A 3 Day Weekend Traffic Jam in Southwest Florida

Days 202-206; January 15-19, 2016

Total Miles Traveled: 2310

Gasparilla Marina in Port Charlotte to Salty Sam’s Marina in Fort Meyers Beach, FL.

The Namaste followed the Lydia out of Gasparilla on a gorgeous Saturday morning (16th) with sunshine, warm temps, blue sky and calm waters. The few fishing boats leaving with us turned into a boat parade by 11 a.m. and a literal traffic jam by 1 p.m. It was gorgeous, it was a three-day weekend and everyone with access to a boat was cruising the narrow 40 mile channel with us. Understand that there is plenty of water along here – wide rivers and large bays but only the fishermen with expert local knowledge dared to diverge from the narrow/deep channel. Most everyone “behaved” except a few very large and fast boats thinking they owned the channel or several rented boats that perhaps didn’t know the rules who raced down the middle of the channel sending everyone awash in their wake. It took all four eyes to keep us safely out of the way of other boats while managing to stay in the channel. It was lovely to reach Salty Sam’s Marina where even with a swift sideways to the dock current we were relieved to be docked next to a large Pirate tour boat.

We wasted no time in getting to  Bootlegger’s Bar where many loopers were gathered, including Ron and Vicki on Sea to See and even Dennis and Carol on “Reunion” who we hadn’t seen since KY! This is a fun marina with restaurants, shopping, laundry, lots of boats and good people – probably 5-8 looping boats.

Saturday night and Sunday the weather turned wild with more huge rain and winds of 25-35 mph with gusts to 50 (tornadoes reported just north of us in Sarasota). We slept well as the Pirate ship blocked some of the wind but Sammy was restless and only calmed when she came in bed with us (positive reinforcement for whining). The wind stayed high all day Sunday and it turned chilly but Jim, Sammy and I walked across the bridge to Fort Meyers Beach to watch the waves, the people and enjoy ice cream pretending to be warm.

The weather has settled down but it is still cool and we will stay here a couple of days with the guys going shopping at the boat stores and the ladies getting pedicures and groceries (in order of importance). By current plan on Wed. we will head south to Marco Island and beyond to Marathon in the Keys!

Boat Name of the Day: “Yabba Dabba Doo ” (sailboat from Charlevoix MI)

Bad Boat Name of the Day: “It’s a Great Day”  (ask me about it sometime!)

Quote of the Day: “A ship is designed to take you places. So if your companionSHIP, friendSHIP, partnerSHIP, or relationSHIP isn’t taking you anywhere, then it is best to abandon ship.” -unknown

Happy 4th birthday to Nate on January 23d, our bestest middle grandson!  Also happy birthday to good friend Doreen Murasky on the 20th!

IMG_3489The Channel just outside Gasparaill – beautiful peace!

IMG_3495We are as far right as possible in the channel.  The boat traffic looks frighteningly identical  looking back too!

IMG_3509  Salty Sam’s Marina and the Parrot Key Bar and Grille!

IMG_3527The pirate ship (“Eight Pieces”) our boat next to which we are docked.  They put on a real show!

IMG_3510Bay behind Fort Meyer’s Beach.  Salty Sam’s is half way down on the left.

IMG_3512Fort Meyers Beach.  The waves are far bigger than the photo allows!

IMG_3542Ron (Sea to See), Dwain (Lydia), Jim and Sammy cruise planning!

IMG_3562Meeting up with Lynn and Gary Soblotne in Fort Meyers Beach.  Now, Gary is a great guy but really, a halo?

IMG_3553Ladies afternoon at the nail spa!  My toes are the crooked ones!

3 thoughts on “A 3 Day Weekend Traffic Jam in Southwest Florida

  1. Sounds like a wild weekend! Glad to hear you are making the best of it. Hopefully the warm weather returns soon. It is bitter cold in Dexter today-topping out at 16 degrees (without the wind chill). It looks like a snow globe outside as I speak! Take care, Doreen


  2. Well bummer. Finally had some time here to catch up on your adventures and see you have been at Salty Sam’s but are leaving there tomorrow. Beth & Dean and Gary & I were hoping we would get to see you while you were in this area. Oh well, safe travels and keep having fun! Maybe catch up with you on one of my trips to Michigan this summer/fall.


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