February 12 – 17, 2017
Miles traveled: 5 (one side of Marco to another)
Total miles traveled: 2966
Well, it has been a week of fun and lovely surprises. We stayed on Marco more than a few days, in fact a week, at the wonderful Marco Island Yacht Club and Marina. This is one of the most expensive stops on the loop but the “weekly rate” meant that by staying seven nights the last two were free so instead of $110 it was $70/night. Staying also allowed us to leave Namaste in a safe place, rent a car and go to Miami.
Marco Island Yacht Club and Marina
On Monday (13th) we drove two hours along Alligator Alley across the Everglades into Miami as our Valentine to one another. It was a nostalgic trip for me in that I made this trip in 1962 with my paternal grandparents – Howard and Dorothy – who welcomed me back to the U.S. from my AFS exchange student experience to Brazil. They drove me from Miami to their home in Venice, FL for a brief visit. There wasn’t much along the way then and not any more now except miles and miles of mangrove swamp teaming with all crawling, swimming, flying, slithering things.
Our purpose was to meet Curt, Brooke, Leonie and Cedar who were vacationing in South Miami. It turned out to be the perfect day of loving the grandchildren, swimming in the pool, walking the beautiful Miami waterfront, enjoying a delicious BBQ thanks to Blake’s hospitality and catching up with Shannon and Elena. Leonie at four loves life, is curious about and up for anything, mostly all at once. Cedar at one bestows sweet and random smiles and kisses while proving his newly acquired physical prowess. Stroller naps allowed precious adult time with Curt and Brooke too. Seeing them gave us a real boost as being away is the hardest part!
Nothing better than time with our beautiful grandchildren!
Back at the marina we took long walks trying to get our 10,000 steps in each day, sat by the pool most afternoons, met great people, toured another beautiful Krogan and were mesmerized by a dolphin who swam alongside our dinghy locking eyes with Sammy about 12” away.
Sunrise over the Intercostal Waterway
Sunrise over the Marco Island Marina
Boat at dusk passing under the S. S. Jolley Bridge to Marco Island
Thursday (16th), when our week was up and with a good dose of local knowledge, we cast off for an anchorage on the other side of the Island. In strong winds, high tide and fast current we traversed a tricky channel to enter a small but protected lake where we put down the hook just off the “Esplanade”, a complex of condos, shops, restaurants, and a marina with a dinghy dock. I got a pedicure while Jim figured out and fixed a break in the fuel line from the gas tank to our 6hp Mercury dinghy engine. We celebrated with dinner at Davide’s Italian Restaurant complete with table-side serenades by the resident virtuoso – a late but romantic Valentines dinner together.
An Osprey on every navigation post. Many with nests and newborns. Watch the channel, not the birds!!
Namaste anchored in the middle of Smokehouse Bay
Sunset over Smokehouse Bay
The Esplanade at night from the water
Our next step will be traveling from Marco Island, off the mainland of Florida to Marathon on Vaca Key. One hundred and ten miles – stay tuned!
Good boat name of the day: Free Wind
Bad boat name of the day: Who Cares
Quote of the day: “Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color 9” – Sarcasm Society