but look forward to another visit perhaps?
Well we struck out the same morning for a state park south about 30 miles called Cayo Costa – the boat was ready, Cindy had completed her gardening chores
We just had to slide the boat out of the slip she was wedged into.
Couple of hands and a well thought out plan and we were on our way once again.
The anchorage was beautiful, a little skinny water getting in past the sand bar and we were set for the next three days.
A rose between the thorns I think the saying goes, of course the sailors would think differently lol.
The park is spectacular and we were greeted by very friendly rangers.
The road to the beach is about 1.5 miles, a great walk.
The beach is pristine and vibrant in color.
Sea urchins were plentiful, this little guy went back.
We enjoyed a few nights at anchor. We had bought a new Mantus anchor at Christmas and had yet to have a chance to use it. Our first night the wind switched from east to west and we turned 180 degrees. Not an issue, the anchor bit hard and held all night no problem. The next day the wind blew 15 knots out of the south and the anchor held us perfectly. When we went to leave it pulled up like a dream coming up clean telling us that it was in sand and held beautifully.
Sand bar on the way out of the anchorage
The forecast was for north winds and a strong cold front coming in gusts up to 30 knots possible so having come down with a cold we decided that we best get tied up somewhere so off to Fort Myers Yacht Basin for a week.
We are seeing coconuts now .. which has Cindy yelling “Wilson”!!!! LOL
A blustery ride down – 6 hours
Floating bait shop on the way into Fort Myers
We arrived to be greeted by Elaine from Twelve Stones and Connie and Joe from Chesapeake. It’s such a great feeling to have these folks come out to greet you! Loopers have become like our second family. I think we met Twelve Stones, Russ and Elaine, up around Frankford, Michigan many moons ago. Chesapeake, Joe and Connie, we did the big Gulf crossing with them. Elaine – what a sweetheart, came back to the boat with a bottle of cough syrup for us – not the usually docktails, but we sure did appreciate it!
Joe and Connie took us up to an incredible farmers market this morning to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies, the best we have seen in a long, long time.
We are here for a week waiting for the weather to settle down and then we strike off across Florida on the Okeechobee water way a 3-4 day run that will take us through the heart of Florida, there is much excitement on board to see the next segment of this adventure…. cheers for now !!